Oil pressure warning light flashing

Today I was out driving and the oil pressure warning light flashed 3 times, and I am not sure what is wrong. The car is was due for oil change 350 miles ago; could that be the reason? Or could it be something else?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Many engines, regardless of the mileage, will burn a little bit of oil over time. This is part of the reason that the manufacturers recommend changing your oil at certain intervals.

If your vehicle was due for an oil change 350 miles ago, it is very likely that you either have an oil leak or have burned too much oil since your last oil change.

I would recommend having the oil checked, and if it is low, it would be a good idea to go ahead and have your oil changed. YourMechanic offers technicians who can come to your home or business to perform services such as this for your convenience.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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The oil pressure light is often triggered due to very low oil or no oil in your engine. This could be because the oil hasn`t been changed in much too long or there is a major oil leak. Your oil filter can also be clogged, usually because of the lack of regular oil changes.
Oil Level Is Too Low

The oil level dropping below the minimum dipstick line is one of the most common causes of low oil pressure. This can happen at any time, even if you`ve recently had an oil change. Over time, engines burn oil more quickly. This is due to piston rings wearing, seals leaking, and so on.

When your vehicle`s oil pressure light comes on or the pressure gauge reports a lower than normal reading, it could signal a major problem. Unfortunately, you won`t know whether the issue is serious, so the best course of action is to simply turn off your engine.
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.
In reality, low oil pressure is a signal that there`s something wrong in the engine. It could be as simple as low oil level (which can be corrected by adding more oil or changing the oil).
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.
Oil Pressure Warning Light

The oil can symbol indicates an issue with your car`s oil pressure system. Your car is either running low on oil or your oil pump isn`t circulating enough fluid to lubricate the components of your vehicle. This issue should be addressed immediately to avoid serious damage to your engine.

The unit of measurement is either PSI or Bar. The ideal oil pressure varies depending on the car brand and model, but generally, the ideal oil pressure is between 25-65 PSI.
Dirty Oil Filter

Just before the oil filter clogs enough to bypass the filter media, the oil flow out of the oil filter will be reduced and can reduce engine oil pressure. To avoid low engine oil pressure, make sure your oil filter is changed with each oil change.

If your oil light comes on, you should try to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. Note, though, that driving around a bit more won`t destroy anything. Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem.
An oil pressure sensor is a device used to measure the oil pressure on an engine. Oil pressure sensor is actually a term that covers at least two different and distinct types of sensor – an oil pressure switch and and oil pressure sender.
The oil detection sensor works by measuring the level of light. An LED inside the device shines light onto a photoelectric cell. When oil touches the sensing probe it deflects some of the light, activating the unit.
You shouldn`t drive with a failing oil pump for too long or you will risk damaging the crankshaft and the camshaft bearings. Additionally, driving with a bad oil pump implies a lack of lubrication which could damage the car`s hydraulic lifters.
The oil pump can last for approximately 60,000 and 70,000 miles with proper maintenance. However, it depends on several factors like driving habits, the quality of your car parts, and so on. Here`s what you can do to increase the lifespan of an oil pump: Pay close attention to the oil pressure gauge.
Overfilling also increases oil pressure, putting more stress on seals and gaskets that keep oil from leaking out of the engine or going places it shouldn`t on the inside. Over time, the added stress accelerates wear on those seals and gaskets.
Oil pressure sensors go bad and eventually fail. When this happens, the dashboard light can become constantly illuminated. It can also cause an oil leak. If you keep driving your vehicle, you`ll cause significant damage to your engine.
Engines can work without oil, but the effect is so damaging they are only capable of running for less than 30 minutes until failing – and in most cases, it`s a lot quicker than that.
so it`s under the cover yes at the back of the engine at the back of the engine on the left-hand. side on the left-hand side when you`re standing in front on the 2-litre tdi.
A red engine oil pressure light means that you should stop the car as soon as it`s safe. Roadside assistance: 0800 777 192. 1. Switch off the engine immediately and do not restart. Check the oil level.
While pressure switches and sensors seem to achieve the same goal at first glance, they go about it in completely different ways. Pressure switches are used in systems to ensure the safety of the machine and its operators while sensors simply relay a pressure readout to a remote location.
Oil pressure is measured in PSI and the perfect amount of oil pressure varies depending on what brand and model car you own. In general, if the pressure is below 20 PSI or under the normal range on the gauge it requires your immediate attention.
Low Oil Pressure

Oil pressure drops can be caused by a clogged filter or a serious oil leak, although leaks don`t usually just happen spontaneously. No matter the cause, if our oil pressure gauge heads downward quickly, do the above. Pull over and call for a tow to an auto shop. Don`t keep driving your vehicle.

Using the Wrong Oil

Low oil viscosity will lead to your engine suffering from lower oil pressure inside the passageways. This is something that can happen if you switch from the recommended oil for your engine to a higher-grade oil – remember, higher grade oil is not necessary for optimal engine performance.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

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.

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.

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.

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.

Are there accurate electrical oil pressure gauges that will beep me when my oil pressure goes too low and how do they work?
ANSWER : Oil pressure reporting systems with programmable audible alarms are readily available. An example is the CruzPro Digital Gauge but there are many other vendors and you really have to do a product comparison and look at all the reviews. Once you select an audible alarm based system, if you desire a professional installation, you can use YourMechanic’s oil pressure sending unit service page to request installation. Of note, most damage to engines related to oil starvation occurs in the few seconds after starting. Therefore, I would recommend you FIRST install a pre-pressurization system as that will give you the most bang for the buck and indeed solve what is an immediate problem in all engines. An example of this product is the Insta-Lube Engine Pre-Lube Kit. Again, though, there are many variations on this solution. I highly recommend pre-lube and the only reason all engines do not have it is such a system adds cost and complexity to motor vehicles but it solves a real problem. A certified mechanic from YourMechanic can install such a pre-lube kit as well, if you desire. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

Oil pressure light won’t turn off
ANSWER : Hello. There could be an oil leak somewhere, or a problem with the car’s oil pump not working properly. It is also possible that the new oil pressure sensor that you just put in is defective and needs to be replaced. Have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic complete an inspection to determine why your oil pressure light is on.

Oil pressure gage at zero. No leaks and has plenty of oil. No abnormal noise and temps normal. No low pressure warning light.
ANSWER : The oil pressure gauge will usually drop when a few things could be happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil, the oil pump could be failing or the oil pressure sending unit is not working properly and may be producing a faulty reading. If the engine is in fact low on oil, you may notice the temperature gauge reading above normal temperatures as a result of the lack of sufficient oil in the motor. I would recommend checking 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. Many vehicles also have a safety feature built into the vehicle’s computer system which will shut the engine down completely or trigger a “safe mode” of some kind which will drastically limit the vehicle’s engine power to avoid further engine damage until the oil pressure problem is corrected. 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 oil pressure to be so low.

My car has low oil pressure. I’ve already changed the oil pressure sensor 3 times.
ANSWER : If you have replaced the sensor three times and it did not fix the problem, then you may have problems with the oil pressure being low at idle due to wear in the engine bearings. The reason it would be fine sometimes and not others may be due to engine load and temperature changes. Have the oil pressure tested at the sensor port to see if it is low and needs engine repairs.

I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to perform an inspection to determine why the Oil Pressure Light is on.