Why Oil Light Comes On and Off But Oil is Full? (Fix Now)

The oil light in your dashboard indicates whether your engine has sufficient oil or not. It’ll flash if you need to fill up the tank. But, finding the light flashing sometimes even if there’s enough oil is quite common as well. And it’s people often wonder why oil light comes on and off but oil is full at least once in their car’s lifespan.

Well, the low oil pressure indicator signals that there is insufficient oil pressure in the engine or the oil level is way too low. This stops the oil from passing through the small routes and providing enough lubrication to the engine. A shortage of lubrication might cause the engine to stall. If that happens as you drive, it can be the cause of an accident.

If there’s enough pressure and the oil level is adequate, the problem might be somewhere else. And this is what we’ll explore as we move forward.

Why Oil Light Comes On and Off But Oil Is Full?: Causes and Solutions

The oil light may not be reliable all the time. Let’s dive deeper into why it flashes even when oil is full and what it means for your vehicle.

1. Not Enough Oil Pressure

When the oil pressure in your car engine drops, the dashboard oil light flickers on. The engine cannot lubricate by itself if there’s low oil pressure. Constant lubrication is essential for the engine to function properly. If the engine fails to do that, it might seize and come to a halt.

Avoiding an engine stall even when the oil light is on might be possible sometimes. But the engine might start taking damage by driving it without proper oil. Overlooking this warning will very certainly result in pricey internal engine maintenance.

Not just repairs, if your engine runs on low oil far too often, you might have to replace the engine altogether.

2. Check the Oil Level

We already mentioned the problem of low engine oil pressure and how it might affect the car. Most often, the low oil pressure is triggered by a lack of oil in the engine. 

To prevent this, monitor the engine oil regularly. Park the car on a flat surface, and wait for a little to let the engine cool. Then check the oil dipstick on the dashboard.

After pulling the dipstick out of its place, wipe it clean and reinsert it all the way through. Then take it out again to check the oil level. 

If it says too low, make sure you fill the tank with the kind of engine oil suggested by the manufacturer.

3. Sensor Might Be Faulty

An oil pressure sensor is a tiny sensor like a plug that monitors the car’s oil pressure. It also alerts you if the pressure falls under a particular level. 

However, just like any component in the vehicle, it can wear down at any time. That might cause it to transmit false signals, which can indicate the oil light to turn on inconsistently.

Detach it with an oil pressure sensor socket to see if the oil pressure sensor is wearing out. But if you don’t have the proper equipment and enough experience to fix it yourself, have a mechanic check the oil pressure sensor.

4. Don’t Rule Out the Oil Pump

If the oil level in your car engine is fine and the sensor is also functioning properly, then the problem might be because of the oil pump. 

The oil pump is placed at the bottom of the engine. It’s within the oil pan. Trying to replace an oil pump can be quite a difficult task.

Problems with the oil pump are pretty rare. But if you do need a new oil pump for your car, just replace it instead of opting for maintenance. Replacing an oil pump is often less expensive than repairing one since it requires extensive work with the engine.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Oil Light Flickering Issues?

As we’ve discussed, there could be several reasons why it happens. The overall cost will appear depending on the problem and its solution.

If the problem’s with your engine oil, then using a good oil will easily solve the issue. If you need to replace the oil pressure sensor, the overall cost might reach $120 to $160. The sensor will cost $48 to $70 if you replace it by yourself.

If you need to replace the whole oil pump, you might have to spend around $1150 to $1350 including the labor cost. Replacing the pump is quite a complicated task, so it’s not recommended to do it by yourself. If you still want to do it, the pump will come within $380 to $400.

Can You Fix the Problems by Yourself or See a Mechanic?

If you need to replace the oil pump, you’ve got to see a mechanic. You can fix the other issues by yourself if you know your way around the engine.

How To Fix The Oil Light Flickering Issues

And now, let’s see how we can solve the problems we’ve discussed earlier. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get rid of the trouble with one of these solutions

Use Quality Engine Oil

Make sure there’s enough oil pressure in the engine. And don’t go for cheap oils just to save some money.

You might end up spending much more to repair your engine.

Keep an Eye on the Oil Level

Along with using good engine oil, always keep an eye on the level. Don’t let it get too low.

To prevent this, monitor the engine oil regularly. Park the car on a flat surface, and wait for a little to let the engine cool. Then check the oil dipstick on the dashboard.

After pulling the dipstick out of its place, wipe it clean and reinsert it all the way through. Then take it out again to check the oil level. 

If it says too low, make sure you fill the tank with the kind of engine oil suggested by the manufacturer.

Replace the Oil Pressure Sensor

If the sensor is faulty, you’ll have to replace it. Detach it with an oil pressure sensor socket to see if the oil pressure sensor is wearing out.

But if you don’t have the proper equipment and enough experience to fix it yourself, have a mechanic check the oil pressure sensor.

Replace the Oil Pump

The oil pump is placed at the bottom of the engine. It’s within the oil pan. Trying to replace an oil pump can be quite a difficult task.

Problems with the oil pump are pretty rare. But if you need a new oil pump for your car, just replace it instead of opting for maintenance. Replacing an oil pump is often less expensive than repairing one since it requires extensive work with the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if my oil light comes on?

When the oil light comes on while you’re driving, you should pull over on the side and switch off the car right away.

The engine may stall and refuse to start when it runs out of oil. In case the car abruptly stops when you are on the road, an accident may occur.

How much oil should I add when the oil light comes on?

Fill the tank with one quart of oil when the engine is turned off. Allow the car to settle for a minute before rechecking the oil level.

If the indicator is still low, you should add another half quart of oil and check again. Repeat the process until the dipstick on the car indicates full.

Can too much oil cause low oil pressure?

Yes, it can. When there’s too much oil in the car engine, the movement from the crankshaft can cause the oil to whip up.

That mixes air in the oil and leads it to have bubbles. The pickup tube in the oil pump fails to draw the oil inside, leading to low oil pressure.

Can oil light come on because of clogged oil filter?

No, a clogged oil filter can create other problems. A clogged oil filter can hinder the flow of oil into the engine, and moving parts won’t be properly lubricated.

Friction between the metal components rapidly creates heat. If the oil and cooling system doesn’t disperse the heat, the engine might overheat. You’ll notice the ‘check engine’ light flickering if this happens.

Conclusion

The easiest approach to keep your oil pressure light from turning on is to get the car serviced on a regular basis. And that includes a scheduled oil change. That would help prevent the ‘why oil light comes on and off but oil is full’ problem.

Engine cracking, low oil pressure indicator, and a decline of engine power are all signs that the engine is having trouble delivering oil all throughout. Ignoring oil pressure issues might lead to significant problems in the engine block. 

Don’t put off getting an inspection, or you could end up with a blown engine in the middle of the road.

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