Q: Low oil pressure light came on when I started the car.

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My low oil pressure light came on. I regularly maintain the vehicle through a certified mechanic and just had an oil change done 1000 miles ago. The engine has never used oil. When the light came on, I turned off the engine and checked my oil. It was down one quart so I added it. I drove the vehicle 8 miles home. Temp gauge was fine, no smoke or noises.

My car has 201000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The oil pressure light will usually come on when a few things could be happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil, the oil pump could be failing or the oil pressure sending unit is not working properly and may be producing a faulty reading. If the engine is in fact low on oil, you may notice the temperature gauge reading above normal temperatures as a result of the lack of sufficient oil in the motor. I would recommend checking the actual oil level in the motor by using the dipstick. Be sure the oil level reaches the "full" mark. If this registers as "full" then you likely have a faulty oil pressure sending unit. Many vehicles also have a safety feature built into the vehicle’s computer system which will shut the engine down completely or trigger a “safe mode” of some kind which will drastically limit the vehicle’s engine power to avoid further engine damage until the oil pressure problem is corrected. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle to determine what may be causing your low oil pressure light to come on.

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