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Why Is My Oil Light On?
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25 Oct, 2023

Why Is My Oil Light On?

The warning lights on your car dashboard alert you to various vehicle conditions, malfunctions, or potential issues. One of the most important dashboard warning lights to pay attention to is the oil light. There are several possible scenarios when the oil light illuminates. Our talented mechanics have put together an informative list of seven reasons why your oil light turns on and what to do to fix the issues.

  • Low Oil Level

The most common culprit when the oil light comes on is severely low oil levels in your engine. This can happen due to leaks or simply as a result of normal oil consumption over time. To check your car’s oil level, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel. Put the dipstick back into the oil reservoir completely, then pull it out again. Observe where the oil reaches on the dipstick. There are markings that indicate the acceptable range. The oil level should fall between the "low" and "full" marks. If the oil is below the "low" mark, you'll need to add oil to bring it within the recommended range.

  • Dirty Oil

Dirty, contaminated oil doesn't lubricate your engine as effectively as clean oil. This can lead to increased friction and heat, causing the oil light to illuminate. You can check the oil condition on the dipstick when you check the oil level. Fresh, clean oil is amber or light brown in color. As oil ages and accumulates contaminants, it gradually darkens, becoming darker brown or even black.

  • Poor Engine Performance

If your engine isn't running as smoothly as it should, it can put extra strain on the oil system, causing low oil pressure and, in turn, activating the oil light. The common signs of poor engine performance include engine misfires, reduced power, rough idling, and increased fuel consumption. If any of these signs sound familiar, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with a nearby auto repair service and have your engine checked.

  • Low Oil Pressure

When the oil pump fails to maintain the necessary oil pressure, the oil light will signal that your engine might not be receiving adequate lubrication.

  • Failing Oil Pump

The oil pump circulates oil through the engine. If it malfunctions or wears out, it can lead to reduced oil flow and, subsequently, the oil light turning on.

  • Clogged or Dirty Oil Filter

An often-overlooked culprit is a clogged or dirty oil filter. When the engine struggles to breathe, it can negatively impact oil pressure and trigger the oil light. It’s recommended that you replace the oil filter every second time you get your oil changed.

  • Bad Oil Pressure Sensor

The oil pressure sensor is the watchdog of your oil system. If it fails or becomes faulty, it might falsely trigger the oil light, even when oil levels and pressure are adequate. A failing oil pressure sensor is not always a sign of disaster, but it’s advisable to have your car checked at a reputable auto repair shop as soon as possible.

Wrights Car Care: Your One-Stop For Auto Repair Services and Car Care

When the oil light turns on, seek help from a nearby auto repair shop as soon as possible. It’s not advisable to continue driving with the engine oil light on, as you could end up damaging the engine. Here at Wrights Car Care, we offer a comprehensive range of auto repair services. From oil services and electrical system repair to transmission repair and engine repair, we’ve got you covered. If your oil light has come on and you’re looking for a trusted auto repair service, visit Wrights Car Care today. Our qualified and experienced mechanics will perform a full diagnosis of your vehicle and make any necessary repairs.

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What Our Happy Customers Are Saying

My experience with Wrights Car Care was probably the best car repair experience I could ask for. The last thing that you want to worry about while putting yourself through college is whether or not you can trust the people working on your car.  Wrights Car Care was very honest about exactly what the problems were with my vehicle and which issues needed to be addressed immediately and which ones could wait.  I have had no issues with any of the repairs I have had. They really have the customer's best interest in mind and it shows!

Susan Knippenberg

have been going to Wright's for numerous years and David has always been honest and helpful and concerned about each customer and their circumstances.  They always give detailed reports about what needs to be fixed and even a time frame if it can wait a while or needs immediate attention.  I really appreciate that personal attention.

Marcia Werner

This place is absolute gold. We moved to the neighborhood 3 years ago, and they have been our go-to car place for every issue, large or small, ever since. It's like bringing my car to a trusted and knowledgeable family member. They have done everything from major repairs to minor tune-ups for us, and we have never been dissatisfied. Twice I have brought my car not sure what was going on, and it turned out to be a small enough issue that they fixed it on the spot for no charge! Honest, competent, quick, fair, and kind. You can't do better.

Amy Robertson

Wrights car care rocks!! I had a car issue with a quick timeline to get back to college. David got me in and out quickly, with the part I needed, and didn't try to sell me something I didn't. You cannot beat the kindness and service I experienced!! We have gone to Wrights Car Care before, and this is why we keep going back. THANK YOU!!

Charlotte Matthews