Is It Safe to Drive With the Oil Pressure Light On?

When your Oil Pressure Light comes on, you can bet that there is a reason. It could be something as simple as being low on oil, or it could be an indication of serious engine problems. The trouble is, you don’t know whether the problem is serious or no big deal, so your best course of action is to pull over immediately and turn off your engine. This is because if your oil pressure goes down to nothing, you could damage your engine to the point where you will need significant repairs, and may even need to replace the engine.

So, what causes your Oil Pressure Light to come on? It could be a number of things:

  • Low oil level could be the cause. This is the simplest to correct – just top off your oil, see if the light goes out, and if it does, you can get back on the road.

  • A faulty oil pump could also be the culprit. If the level on the dipstick is showing between “add” and “full,” and then engine was running noisily, you need to stop driving until the issue can be corrected. You could have a bad oil pump.

  • On the other hand, if the level is between “add” and “full,” and then engine was running quietly, you could have a bad oil pressure sending unit, light switch, or oil pressure gauge. You can safely drive home and have this fixed, but if the engine starts to sound noisy, stop immediately and call for a tow truck.

  • You could also have leaking gaskets or seals. You will need to top up your oil, and again, you can safely drive home. Make sure to get the oil seals or gaskets replaced, though, because if they give out all at once you could end up with a seized motor and very expensive repairs.

  • Another possible cause could be worn engine bearings. If this is the case, you will probably need to have your engine rebuilt or replaced.

So, is it safe to drive with the Oil Pressure Light on? Depending on the cause, you can probably drive safely for long enough to have the problem diagnosed and corrected by a qualified mechanic. At YourMechanic, we can diagnose why your Oil Pressure Light has come on and recommend a solution.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Pressure Light is on Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Pressure Light is on Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

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Recent Oil Pressure Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(139)

Rating Summary
128
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7
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Nicholas

11 years of experience
585 reviews
Nicholas
11 years of experience
Acura MDX V6-3.7L - Oil Pressure Light is on - Raleigh, North Carolina
Nick was on time, diagnose my problem,and went to get the correct part.and solved my problem.I will definitely be using my mechanic again,and will always request Nick. Great performance And attitude while working in over 100 degrees direct sunlight. Thanks Nick

Peter

25 years of experience
514 reviews
Peter
25 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler V6-3.8L - Oil Pressure Light is on - West Hollywood, California
Extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Located the issue right away and I was relieved that it wasn't anything to serious. Although it could have been had I not had someone check it out when I did. Thank you.

Mahendra

14 years of experience
13 reviews
Mahendra
14 years of experience
Mitsubishi Endeavor V6-3.8L - Oil Pressure Light is on - Saint Albans, New York
He arrived late, but explained that he had problems getting the part. At least he had a reason for being late.

Kingsley

14 years of experience
33 reviews
Kingsley
14 years of experience
Ford E-350 Super Duty V10-6.8L - Oil Pressure Light is on - Garland, Texas
Had a great experience! Professional, courteous, and went above and beyond to make sure everything was taken care of.

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