The oil pressure light may come on while you accelerate due to several reasons. We need to take necessary measures with immediate actions to prevent fatal damage to our engine.
So why does the oil pressure light come on when accelerating? The causes include the following:
- Low oil
- Oil leaks
- Defective oil pressure sensors
- Clogged oil filters
- Faulty oil pump, etc.
You have to perform a couple of checks and replacements, such as the oil filter, oil pump, and oil pressure sensor, to resolve the issue. Keep reading this guide to know about all the reasons and how to fix the issues according to the situation.
5 Reasons to Explain Why Oil Pressure Light Comes on When Accelerating
I’ve already told you the potential reasons the engine oil light comes on while accelerating. Here are more detailed explanations, including symptoms for each reason the oil pressure light may come on.
Not Enough Oil
If there isn’t enough oil in the crankcase, the pump can’t pick it up and circulate it properly. Less oil volume indicates less pressure through the engine, and during hard acceleration, the engine oil light may come on.
In this case, checking the dipstick will reveal a low oil level. If the oil level is correct, then the problem is something else.
Adding oil will resolve the problem. Here’s how you can do this.
- Step 1: Safely pull over and stop the vehicle immediately, and turn off the engine. You want to prevent further wear by not running it with low oil.
- Step 2: Pop the hood and pull off the dipstick. Wipe it off, insert it thoroughly, and then remove it to check the status.
- Step 3: If the oil level is low and does not reach the full “F” mark on the dipstick, add oil right away. Pour slowly and re-check the level frequently to avoid overfilling.
- Step 4: Use the type and weight of oil specified in your owner’s manual. Do not mix oils. This can negatively impact lubrication.
- Step 5: Start the engine after adding oil. The warning light should go off once pressure is restored.
External or internal leaks allow oil to escape the lubrication system. Less oil in circulation means less pressure, eventually making the light come on during acceleration.
Externally, you may see oil drips under the car. Internal leaks may not have obvious symptoms. Also, if oil leaks are causing the oil pressure light to come on in your car, here’s a simple step-by-step solution:
- Find where the oil is leaking from. It could be a loose oil cap, a damaged gasket, or something else. If you can fix it yourself, great. If not, getting a mechanic to check it out is best.
Remember, if you need help with what to do or if the situation seems severe, it’s best to get a professional to look at it. Your car’s health is essential!
After fixing the leak, check the oil level using the dipstick. If it’s low, add oil to the recommended level.
When the oil sensor is broken, it can tell your car there’s low oil pressure, even if everything’s fine. So, the car’s warning light goes on even though there’s no real problem.
If the oil pressure light keeps coming on for low oil pressure, but your oil levels are good, and the engine sounds normal, it could mean the sensor is acting up. That’s a sign the problem might be the sensor, not the actual oil pressure.
In this case, the bad sensor might need to be fixed or replaced. Here’s what to do in this circumstance:
- Get the sensor checked by a mechanic or auto parts store.
- If the sensor is the issue, replace it.
- Reset the oil pressure light after fixing or replacing the sensor.
If you’re a specialist who knows a lot of things about your vehicle, you may do it yourself. This video might come in handy.
Clogged Oil Filter
A clogged oil filter is like a traffic jam for your car’s oil. When it gets all blocked up, the oil can’t flow smoothly through the engine. That can make the oil pressure light come on, indicating a problem with the oil pressure.
When the engine oil filter is clogged, you might notice:
- Along with the oil pressure light, the engine light is coming on, indicating an issue with oil pressure.
- Your car might feel sluggish or less powerful.
- You might hear odd noises, like ticking or knocking from the engine.
- Sometimes, a clogged filter can cause oil leaks.
If you suspect a clogged oil filter is causing the oil pressure light to come on, here’s a simple step-by-step guide for you:
- Step 1: Find your car’s oil filter. It’s usually a cylinder-shaped canister, sometimes at the bottom of the engine.
- Step 2: If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, you can replace the clogged oil filter. Ensure a drain pan is ready to catch any oil that comes out when removing the old filter.
- Step 3: Put in the new oil filter, ensuring it suits your car. Tighten it securely but not too tight.
- Step 4: Top up your engine with the right amount of oil, as some might have leaked out when you changed the filter.
- Step 5: Start the car. If the light goes off, great! If not, having a mechanic check it out might be a good idea to ensure everything’s okay.
Worn Out Oil Pump
When the oil pump gets old and tired, it can’t push enough oil around the engine. So, when you speed up or rev the machine, it needs more oil, but the worn-out pump can’t keep up.
This makes the oil pressure light come on to warn you that something’s not right.
The symptoms of a worn-out pump are as follows:
- You might hear a whining sound from the engine due to the struggling pump.
- Your car might feel weaker or less responsive, especially when accelerating.
In this case, contacting a mechanic is the best thing. If they think the oil pump is damaged, they might replace it. It will require thorough expertise. So, leaving it to a professional will be a wise decision.
Have a look at the following Q&A section.
To reset the oil pressure light after a sensor fix, turn the key on but don’t start the engine. Fully press the gas pedal 3 times within 10 seconds. This will reset the light. Now, turn the vehicle on to confirm.
The cost to fix an oil pressure light issue can vary. Simple fixes like adding oil or replacing a sensor may be affordable, while more complex problems like a worn-out oil pump could be expensive. Consult with a mechanic for an accurate estimate based on your specific situation.
The engine oil pressure light comes when acceleration indicates immediate attention. There are several possible offenders, from insufficient oil volume to worn components. If the oil pressure light comes on while driving, pull over safely immediately.
Check the oil level, look for leaks, and listen for odd noises before continuing. Adding oil or replacing the oil filter can fix basic issues. But a faulty sensor or worn oil pump needs professional service. Quick action on minor oil circulation issues can prevent catastrophic engine failure.