How to Fix Low Engine Oil Pressure: A Comprehensive Guide

How do I fix low engine oil pressure?

Engine oil flows through the engine providing lubrication to all moving parts, thereby enhancing its efficiency.

Without lubrication, the engine parts experience friction, posing threat to both the engine’s well-being and potentially creating a fire hazard.

Let’s look at the ins and outs of engine oil pressure; what it means, the reasons and signals of low pressure, and the steps to identify and resolve the problem.
An image illustration of how to fix low engine oil pressure
How to fix low engine oil pressure
Phot Courtesy: Rymax-Lubricants

What is low engine oil pressure?

Engine oil pressure refers to the force exerted by the engine oil as it circulates through the various parts of an engine.
This oil plays a crucial role in lubricating moving parts of the engine, therefore reduces friction, and disperses heat produced during the combustion process.
Adequate oil improves the overall efficiency and longevity of the engine by preventing friction against metal components.
A number of factors influence oil pressure. These factors may be; car’s engine type, design, and oil viscosity.

Importance of monitoring Oil Pressure

Monitoring engine oil pressure is important because insufficient oil pressure can lead to increased friction, heat buildup, and potential damage to engine components.
Conversely, excessively high oil pressure may also pose risks, such as damage to gaskets and seals.
Modern vehicles often have oil pressure sensors that can trigger warning lights on the dashboard to alert drivers if the oil pressure falls outside the optimal range.
To ensure that engine oils lasting longer in the car, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oil pressure levels at different engine speeds.

What are the causes of low engine oil pressure?

Insufficient Oil Level- This is the most common cause of low oil level in the engine. Its important to regularly check and maintain the proper oil level to ensure adequate lubrication.

Clogged Oil Filter- A clogged oil filter restricts oil flow thus leading to decreased oil pressure. Regularly changing the oil filter is essential for proper engine maintenance.

Inappropriate oil viscosity- Using the wrong thickness of oil or oil that has become too thin due to contamination can lead to reduced oil pressure.

Worn out oil Pump- A faulty oil pump may fail to circulate oil adequately, resulting in low oil pressure. This can be caused by wear, damage, or a faulty pressure relief valve.

Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor- A malfunctioning oil pressure sensor may provide wrong readings, causing unnecessary concern or, in some cases, overlooking an actual low oil pressure issue.

Worn Bearings- Engine bearings can wear over time, reducing the efficiency of the oil film that separates moving parts. This wear can contribute to low oil pressure.

Damaged Oil Pan- Damage to the oil pan or a loose oil pan can result in oil leakage, leading to a drop in oil pressure.

An image of how to fix low engine oil pressureWhat are the Signs of Low oil pressure?

Low engine oil pressure may manifest in various ways, such as:

Oil Pressure Warning Light: This is the most obvious sign that appears on the dashboard. The warning light shaped like an oil can goes off to indicate low oil pressure. This is a clear signal that you should immediately check your oil levels.

Engine Noise: Low oil pressure may result in inadequate lubrication thus unusual knocking or tapping noises coming from the engine.

Oil Leaks: Low oil pressure can result from oil leaks, which may be visible underneath the vehicle.

Poor Engine Performance: Reduced engine performance or power can occur as a result of inadequate lubrication, affecting the overall efficiency of the engine.

Overheating: Low oil pressure may lead to increased friction and heat generation, contributing to engine overheating.

How to fix low engine oil pressure

1. Check the level of engine oil

To deal with low oil pressure, you should first check the oil level.

Pull out the oil dipstick, clean it, then put it back into the engine, and pull it out again.

See where the oil mark is on the dipstick. If it’s lower than the “Add” or “Low” line, you need more engine oil.

2. Change your Engine’s Oil Filter

A blocked oil filter is another frequent reason for low oil pressure.

The filter can collect dirt and debris over time, reducing the oil pressure. You can handle this situation by changing the oil filter.

Generally, it’s advisable to replace the oil filter whenever you change your engine oil.

3. Check and Change the Oil Pump if necessary

The oil pump is very important in your engine, as it uses enough oil and maintains proper oil pressure.

If your oil pump is not working well, you should change it, This should fix the problem of low oil pressure.

This process requires special tools, skills and even experience, so it may be best to let a professional mechanic do this job.

Important to note is that maintaining the oil pump in good condition, involves the application of top-quality lubricants.

How to prevent low engine oil pressure

Preventing low oil pressure is crucial for maintaining the health and performance of your vehicle’s engine. Here are some essential steps to help prevent low oil pressure:

Change the Oil Regularly: This may be the best way to avoid low engine oil pressure. Engine oil gets dirty and less lubricating over time. Following the manufacturer’s suggested intervals for oil changes keeps the oil fresh and efficient.

Use the Correct Oil for Your Vehicle: You can’t use any oil for your engine. Different types of oil have different thickness.  Low oil pressure can result from using the wrong oil. Use the recommended oil type by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Monitor your Oil Level Often: You can find out an issue early by frequently monitoring your engine’s oil level. Routinely check the engine oil level using the dipstick. Maintain the oil level within the recommended range to ensure proper lubrication.

Regularly Inspect Seals and Gaskets: Inspect and replace seals and gaskets as needed. Damaged seals can contribute to oil leaks, affecting oil pressure.

Monitor for Leaks: Regularly check for oil leaks underneath your car. Address any leaks promptly to prevent a decrease in oil levels and subsequent low oil pressure.

Monitor Warning Lights: Pay attention to dashboard warning lights, especially the oil pressure warning light. If it illuminates, investigate the issue promptly to prevent engine damage.

Choose Quality Oil Filters: Use high-quality oil filters and replace them during each oil change. A clean filter allows for efficient oil circulation, preventing restrictions in the oil flow.

Inspect and Maintain the Oil Pump: Include the oil pump in your regular maintenance routine. Ensure it functions properly, and address any issues promptly to prevent a drop in oil pressure.


Keeping the right pressure in the engine oil is very important for your car’s engine to work well and last long.

Low oil pressure may seem like a small problem, but it can cause serious engine damage if ignored.

This article has tried to give you the information to spot, solve, and avoid problems with oil pressure.

Watch your oil level and quality, change the oil and filter regularly, do regular maintenance checks, get rid of engine oil, and ask for professional help when needed.

By following these tips, you are doing important things to make your vehicle live long and healthy.

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