Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Does the Oil Pressure Warning Light Mean?

What Does the Oil Pressure Warning Light Mean?

Engine oil is the very lifeblood of your vehicle. Without sufficient oil or oil pressure, the engine can wear itself out in a matter of seconds. Besides lubrication, engine oil helps with cooling, sealing, cleaning, and protecting engine components from repeated impacts.

Auto manufacturers use an oil pressure warning light on the dashboard to warn the driver if the oil pressure gets too low. Some vehicles are able to distinguish between low oil levels and insufficient oil pressure so you’ll know if the pump is malfunctioning or if you just need to add some more oil.

What the oil pressure warning light means

When you start the engine, the light should turn on for a second or two to test the bulb. Once the engine has turned over, the light will turn off if everything is okay. If the light remains illuminated, immediately shut off the engine and check the dipstick.

Whenever you check your oil, always remember to wipe the dipstick clean, reinsert it back into the engine, and then read the level. Otherwise, your reading will be inaccurate. The same thing applies if you are driving and the light comes on. Pull over as quickly and safely as possible and check the oil level. If the overall level is correct, it is likely that the fuel pump or oil pressure gauge are malfunctioning. Replacing the pump or whatever is malfunctioning should turn the light off.

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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...


Related questions

Q: Oil pressure sensor location - 2005 Dodge Stratus

Hi - the oil pressure switch/sensor is located next to the oil filter on all Dodge engines of this vintage (3.0, 2.5, 1.8l, etc.), and screws into either the engine block, or the oil filter housing, depending on engine model....

Q: What does the check tire pressure warning mean?

Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is designed to alert you if one of your tires drops below the threshold pressure (PSI). It does this by turning on the Low Tire Pressure light on the dash. However, you will...

Q: Oil light comes on

If the oil pressure warning light comes on there is either dangerously low oil pressure or there is a sensor malfunction. You should always turn the engine off immediately due to the significant potential for costly engine damage. First, be...