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

Recent Oil Pressure Light is on Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(129)

Rating Summary
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4
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7
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Eduardo

19 years of experience
454 reviews
Eduardo
19 years of experience
Hummer H3 - Oil Pressure Light is on - Houston, Texas
Super as details were explained. All questions answered. On-time for the appointment. My comfort level is very high with him.

Rick

21 years of experience
44 reviews
Rick
21 years of experience
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 - Oil Pressure Light is on - Stockton, California
This is a person that is on time very courteous does his job very well and knows the inns and outs of what it takes to be a good mechanic. I was very well pleased with his work and the timely manner it took him to fix the repairs I will look forward to him doing more repairs in the future. Thank you again Rick

Robert

21 years of experience
49 reviews
Robert
21 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Oil Pressure Light is on - San Pablo, California
Robert was great, on time, and professional. He is our angel. We were so worried about how we would get our car fixed professionally during the pandemic. We have extra critical health concerns and Robert was not just a great mechanic but he was super kind. Thank you Robert!

Chris

22 years of experience
2024 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Kia Soul - Oil Pressure Light is on - Anaheim, California
Extremely professional and on time. Did a great job too! I would definitely recommend Chris to family and friends.

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