4 Common Signs Of A Faulty Oil Pump
A bad oil pump prevents lubrication of the engine components. It could also result in low oil levels or low oil pressure, leading to severe engine damage.
Here are some key warning signs to help you identify a failing oil pump:
1. Low Oil Pressure
The oil pump comprises a pressure relief valve, which usually doesn’t open very easily. However, if it accidentally opens, the oil pressure will fall.
Low oil pressure is usually the first sign of an oil pump failure. A faulty oil pump won’t circulate oil in your engine properly.
So how can you tell if there’s low oil pressure?
The oil sending unit will trigger the oil pressure warning light on your dashboard when your engine has low oil pressure. If your car has an oil pressure gauge instead, you’ll notice the oil pressure gauge dial dropping lower than usual. Your check engine light may also illuminate.
At this point, you should stop your engine and get a mechanic to look at the problem, as an oil pump failure is a pretty serious issue.
2. Increased Engine Temperature
Low oil flow can cause a sudden increase in the engine temperature.
This happens when your engine does not receive enough oil flow, preventing lubrication of key engine components such as the hydraulic lifters and valve-train. When these moving parts aren’t properly lubricated, they create friction, resulting in engine temperature spikes.
So the next time you see the temperature gauge hiking up into the red zone, pull over and let the engine cool down. Then consult a mechanic and check if you need to replace the old pump.
3. Noisy Engine
A noisy engine is another symptom of a failing oil pump.
The lack of lubrication in moving parts like the piston, hydraulic lifters, valve train, chain tensioner, or cam bearing results in friction between these engine components. This, in turn, creates a loud whirring or whining sound.
If you notice your engine making these sounds, it’s best to immediately get your engine checked by a mechanic.
4. Vehicle Not Starting
The oil pressure switch (oil sending unit) is directly connected to the ignition in most newer cars. This feature is meant to protect your engine parts from damage.
When the switch detects a bad oil pump, it prevents the engine from starting.
A no-start can have many causes, not only a failing oil pump, so your best option is to have a mechanic review the problem.