One of the essential needs of an automotive engine is its motor or lubricating oil. If the engine oil light suddenly pops out on your dash, it means one or several things. In this article, I’ll discuss the oil pressure low stop engine warning light, but the oil is full – what to do?
If the engine oil warning light shows up on your dash, but you know the engine oil is full, it could mean a problem with the oil pressure sensor or the oil pump. Check whether you need to repair or replace them.
Since you don’t know the problem, the first thing you need to do is to stop the engine. Allow it to rest for around five minutes. This will cause the motor oil to flow back into the oil pan. Now, check the oil level. The problem is not the engine oil if the level is sufficient.
Read on to learn more about the Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine Warning light, why it appears on the dash even if the engine oil is full, and how you can fix it.
Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine Warning Light (But Oil Is Full)
Your car’s engine oil warning light can show up on your dashboard because the oil level is low. However, even if the engine oil level is full, this light can still pop up on your dash. You can’t blame it on low engine oil levels in such cases. There must be some other reason.
Some other reasons why the “oil pressure low stop engine” warning light appears but the oil is full could include a broken oil pressure sensor, a failing oil pump, or something else. You need to ask a qualified mechanic to diagnose the real problem and recommend the appropriate fix.
But since you still don’t know the real culprit, you must shut off the engine first. This will cause the motor oil to flow back to the oil pan. From there, you can check the actual level of the engine oil to be sure that it’s not the trigger of the warning light.
If you do not hear strange engine noises and the engine temperature is normal, then the problem could be the oil pressure sensor or the oil pump. These components can’t last forever. Perhaps they are already failing. That’s why one of them could be the trigger of the warning light.
There is one way you can fix this issue. If you switch to higher viscosity oil, you can deactivate the low oil pressure warning light. For instance, from 5W – 20 oil, you can change to 10W – 30 to make up for the increase in bearing clearance.
This switch could make the oil pressure get back to normal. However, you should still check why you have an activated low engine oil level warning light.
Why Is Correct Oil Pressure Important?
The lubrication of an automotive engine depends on the following:
- Oil pump,
- Lubrication lines,
- Oil filter, and
- Connected hardware.
The motor oil must overcome a certain resistance in the lubrication lines to reach the engine components that need lubrication.
This is the oil pressure in the system. The function of the oil pump is to make sure there is enough lubrication in the system.
During the planning stages, this pump is designed to produce the required flow and pressure so that the lubricant or motor oil can circulate entirely, even in the remotest part of the system.
If the oil pressure in the system is low, it indicates that something is not working as designed. It could also suggest that there is not enough motor oil to provide the required lubrication.
If you do not correct this and the engine continues running, there will be metal-to-metal contact between the metal components inside the engine. That’s dangerous because it will lead to engine damage which can destroy it.
It can save the engine if you can fix the problem in time. However, depending on the intervention time, the engine could suffer damage in just a couple of hours.
You could be spending a lot of money to repair the engine, and you may need to buy a new engine if you still want to drive your car. That’s how crucial correct oil pressure is in an automotive engine.
What Causes the Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine Warning Light to Come On?
Why does the “oil pressure low stop engine” warning light appears, but the oil is full? There are several reasons for this. You need to know these reasons so you can avoid them.
Some of the common causes are the following:
1. Broken Oil Pressure Gauge
A faulty oil pressure gauge can trigger the engine oil warning light on your dash even if there is plenty of motor oil inside your engine. If this warning light suddenly shows up on your dash, and nothing seems to be going wrong with your engine, this gauge is likely the culprit.
Check the gauge to see if it is still working. A competent mechanic with all the required tools can do this. If the gauge is broken, you need to replace it. There is no way to repair this gauge. So if it is a problem, the only thing you can do is to replace it.
2. Bad Oil Pressure Sensor
The oil pressure sensor monitors the engine’s oil level in modern cars. It sends signals to the car computer about the oil level so the engine can continuously work efficiently. If it goes bad, it can send wrong alerts to the car computer and trigger the oil pressure low stop engine warning light.
3. Worn Out Oil Pump
The problem could be a broken oil pump if the engine is noisy and the oil pressure indicator says the oil level is between “add” and “full.”
