Vancouver Auto Repair – Should You Keep Driving if Your Oil Light Comes on?

When the oil light on your vehicle's dashboard suddenly illuminates, it can be a cause for concern. The oil light serves as a crucial warning indicator, alerting you to potential problems with your car's engine oil. Ignoring this warning could lead to severe engine damage and expensive repairs. Why is the oil light so important and what does it mean when it comes on?

Understanding the Oil Light

The oil light is part of your car's warning system, typically represented by an oil can or a similar symbol on the dashboard. It illuminates when the engine's oil pressure drops below the recommended level or when the oil level is critically low. Engine oil is essential for lubricating and cooling the engine's moving parts, ensuring they operate smoothly and efficiently.

Immediate Action Required

If your oil light comes on while driving, it's crucial not to ignore it or assume it will resolve itself. The oil light requires immediate attention and action. Continuing to drive with the oil light on could lead to engine damage due to inadequate lubrication, causing increased friction and heat buildup.

Pull Over Safely

If the oil light comes on while you're driving, pull over to a safe location as soon as possible. Avoid abrupt braking or acceleration, as the lack of sufficient oil can lead to engine seizing or other severe issues. Once safely stopped, turn off the engine and check the oil level using the dipstick, if you feel confident doing so.

Check Engine Oil Level

The dipstick is typically located under the hood and marked with a bright handle. To check the oil level, remove the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth, reinsert it fully, and then remove it again. The oil level should fall between the two marked lines on the dipstick. If the oil level is below the minimum mark or if there is no oil visible on the dipstick, it's critical not to continue driving the vehicle.

Refill Engine Oil if Necessary

If the oil level is low, add the recommended type and amount of engine oil to bring it up to the appropriate level. However, adding oil alone may not solve the underlying issue causing the oil light to come on. It's still essential to address the reason for the low oil level or pressure.

Seek Professional Help

Once you have safely stopped and checked the oil level, it's best to seek professional assistance at Hoesly Automotive. A qualified Vancouver auto mechanic can inspect the engine for leaks, damaged gaskets, or other issues that might be causing the low oil pressure. It's vital not to drive the vehicle until the problem is diagnosed and resolved to prevent further engine damage.

Prevention and Maintenance

Regular engine oil changes and maintenance are crucial to the longevity and optimal performance of your vehicle's engine. Adhere to the manufacturer's recommended oil change intervals and use the right type of oil for your car. Additionally, keep an eye on the oil level regularly to ensure it remains within the appropriate range.

Vancouver Auto Repair at Hoesly Automotive

The oil light is a vital warning indicator that should never be ignored. When it comes on, it signals potential problems with your car's engine oil, and immediate action is necessary. Pull over to a safe location, check the oil level, and if it's low, refill it with the recommended type and amount of oil. However, adding oil may only be a temporary solution, and it's essential to have one of the professional ASE-certified technicians at our Vancouver auto repair shop inspect the vehicle to identify and address the root cause of the low oil pressure.

Remember, preventative maintenance, regular oil changes, and prompt attention to warning lights can keep your engine running smoothly and reliably, preventing costly repairs, and ensuring your safety on the road. And if you need any other service or repair, then please contact Hoesly Eco Automotive today. You can reach us by phone at 360-695-5871 or click here to set up an appointment online.


Written by Hosely Automotive