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Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine: Meaning & Causes

August 31, 2022

Staying in tune with your car’s many different lights, notices, and messages can save you thousands in repair fees. However, many drivers only pay attention to certain ones – leaving more “common” alerts like Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine notices to continue going unaddressed. However, sometimes it can be as simple as a sensor error – and oil pressure sensor replacements are inexpensive and very easy to complete. 

Plus, ignoring your dash lights can lead to safety risks, vehicle malfunctions, and total loss of power to your car in severe circumstances. Oil Pressure Low notices are vital to your car’s function and safety. Below, we’re exploring what these notices mean, causes of this alert, and if you can still drive safely with an Oil Pressure Low notice. 

Read on to learn more about this type of alert, and what it means for your car’s safety. 

What does Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine message mean?

If you’re driving and see an Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine message appear on your dash (most commonly seen as “low oil pressure” or “oil pressure low,” you can expect that your engine has somehow found a lower level of oil present than otherwise should be in the engine. 

While this can be alarming, it can be caused by a variety of reasons – all differing in severity and risk. 


Sometimes, it really is as simple as just needing a new oil pressure gauge. Other times, it may be caused by pump insufficiency, and a lack of proper oil flow to your engine. 

In either case, your car has noticed something that needs to be addressed: whether the problem is sensor based or related to the true oil level in your engine system. 

Can I still drive with an Oil Pressure Low light?

We know how tempting it can be to continue driving and going about your day when you see a dash light come on. However, it can be detrimental in this case. If you choose to continue to drive with this alert on, you could push your car into total breakdown.

This happens because you’ll be basically grinding your motor to a halt due to lack of oil flow to lubricate the process. This can result in metal shavings and other impurities polluting your system, causing complete engine failure and thousands of dollars in repairs to be needed. 

Common causes for Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine warning lights

There are many possible causes for your Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine warning light being illuminated. We’ve covered a few of the most common ones below: 

1. Faulty pickup system or pump 

Your car’s oil is propelled through your engine system by way of a pump and pickup structure – pulling up oil at a steady rate that matches your momentum and engine demands. If this pump fails, your engine won’t be properly lubricated for use, which can result in the Oil Pressure Low light coming on. This is a common problem, and requires a quick part swap to fix. 

2. Malfunctioning sensor 

At times, your vehicle’s sensor may not be accurate. This can be caused by sudden acceleration that can change how the oil falls over the sensor’s components, or a simple breakage along the sensor’s delicate electronic system. This can give off faulty readings, which are picked up by your car’s computer and cause the dash light to illuminate. 

3. Oil leaks

Oil leaks are common reasons for Oil Pressure Low Stop Engine lights to come on, and should be addressed quickly to avoid potential engine failure. Failure to address leaks can lead to malfunction or loss of function in your car’s engine system. 

Can low oil pressure cause a car to shut off?

While the light itself will not cause your vehicle to shut off, a low oil pressure light can be a symptom of other problems in the engine system that can. For example, oil leakages or lack of oil to your engine can cause loss of function. 

How do I fix low oil pressure? 

A simple fix for low oil pressure can be as simple as making an oil swap – as a heavier viscosity may be more suitable for your engine and your driving needs. Consulting with a mechanic can help you to determine if this could be a fix to resolve your Oil Pressure Low Engine Stop light. 

What causes low oil pressure? 

Most commonly, low oil pressure could point to a blown head gasket or if you have an oil leak. There’s a simple way to tell the difference between both problems: a blown head gasket emits a sweet, smoky smell from your exhaust, and an oil link results in a bitter, acrid, adn strong burning smell from under your hood. Your mechanic can help you to make an official diagnosis and move forward. 

Convenient auto repair at home 

Looking for your auto repair solution? Consider the team at RepairSmith. Our experts come to your home and take care of vital service needs for your car’s function. For more information, please connect with us today.