An oil pump that is already old and worn out cannot produce the right amount of pressure because its components are no longer efficient, or maybe it already has developed internal leaks.
The usual fix for this issue is pump repair (if it can still be repaired) or a replacement.
Again, why does your oil light keep coming on even though your oil is full? If the oil lights come on even if you have the correct oil level, there might be an issue with the oil pressure.
4. Too High or Too Low Oil Viscosity
If the oil level indicates there is sufficient motor oil inside the engine, but the low oil level warning light is flashing, it could also be caused by the viscosity or thickness of the motor oil inside the engine.
If the oil viscosity is too high, the motor oil will generate greater oil pressure which can trigger the warning light because there is indeed low oil pressure in the system. This is also dangerous to the engine because it can lead to insufficient lubrication of the engine parts.
In contrast, motor oil with a viscosity lower than recommended for the engine can lead to failure in providing the correct lubrication to the system.
If the motor oil is too thin for what is recommended for the engine, there will also be metal-to-metal contact between the inner engine components. Extreme heat and stress will damage the engine’s internal parts.
You may have added the right oil recommended by the car manufacturer. However, while driving your car, the motor can be diluted because of operating at excessive temperature, which overloads the car’s cooling system.
This is also one of the reasons the oil inside the engine becomes less dense.
5. Clogged Oil Filter
The function of the oil filter is to screen out impurities from the motor oil so what enters inside the engine is only clean lubricating oil. Over time, as the oil filter does its work, it becomes blocked or clogged with impurities.
This condition will restrict the flow of oil inside the engine lubrication system. The low oil level warning light will be triggered, and the light will pop up on your dash, even if you have topped up the oil level.
6. Engine Wear
If the oil level is sufficient inside the engine and this warning light shows up on your dash, the possible culprit is worn engine bearings. This is especially true for high-mileage engines. Excessive wear of these bearings will reduce the flow of lubricating oil to the engine parts.
If the engine has suffered this condition for an extended period, it may have to be rebuilt or replaced.
Leaks in the oil seals, worn-out piston rings, or oil plugs can also cause the oil engine warning light to turn on, even after an oil change. Why is that so? It is because of increased engine oil consumption.
Oil leaks can drain the oil continuously, as do worn-out piston rings and old oil plugs. Old and high-mileage engines burn more motor oil than relatively new engines. As the oil level drops, the oil level warning light will pop out on your dash.
Here’s a helpful tip in connection with this matter: If your engine consumes one quart of motor oil for every 1,000 to 2,000 miles it covers, you should schedule an engine overhaul.
How to Fix the Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine Warning Light Issue?
1. Ask a Mechanic to Check the Sensor and Its Wiring Connections
If the oil level sensor or its wiring connections are faulty, bring your car to your respective mechanic and have them check the sensor and its wiring connections.
2. Replace the Sensor
The sensor should be replaced if found to be faulty, and its wiring connections should be repaired or corrected if there is any wrong or shorted connection.
3. Remove the Old Filter
The obvious solution for a clogged oil filter is to remove the old filter and replace it with a filter of the same size and capacity and, if possible, of the same brand.
4. Repair or Replace a Broken Oil Pump
If it is a broken oil pump that is causing the problem, ask your trusted mechanic to check it. They should be able to determine if this pump can generate the right amount of oil pressure. It should be repaired if it still can be repaired.
This car component is a bit expensive to replace. However, if it is wrecked, there is nothing you can do but replace it. You are advised not to drive your car because it can cause damage to the internal parts of the engine.
5. Call a Qualified Mechanic
Don’t try to fix the issue if you don’t know how. Your best alternative is to call a qualified mechanic to diagnose the problem, recommend the fix, and ask them to fix it themselves. Of course, you have to be prepared for repairs and parts replacement costs.
If your dash suddenly displays the engine oil warning light, but you know the engine oil is full, then the problem is not a low engine oil level. It must be caused by other issues such as the oil pump, oil pressure sensor, or other things.
Have the sensor and oil pump checked by a qualified mechanic to see if they have issues that need to be corrected. Or maybe they are already broken and must be replaced.
Since you don’t know what triggered the warning light, you must turn off the engine immediately. Then proceed to diagnose the problem with the help of a competent mechanic.