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Oil Warning Light Is Still On? Here’s What To Do Next

One day, you noticed the oil warning light on your car’s dashboard lit up.

Like any car owner would do, you check for leaks and change the car’s engine oil. However, the check oil icon is still illuminated after the oil change. How do you fix this problem?

This post will examine why your oil warning light remains on even if you change the engine’s oil. Furthermore, it will also walk you through some solutions before going to a professional car care company.


  • Reasons Why Oil Warning Light Is Still On
    • Faulty Sensors
    • Bad Oil Pump
    • Clogged Air Filters
    • Engine Wear and Tear
    • Worn Out Internal Components
  • What’s The Difference Between Oil Change Reminder and Oil Warning Light?
  • Conclusion

Reasons Why Oil Warning Light Is Still On

If you are driving and you notice the oil warning icon on your dashboard, you should first stop your car and turn off the engine. Driving while there is trouble in your oil system can damage your car’s engine and other components.

Next, check under your car to see if there is an oil leak or stain under it. Look for other symptoms, such as smoke from the engine or a burnt smell.

If the oil filter is leaking, try tightening it. Then check the oil level using the dipstick. Add oil until it reaches full. Go back and see if the oil warning icon is still lit.

If filling up your engine with new oil did not work, you can rule out that the main culprit is the oil level. When the oil warning icon is still lit up, other components related to oil might not be functioning correctly.

Here is a list of things that might be causing an issue with your oil warning light:

1. Faulty Sensors
Dirt and other particles that develop within the sensors can sometimes mess up their functions. The sensor may also go wrong because of electrical issues. When this happens, it may alert you of problems that weren’t there.

The worst part of faulty sensors is when they stop working, and you aren’t aware of them. Hence, you might miss essential alerts that can potentially damage your car’s components and potentially put you in jeopardy. To prevent this scenario, always follow your car’s preventive maintenance schedule.

2. Bad Oil Pump
If your oil level is fine and the sensors are working, the engine oil pump might not work as intended. When this happens, there is low oil pressure on the pump. As a result, oil won’t efficiently circulate to the moving parts of your engine.

The sudden oil warning alert may also be accompanied by loud engine noises and overheating. When this problem occurs, it’s best to stop driving so that the situation won’t escalate to severe issues. It would be best if you also considered getting your car towed to the nearest car care company that can fix the oil pump in no time.

3. Clogged Air Filters
Air filters are essential in keeping the correct oil pressure on your engine. It can increase the pressure and reduce oil flow if they become dirty or clogged. Another reason why oil pressure could be unstable is when the pressure relief valve gets damaged.

Varying oil pressure may also cause the oil warning alert to flicker. This means the light will turn on as the oil pressure drops below 5 to 10 PSI at idle. During such events, you may notice a knocking sound under the hood.

4. Engine Wear and Tear
The bearings on the crankshaft and camshaft are the channels oil travels throughout the engine. Oil flows too quickly and reduces oil pressure if the area has expanded due to worn parts.

The oil pump has to push oil through tight spaces under bearings and tiny passageways.
Because they regulate the flow rate, these locations cause the system to become more pressurized. The flow rate and pressure increase as the engine speed increases.

5. Worn Out Internal Components
When crucial car parts malfunction, the oil may accidentally enter the combustion chamber and be consumed, lowering engine oil pressure and level. Some indicators of such issues include blue smoke emission in the tailpipe and overheating. In some instances, it can also trigger the check engine light.

Replacing the worn-out parts should fix this issue. However, not everyone has the tools or knowledge to repair their cars. Thus, consider hiring an expert technician who can troubleshoot car problems and find the spare parts that your car needs.

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What’s The Difference Between Oil Change Reminder and Oil Warning Light?

Modern cars have various maintenance reminders on their dashboard. Two standard icons most car manufacturers use are oil change and oil warning. While they may sound the same, they point to different problems.

When the oil change reminder is on, it’s time for an oil change. If you are doing the oil change, don’t forget to reset the reminder light so you won’t miss the following schedule. However, if an authorized service center does the oil change, they will reset the reminder light before returning your vehicle.

Meanwhile, an oil warning light should be taken more seriously. It means that the engine oil pressure has reached a dangerously low level. If this issue is not addressed immediately, it can destroy your engine.

The next time you see that genie lamp with a drop icon lit up, turn off your engine if it’s running and assess the situation. If the problem isn’t related to leaks or a low oil volume, you should get your car to your trusted car care specialist.


While dashboard alerts like oil warning light and check engine light are uncommon, it’s best to know how to deal with them should the situation occur. Dependable Car Care is here for you if you ever need a complete neighborhood auto service to fix your car.

Our company offers car maintenance and repair services to car owners in Ventura, California, and nearby areas. Dependable Car Care’s reliable mechanics are experienced in fixing various car models and year-make variants.

Contact us today to request a car service appointment and get a free quote.