Oil Pressure Light Comes On When Turning

Oil Pressure Light Comes On When Turning: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions!

A low oil pressure in your car triggers the oil pressure light on the dashboard. Sometimes, the oil pressure light is normally off but only comes on when turning. 

So, why does the oil pressure light come on when turning? If the oil pressure light comes on while turning, it indicates a low oil level in the car. The pressure sensor can also be faulty. A bad sending unit or faulty oil pump also causes the problem.

Identifying the reasons is the first step in solving the problem. Let’s learn to diagnose the problem and find its solutions.

Oil Pressure Light Comes On When Turning: Reasons and Solutions

The oil pressure light may come on at any instance. But diagnosing the problems becomes easier if it gets triggered when you turn the vehicle. Here is a detailed overview of the problems with respective solutions.

Oil Pressure Light Comes On When Turning

1. The Oil Pressure Sensor Is Malfunctioning

An oil pressure sensor is located near the filter housing to measure the oil pressure at all times. Oil pressure sensors are fairly durable and last for a long time without any issues. But if the vehicle is too old, the sensor can start malfunctioning.

In that case, it won’t be able to measure the oil pressure properly. Especially when you take a sharp turn, the oil level can be tilted. It affects the pressure measurement and causes the oil pressure light to turn on.

Symptoms

  • The oil pressure light will quickly go off once you stop turning or the vehicle is on a level surface. 
  • There might be no oil pressure light when the vehicle is idle.
Oil Pressure Sensor Is Malfunctioning

Solutions

  1. You should check the oil level first. A low oil level can intensify the problem. Take the dipstick out and wipe it clean. Insert it into the oil tube and pull it out again. If the oil level is near or below the Low mark, you should refill the oil.
  2. If the oil level is okay, but the oil pressure light still comes on when turning, the pressure sensor may be faulty. Take the vehicle to a repair shop to get the sensor replaced. It should cost about $100-$150, including parts and labor.

2. The Oil Level Is Low

Sometimes, a low oil level is the main reason behind this problem. When the oil level is low, the oil can’t apply pressure to the sensor. As a result, the oil pressure light comes on. You might ask, why does the light not remain on all the time?

This is because the oil level may be slightly touching the sensor. When the vehicle is parked or driven on a flat surface, the oil level keeps touching the sensor. But as you take turns, the oil level goes below for a moment. It causes the oil pressure light to turn on.

Oil Level Is Low

Symptoms

  • Due to the low oil level, the engine components will lose lubrication. So, there will be grinding noises from the engine.
  • The oil pressure light will turn on occasionally.
Read:  How To Check Oil Pressure With and Without Gauge: Importance of Oil Pressure in the Engine

Solutions

  1. Checking the oil level is the first task. I have already mentioned the process in the previous solution. Follow those steps to check the oil level in your car.
  2. If the level is low, you need to add more oil. Before that, check if the oil looks dirty or frothy. In that case, you should drain the oil first.
  3. Place a drain pan below the drain plug and unscrew the plug. Let the old engine oil drain completely.
  4. Then, use an engine oil flush liquid to clean the system. Finally, add fresh oil to the car and turn the engine on. 

3. The Sending Unit Has Leaks or Connection Problems

A sending unit is responsible for controlling the flow of the oil. It also measures the pressure of the oil. Even if there is enough oil in the car, a fault in the sending unit can cause the oil pressure light to come on.

Faulty wiring, loose connections, leaks, or mechanical problems can cause the sending unit to malfunction. If these happen while turning the car, the oil pressure light oil turns on.

Sending Unit Has Leaks or Connection Problems

Symptoms

  • The oil pressure reading on the dashboard will fluctuate.
  • There will be grinding noises from the engine because of the reduced oil pressure.

Solutions

  1. Checking the sending unit might not be an easy job for common users. So, I suggest taking the car to a repair shop and getting the sending unit checked.
  2. If the sending unit requires replacement, it will cost about $150, including parts and labor.

4. The Oil Pump Is Bad

Oil pumps generate pressure to allow the engine oil to flow through the engine channels. If the pump doesn’t work properly, the generated pressure will be lower than required. 

So, the oil pressure light will come on. It mostly happens while turning because the pressure drops further due to the displacement of oil.

A bad oil pump will cause a series of problems in the engine. So, this issue demands prompt attention.

Symptoms

  • Engine power will be reduced if the oil pump is bad.
  • Without enough lubrication, engine components will face more friction and start to overheat. 
  • There will be metal debris in the oil.

Solutions

  1. There are two aspects to the solution. If you had detected the faulty oil pump earlier, there might not have been a lot of debris in the oil. In that case, you can take the car to a repair shop and just get the oil pump replaced. It should cost about $600-$800. You can check this video for DIY oil pump replacement:
  2. If the oil is already contaminated with worn metal from the engine, you should drain the oil, too. Then, add new oil to prevent the engine from deteriorating.
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Can Too Much Oil Cause the Oil Pressure Light to Come On When Turning?

If the oil pressure inside the system is higher than the safe limit, the oil pressure warning light may turn on. But the possibility of it turning on when turning is fairly low. A higher oil pressure means the amount of oil inside the system is higher than required.

When the pressure is high, the oil pressure light can be turned on at any time. It doesn’t have to be turned on when turning. So, a high oil pressure might not cause the oil pressure light to come on when turning.

Can Too Much Oil Cause the Oil Pressure Light to Come On When Turning

Professional Tips to Avoid Oil Pressure Light When Turning

You can avoid the situation altogether by following the tips below.

  • Make oil check a part of the regular maintenance. As long as there is enough oil in the car, the chance of the oil pressure light coming on is low.
  • The oil quality should be good. Old or dirty oils can be thicker and alter the pressure reading. So, the pressure sensor might trigger false warnings, especially when turning. Using clean oil will reduce this risk.
  • During scheduled maintenance, get the components related to oil pressure checked by an expert technician. It will lower the possibility of those components going bad midway.
Professional Tips to Avoid Oil Pressure Light When Turning

FAQs

You should check the answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the oil pressure light when turning.

Q: Can I drive when the oil pressure light comes on while turning?

If the oil pressure light turns on for a short period while turning and then goes off, you can drive further. But it is better to stop and check the oil level.

Q: Can the oil pressure light come on when turning without oil system problems?

The chance of this incident is really low. But sometimes, a fault in the electrical system may trigger the oil pressure light.

Q: Does the oil pressure light indicate overheating?

No. The oil pressure light warns you about a change in the oil pressure. If it isn’t solved fast, the engine can overheat, and the check engine light might come on.

Final Words

So, why does the oil pressure light come on when turning?

It could be due to a faulty oil pressure sensor, low oil levels, or bad pumps. I included the symptoms for each reason so that you can figure out the reason easily. Then, use the solutions mentioned above to get rid of this annoyance and continue driving safely.

Even if the oil pressure light comes on for a bit when turning, it can be annoying. The situation demands proper diagnosis and solution of the problem as soon as possible.

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