Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Is It Safe to Drive With the Oil Pressure Light On?

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

Oil Pressure

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...

Related questions

Q: Bad instrument cluster

With a reoccurring issue like this, you can almost guarantee that another malfunction is causing the failure. If this cluster has failed, you will end up needing another one. But do not replace it until you know what the main...

Q: Oil pressure light comes on in the morning when the car is cold, but goes off if I turn the car off then back on.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The sensor, or oil pressure switch, can be tested. If the sensor appears to be within the factory spec, the first thing to check is if you have the right viscosity oil. If the...

Q: What does the 4x4 Low Light mean?

The 4x4 Low Light indicates when the four-wheel drive system is enabled. The driver is responsible for turning this feature on and off. To understand the 4x4 Low Light. The 4x4 Low Light will come on for a moment...