Oil Light Is Still on After an Oil Change – Causes and How to Fix 

It pays to be attentive to whatever light pops up on your dashboard. You should be concerned if you did some corrections, but a warning light stays on. In this article, I’ll discuss the oil light that is still on after an oil change – its causes, and how to fix it.

If the oil light is still flashing on your dash after an oil change, it could be caused by a faulty oil sensor. Perhaps this sensor is malfunctioning because of the accumulation of dirt or other foreign objects inside the oil pump. This debris can cause the sensor to consider it a problem. 

You can fix this issue by resetting the oil light. To do this, you need to do the following steps:

  • Switch on the car’s ignition
  • Step on the accelerator and the brake pedal simultaneously
  • Fully press the accelerator and brake pedal for around three seconds
  • A message will appear on the dash that says the reset procedure is in progress
  • Wait until the message disappears on the screen, which means you are successful in resetting the oil light

Read on to learn more about why the oil light on your dash will stay on even after an oil change and how you can fix this issue.

Oil Light Is Still on After an Oil Change

oil light is still on after an oil change

If the oil light on your dash stays on after changing the engine oil, the oil sensor is not working correctly. Perhaps there are deposits of dirt and other foreign particles inside the oil pump, causing the oil pump to consider this an issue. That’s why it triggered the oil light on your dash.

If this is the only reason the oil light stays on, you can fix this problem by resetting it. Just follow these steps to reset the oil light:

  • Turn on your ignition
  • Step on the brake and the accelerator simultaneously
  • Keep on pressing these two pedals for about three seconds.
  • Wait until the oil light disappears on the screen and you have reset the oil light.

This light warns you if anything is wrong with your engine oil, such as if it’s time for you to change it. It won’t turn off itself, even after you have drained and changed the oil.

In this regard, your car has an ECU or engine control unit, which uses a computer system that monitors all your vehicle’s systems. That includes the condition of your engine oil lubricating system.

It calculates the time you need to change the oil according to the temperature and engine revolutions – not just on the actual mileage your vehicle has traveled. This means you must reset it every time you change the engine oil. It will not reset itself.

Why Does the Oil Light Stay On After Oil Change?

The oil light staying on even after changing the engine oil is not a peculiar problem. Many vehicle owners have already experienced this issue several times. This could happen for several reasons:

1. Failing Sensor

Your car uses many sensors to monitor the operating conditions of your vehicle. These sensors are not meant to work forever. So if the oil light sensor is old and worn out, it will not work correctly, such as staying on even after an oil change.

2. Dirt and Debris

If dirt and other foreign particles accumulate on the oil pump, it will also cause the oil light on your dash to stay on. This oil pump is the primary component that circulates the engine oil around the engine lubricating system.

If there is a buildup of dirt and debris inside this pump, the oil sensor will consider it an issue and trigger its indicator light on your dash. You can’t get the light off your dash until you remove this debris.

If you still have an activated oil light after cleaning the dirt, the car may have an underlying problem in its system. Ask a qualified mechanic to diagnose the problem and apply the appropriate fix.

3. Low Oil Pressure

To properly lubricate the engine, you need not just engine oil. It would be best to deliver it with the correct oil pressure. If the oil pressure is low, you cannot properly lubricate the engine. This will lead to engine problems, not just engine overheating.

Oil light warns you of insufficient oil pressure in the lubricating system to prevent engine problems. So, if it stays on, you should check and fix it, or your car will suffer engine problems.

4. Insufficient or Too Much Oil

Insufficient or too much oil is another reason the oil light flickers on your dash. It is best to ensure that the engine oil level is sufficient for the lubricating needs of your engine. However, it will also affect the engine efficiency if too much engine oil is circulating inside it.

This is another reason the oil light will keep flashing on your dash since it will also cause the oil pressure to exceed what is required. So, ensure you’re using the right amount of fresh engine oil.

5. Dirty Engine Oil

why does oil light come on after oil change

As it circulates the engine, the engine oil will pick up soot, particulates, and dirt along the way. This is the reason why vehicle manufacturers recommend changing engine oil regularly.

If you neglect to do this regularly, the engine oil will collect dirt, affecting your engine’s efficiency. Before anything serious happens to the engine, the oil light will flash to warn you that you must change the oil.

6. Oil Filter Not Lubricated

Did you lubricate the new oil filter before fitting it into the engine? You must also change the oil filter every time you do an oil change due to the soot and dirt it collects over time.

Before installing the new oil filter in its place, lubricate it first. The oil light may flicker without lubrication, and the oil pressure may drop.

Don’t rev your engine to force the oil pressure to go up. Instead, you should switch on the starter after removing the spark plugs. When the oil pressure rises, put the plugs in and start your engine.

Again, why is your oil light on after an oil change? If your car’s oil light stays on after an oil change, it might be due to a faulty sensor. A dirty oil pump can cause the sensor to malfunction.

How Can You Reset the Oil Light?

You can manually reset the oil light. Remember that you must do it every time you do an oil change.

Below is the step-by-step process of manually resetting the oil light:

  1. Turn on the ignition switch but don’t start the engine yet.
  2. Step on the brake pedal and the accelerator simultaneously.
  3. Keep pressing your feet on these two pedals for around three seconds.
  4. A message on your dash will say the reset procedure is in progress.
  5. Wait for about 25 seconds.
  6. A message will appear saying that the reset procedure is finished.
  7. Release the brake and the accelerator pedals
  8. Turn off the ignition switch.

What Is the Oil Pressure Light?

Primarily, the function of the oil light is to warn you that the oil pressure in your engine has dropped. This is not a matter that you can ignore. You should act on it immediately, or your engine could go bad.

So, the oil pressure light ensures that the right amount of lubricating oil is circulating inside the engine and that it is being supplied at the right pressure. This is very important in lubricating all the engine components because it enables your engine to operate efficiently for as long as possible.

In essence, this oil light is the thing that watches over the condition of the engine oil circulating inside your engine. If it falters, imagine what will happen to your engine. It can develop all sorts of issues that will make it inoperable in just a short time.

So, if after doing what you can do to keep this light from staying on but it persists in staying on, then you have to call for help. You can get the best help from a qualified mechanic or car dealer. They have the means to fix whatever issue your oil light is experiencing.

How to Respond If the Oil Light Stays On?

why is my oil light still on after putting oil in

Don’t ignore it. This light is flashing on your dash because there’s something wrong with your engine oil lubricating system. It may be a faulty sensor, a drop in engine oil pressure, or a more severe problem.

The thing is: this kind of situation needs your immediate attention. Whatever caused the light to come on and stay there on your dash is something you need to fix immediately.

If you don’t, you are risking the efficient operation of your engine. It may even cause major engine damage that can hurt your ability to use your vehicle. So, immediately act if the oil light stays on without apparent reason.

In Closing

When the oil light keeps flashing on your dash, it could mean the oil sensor is failing. This can happen if there is an accumulation of dirt and other foreign particles inside the oil pump. The sensor will consider this as an oil issue.

If dirt is the only problem, resetting the oil light will fix this issue. Simply follow the steps I mentioned above.

However, this light will still flash on your dash if there are other issues. In this case, it’s better to ask a mechanic for help.