Oil light goes off and on.

My oil light flickers but my check engine light isn't on should I be worried about my filter or pump. Checked oil and it's fine.
My car has an automatic transmission.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
This light will usually come on when one of two things are happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil or the oil pressure sending unit is not working properly and may be producing a faulty reading. I would recommend first, to check the actual oil level in the motor by using the dipstick. Be sure the oil level reaches the "full" mark. If this registers as "full" then you likely have a faulty oil pressure sending unit. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to take a look at your vehicle to determine what may be causing your low oil pressure light to come on.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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If the oil light flickers on and off while the vehicle is stopped or at an idle, there may be a problem with the oil sensor or the pressure is too low. At the very least, the engine should have 5 PSI when not moving. If the PSI is less than 5, this will trigger the oil light and cause it to flicker off and on.
If it starts flashing, it indicates that the oil pressure dropped very low for a moment, then recovered. If the indicator stays on with the engine running, it shows that the engine has lost oil pressure and serious engine damage is possible. In either case, you should take immediate action.
Causes of a flickering oil light

If your oil light stays on even after changing your engine oil, you`re going to want to check the sensor first to rule out a malfunctioning sensor as the cause. Dirt and other particles can make their way into the oil pump, causing the sensor to falsely identify oil issues.

What does it mean when when turning a car on, an oil light stays on for a few seconds and then shuts off? That there is a short period of time during which the oil pump has not yet brought the pressure up to its working level. If this time lag is excessive, it might indicate a low oil level, or a faulty pump.
Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.
If the oil level and condition are okay, the engine is running normally, but the oil light is still on, the likely culprit is a worn-out oil pressure sensor. In this case, you can safely drive, but you will want to get the car checked out and the sensor replaced by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.
Unless the oil or filter is changed, this oil messaging system will not reset, and the oil light will continue to display. Also, this light can come on if the oil pressure of the engine drops.
Driving isn`t recommended when you have a bad oil pressure sensor. You shouldn`t take it lightly, even if you`re confident it`s just an oil pressure sensor problem. Maintaining the correct oil pressure in your engine is critical to keep it functioning. A bad oil pressure sensor can give the wrong oil pressure readings.
If your oil light comes on while you`re driving, you need to stop right away and shut the engine off. If you`ve run out of oil, your engine may seize up and refuse to turn over. If the car abruptly stops while you`re driving, you might be in trouble.
Complete Engine Failure – If you go long enough without an oil change, it could cost you a car. Once the motor oil becomes sludge, it no longer removes heat from the engine. This can lead to a complete engine shutdown that will require a brand new engine – or a new ride – to fix.
This light is designed to let you know when the engine oil needs changing, based on the car`s odometer reading. The oil change light won`t turn off on its own, even when the old oil has been drained and fresh oil added. That`s where resetting the oil change light comes in.
A blinking oil light means something is wrong with the oil in your car. It can either be a dip in oil levels or bad oil quality. Eventually, it can lead to overheating and irreparable engine damage.
Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.
Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Low oil pressure light comes on when idle. Check engine light is on as well. Both came on after getting an oil change 3 days ago.
ANSWER : It is possible that they put in the wrong viscosity oil. In rare instances, a defective filter will also cause low pressure. If there is too much oil, it will aerate and cause low pressure. Be sure the oil level is really not above "max". The P2187 code will appear if the oil fill cap is not tight but it will also appear due to a myriad of causes because that code only "generally" identifies a lean running condition. Consequently, numerous parts would have to be tested including the O2 sensor, gas cap seal, manifold air leaks, any vacuum leak anywhere including PCV and EVAP systems, exhaust leaks, and fuel system faults such as failing fuel pump, clogged filter and more. Since the car has relatively low mileage, you would not expect a failed oil pump, although the pressure sensor (or switch) could be bad. However, the occurrence of the oil pressure warning light is quite coincidental to the oil change, thus I would suggest bringing the car back and asking them to redo with a new filter and double check the viscosity of the new oil that they use. If the problem persists after that, you will have to test actual operating oil pressure (at idle for instance) as well as the oil pressure switch. Finally, if the oil pressure warning light comes on continuously, unless the warning circuit itself is malfunctioning, that means the oil pressure is too low to operate the engine without damaging it. Anytime the light comes on for more than literally an instant, you should shut down the car and thus an issue like this obviously has to be repaired.

If you’d like, a YourMechanic certified mechanic can come to your home or place of business to inspect the vehicle and perform an oil pressure light is on inspection to diagnose the vehicle and suggest potential repairs.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.

