Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...


Related questions

Q: Gauge cluster pops on and off

Hi there. If the entire cluster doesn't function intermittently, the cause may be an internal short. The problem could also be caused by a poor ground, bad connection, or damaged wiring. The previously installed police equipment may have had something...

Q: Low oil pressure warning light coming on.

Is your engine oil level full? Older engines will use some oil between oil changes. If you go too long between oil changes it is possible that the engine could use enough oil that it would cause the level to...

Q: What does the passenger front air bag light indicate?

Your Altima is equipped with an intelligent system of sensors designed to determine if the passenger front air bag should be on or off. The Air Bag Off Light on your dash tells you the status of the system. Here’s...