- Causes Of Oil Pressure Dropping While Driving
- What To Do If Oil Pressure Drops To Zero
Oil helps lubricate the motor’s metallic parts to reduce and eliminate friction. So, one way to ensure your engine is protected is to maintain the proper oil pressure.
If the oil pressure drops to zero while driving, it will negatively affect the engine’s functioning and may even damage its parts.
What causes the oil pressure to drop to zero while driving? What’s the ideal solution?
Read on to find correct remedies to this problem.
Causes Of Oil Pressure Dropping While Driving
Inadequate Motor Oil
It may seem trivial, but lack of enough motor oil can result in low oil pressure when driving.
Technically speaking, a car owner may have forgotten the regular oil changes, an integral aspect of proper car maintenance.
Furthermore, they might have forgotten the last time they replaced the oil. Some car owners also don’t pay attention to the levels of oil in the engine.
All they want to do is enjoy the ride without proper maintenance.
A leakage in the supply lines could cause oil pressure drops in the engine. Whenever this happens, it can lead to the oil leaking through these tiny holes.
Moreover, if the car owner hasn’t been servicing the engine, the filters damage the oil, resulting in low oil pressure.
Old car engines aren’t very efficient when it comes to burning oil.
As a result, if you’ve used your car for more than 20 years, the oil will be used up much faster than when the car was still new.
Low Oil Viscosity
Another major cause for reduced oil pressure while driving could be the car owner using low-quality motor oil.
For this reason, you must always carefully check our user manual to know the proposed thickness.
Oil with higher viscosity produces higher flow resistance, leading to high pressure. The opposite is true for low viscosity oil.
Unfortunately, the car pressure sensor may interpret the poor resistance as low oil pressure.
Nevertheless, if the oil has a more significant pressure that’s what’s stipulated in the car manual, then this could generate more resistance.
It means the engine parts cannot be adequately lubricated. It will eventually lead to low oil pressure.
Internal Oil Leakage
Another cause of oil pressure drops while driving is internal oil leakage. Leakage in the pipes and passageways within the engine might decrease oil pressure.
Rather than flowing via the passageways, the fluid will leak through the spaces in the combustion engine.
It means the oil whose function is to keep the engine modules will seep from the system.
Damaged valve seals, as well as dented piston rings, can lead to internal leaks. However, if the valves have excellent clearance, the extra space might decrease the oil pressure.
The newest automotive models are fitted with an optimum PCV valve to boost efficiency in power utilization.
Nevertheless, if the procedure doesn’t work as required, it could lead to pressure buildup in the crankcase. If this happens, it might push out the gaskets.
It causes internal oil leakages and ultimately decreases oil pressure when driving.
As mentioned earlier, an old car engine is more prone to lower oil pressure than new ones.
We’ve also highlighted that older vehicles will use up the lubricants more quickly than modern cars.
Technically speaking, the frequencies of changing the oil increase with the age of the automobile.
For example, if a new car requires changes in oil every 10,000 miles, an old car might require changes in oil as frequently as once every 5,000 miles.
All this is because of engine wear. No matter how rigid a metal might be, it will still wear and tear.
The extended effects of high temperatures, friction, and extra chemicals might cause the engine parts to wear prematurely.
For example, camshaft bearings might eventually break down. If this occurs, the gaps where the crankshaft is inserted might widen.
It lets the oil flow much more quickly, ultimately reducing its pressure.
Oil Filter Issues
Finally, issues in the air filter can cause oil pressure to drop while driving. A clogged air filter could result in lowered oil pressure.
In the same way, if there’s a snarl-up or blockade in the oil filter, the result is a lowered oil pressure. The valve helps ensure the pressure does not exceed certain levels.
However, there’s a concern that the valve could also get worn out. When this happens, the oil can pass via the filter with lots of ease.
A faster, unobstructed flow might cause the oil pressure to drop while driving.
What To Do If Oil Pressure Drops To Zero
If not correctly monitored, decreased oil pressure can damage the car engine when driving.
As a result, you should manage all the issues associated with oil pressure dropping to zero while driving before any significant damage.
Monitor The Oil Levels Frequently
Continuously remember to check the oil levels using a dipstick to ensure it’s at the right level. The dipstick has a marker.
Essentially, the oil level should be higher than the line marked as Min. If it’s below this mark, then you should change the oil.
Use The Viscosity Rating Suggested By The Maker
To ensure oil pressure doesn’t drop while driving, it’s always imperative to comply with the viscosity rating that the carmaker proposes.
It would help if you did not ignore the maker’s proposal because the specific engine is designed to perform efficiently with the most suitable viscosity levels.
Stick To A Strict Oil Change Plan
Complying with the oil change schedule proposed by the maker is vital. In most cases, the carmaker provides users with different options.
First, you can check out the car mileage. Secondly, you can note the months that have passed since the last time you changed the oil.
Moreover, it’s essential to countercheck the oil filter when replacing the oil. You should replace the filter with every oil change.
Replacement Of A Worn Oil Pressure Gauge
A damaged pressure gauge can cause the oil pressure to drop when driving and may need to be replaced.
Nevertheless, there are some stock oil pressure gauges you could still install. If you aren’t sure what to do, then you should hire an expert to do it.
Replace Some Fixtures
External oil leakage is easy to fix mainly because it only requires replacing conduits, pipes, and other components.
However, internal leaks aren’t as easy. You need to hire a professional to do it for you.
Motor oil is one of the essential fluids that an engine needs.
As mentioned in this post, oil pressure dropping to zero while driving can negatively affect the performance of your car’s engine and eventually damage other components.
In simple terms, this could spell severe issues in the future.
Overall, oil pressure drops may not seem like a severe issue. But if not properly managed, this can cause severe damage to the engine.
We vigorously recommend constantly checking the motor oil to ensure it remains within the recommended levels.
Furthermore, always check for wear and tear in the engine components.
Kevin has been hanging around cars and automobile magazines since he knew what a car is. He grew up in his father’s 1995 Mercedes E320 Wagon and Volkwagon Phaeton W12 2004. He rides his first car, a manual 1979 Porche 911SC.
Currently, he owns an Acura Integra GS-R. During his childhood, he showed a keen interest in how things actually work and fix them. This passion transforms into his eternal love for cars and bestows him an ideal position in one of the leading automobile companies; whenever he finds time, he takes out his Acura and opts for the longest possible route to find hidden wholesome pleasure in a road trip.
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