Check engine light and oil light comes on before oil change?
ANSWER : Hi There,
As you may know, these lights are designed to come on at specific mileage intervals that are preset by the factory. When your mileage exceeds a certain amount relative to the last oil change, this will trigger the lights to come on. Typically this will include the oil light and the check engine light as there are also other basic service items that are checked during oil changes. I would recommend obtaining an owner’s manual for your car if you do not already have one. This will usually indicate the specific service intervals and recommended maintenance items for your vehicle at the various mileage intervals.

The tire pressure monitor will also come on when the air pressure in the tires has reached a specific threshold relative to the tire design specification. Tire pressure is also impacted by the outside air temperature. For every 10° drop in air temperature outside your tires will lose about 1% in PSI or inflation. As you may know, as the temperature of the air changes the density of the air changes as well causing the tire pressure to be impacted by this. When this happens, the sensors in the wheels will detect this change in tire pressure and cause the tire pressure light to come on. Aside from replacing faulty tire pressure sensors, another way to help prevent this type of fluctuation in tire pressure is by the use of Nitrogen in your tires rather than regular air. As you may know, air is approximately 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and the rest is water vapor and some other small concentrations of gases. Nitrogen is much less likely to migrate through tire rubber than oxygen. This will maintain your tire pressure much more consistently during large temperature fluctuations.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.

Oil consumption. Burning oil. Oil light turns up on idle.
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. The valve stem seals are the most common cause of this on your engine. When they fail, it requires that the cylinder heads be removed and rebuilt to fix it. The piston rings can also cause this but they are not as common. Unfortunately there is not anything, not even heavier oil that will fix this. You will need to have the heads rebuilt.

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lost all oil pressure, replaced the oil pump, low oil sensor, oil pressure sensor, oil pan gasket,
ANSWER : The fuel pump will not stay on if you loose oil pressure. This is why it is shutting off. The loss of oil pressure may be from bad crankshaft bearings or camshaft bearings. The engine oil pan should be removed and the oil pump needs to be checked to ensure that you put in the pick up tube seal to the pump and connected the pump to the block. Then remove at least one main bearing cap and inspect the bearings for excessive wear and crankshaft damage. If you need some help with this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can help diagnose the issue with your oil pressure firsthand and help you fix it accordingly.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.

Battery light goes on when I start car then turns off, if I rev engine light comes back until rpms go down. Abs goes comes on/off
ANSWER : Batteries can die due to faults in the charging system so ideally a suspected "faulty" battery should be load tested before a decision is made to condemn it. The only exception to this rule is if the battery is already clearly "old" (greater than 5 years) but even then once you put a new battery in, as a replacement for a "dead" battery, you have to comprehensively check out the charging system. Diagnostic Trouble Code P0460 will result in disruption of the dashboard fuel gauge’s ability to accurately report your tank’s fuel levels. The fuel gauge readings may be erratic, or read somewhere off scale. Vehicles equipped with a low fuel warning light feature may also suffer from erratic low fuel warnings in the event of a code P0460. Unless the P0460 code has been reported alongside other trouble code, all of the vehicle’s essential systems should otherwise function normally. I would recommend that you request a check engine light diagnostic to first resolve the fault causing the P0460 code to set. The check gas cap light warning light could be due a faulty gas cap and/or small leaks in the EVAP system.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.

Hello Ben, my oil pressure is came on. Slight oil drip. Mechanic changed oil, replaced sending unit. Light came on after a day.
ANSWER : You need to have the oil pressure checked to see if the oil pressure is within specifications before you condemn the engine internal problem with oil pump or crankshaft and bearings. You may want to get the dealer involved now and let them take care of getting the light diagnosed.

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While driving on freeway truck goes into a limp mode, and the check engine light, abs light, parking break light, service brake
ANSWER : It is possible that you could be having an issue with your powertrain control module. This is somewhat of a common problem on many GM vehicles. I would recommend having your vehicle inspected by the dealership to determine if the powertrain control module is functioning properly. If not, a reflash of the powertrain control module may resolve the issue but often times it must be replaced.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.

Abs light, emergency brake light, steering wheel assist light, engine light, EPC light, traction control light
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle does utilize a lot of the same sensors for these systems. Are there any other codes that are coming up when this code appears? If so you will want to take these into consideration when processing the repair and making a diagnosis. The module may be bad, and replacing it should fix the problem. The lights should turn off once the main computer recognizes the new module and the sensors sync up. If you believe the sensors need to be cleaned you may do so. Do as minimal as possible to make sure you are not damaging the sensor or disrupting the wiring inside. A bad connection would make the lights stay on. With so many lights that are effected by the module being illuminated, the module is likely bad or does not have a connection. Check the connection first and then resort to replacing the unit. For more help with these electrical tests, contact our service department.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil light goes off and on.