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Car Care: Oil Light Is On – What’s the Reason & How Long Can You Drive With It?

Your oil light just popped up. You have no idea why. And even worse, you don’t really have a lot of time to worry about it right now.

So, you’re wondering: how long can you drive with this thing staring you in the face? Great question! We’re going to answer it and tell you why it might have appeared in the first place. Let’s go!

How Long Can You Drive With Oil Light On?

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. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.

What Does an Oil Light Indicate?

Now, you might be wondering: what does an oil light actually indicate? It can indicate a few different things, including the following.

There’s Not Enough Oil in the Car

Engines can lose oil for a number of different reasons, from broken valves to blown head gaskets and more. Regardless, if oil leaves your vehicle, it will start to suffer and could eventually incur serious damages. As such, when there isn’t enough oil in the car, the oil light will pop up.

The Vehicle’s Oil Pressure Is Low

In order for a vehicle to run optimally, it must possess sufficient oil pressure. Note, though, that a number of factors (clogged oil filter, malfunctioning pressure gauge, not enough oil in the engine, etc.) could cause oil pressure to become too low. When this occurs, the oil light will show.

The Oil Pressure Sensor is Malfunctioning

Another reason why your oil light might pop up is that your oil pressure sensor is malfunctioning. This occurs randomly, generally as a result of standard wear and tear. If not fixed, your vehicle will not receive the correct amount of oil pressure, leading to further damage over time.

The Oil Pump Is Bad

Over time, as a vehicle incurs wear and tear, its oil pump could go bad. This will undoubtedly trigger a response from the oil light. At that point, the only solution would be to replace the pump, for, if you don’t, your engine will take on extra friction and die long before its time.

Is Your Oil Light Still On?

Have you successfully gotten your oil light to turn off? Or, do you still need assistance? If so, and if you’re in the Ventura, California area, we here at Dependable Car Care are the people to see.

Sporting a team of highly skilled auto repair technicians, we’ll identify the source of your check engine light and then take action to repair the problem.

Contact us now to schedule an appointment!