Olympia Auto Repair

My Low Oil Warning Light is On - What Do I Do?

You see the warning light above illuminate on your dashboard and wonder - do I get three wishes? Just kidding. Although this warning light may look like a Genie's lamp, it is actually a very important warning indication. This light indicates low oil, which is one of those warning indicators that you should never ignore. Actually, when you see this light on, it is vital to stop your engine and avoid driving. Here's why!

Your vehicle requires oil to run - that is a given, considering you have to get your vehicle's oil changed every 3 to 6 months. Without the proper levels of oil, your engine is at risk for some serious damage. This is because engine oil has the important job of lubricating the engine and its parts to reduce the wear of working components and ensure that the engine temperature is regulated. When you take the engine oil away, you get metal to metal contact and and overheating engine - and a very sad wallet. 

Typically, this warning light will come on when there is some type of leak. Engine oil is stored in the oil pan, and from there is pumped through the oil filter before circulating through the engine. If the light above turns on, your vehicle has detected a significant decrease in oil in the oil pan. 

Here are some of the reasons for a low oil warning light to turn on: 

  • Oil in the oil pan is too low for standards
  • There is an oil leak somewhere in the system, typically a head gasket
  • Piston rings are worn 
  • The incorrect oil type was put into your vehicle
  • Worn valve guides
  • Engine assembly mistakes, such as loose piston rings

Regardless of the cause, get your vehicle into Olympic Transmissions & Auto Care as soon as you see this light come on. You'll thank us later! 

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