It can be alarming when you notice that your car’s oil change symbol is on. And not knowing why your vehicle is displaying the warning light can be nerve-wracking. Dashboard lights usually indicate something is wrong inside your car, and it’s never nice to imagine that you might face costly repairs soon.
However, the oil change symbol light is generally less alarming than other dashboard indicators. While the light can sometimes indicate a serious underlying issue, it’s usually illuminated as a friendly reminder from your car to keep up with regular maintenance. Knowing how to discern serious situations from a simple oil change reminder will help keep your vehicle in the best condition.
Why Is My Oil Change Symbol On?
There are a few reasons why the engine oil change symbol will turn on in vehicles. The most common cause is that your car needs an oil change. Sometimes, the light might turn on because your vehicle is leaking oil. And in extreme cases, it can indicate that your engine isn’t getting the correct lubrication.
You can sometimes discern why your oil change symbol is on by paying attention to the color. Red or flashing oil change lights typically indicate that immediate action is needed, while yellow or orange lights are commonly used to bring attention to minor issues. Before assuming that your car uses the same light colors, of course, it’s essential to check your owner’s manual and verify your vehicle’s indications.
Your Car Needs An Oil Change
The most common reason your oil change symbol might turn on is that your car needs an engine oil change. As long as you maintain regular maintenance and heed your car’s warnings, there’s no need to be seriously concerned about an oil change. You should use the oil dipstick to verify that your vehicle can drive and schedule the oil change as soon as possible.
Keeping up with engine oil changes is essential. Your car relies on having the proper amount and quality of oil to keep the engine’s internal components lubricated and functional. By taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance and oil changes, you can ensure that your car will continue to perform optimally.
Your Car Is Low On Oil
In some cases, cars have been known to display the oil change symbol because they’re running low on oil. This can happen for various reasons, such as broken gaskets or a damaged oil filler cap. Low oil is a serious concern regardless of what’s causing the oil to leak.
If your car doesn’t have enough oil, the internal components can quickly malfunction and suffer permanent damage. If you notice oily spots or other signs of a leak around your engine, consult a professional to replace your engine oil and seal the leak.
Your Car Has Low Oil Pressure
Low oil pressure is the worst possible scenario that can cause your oil warning light. Low oil pressure occurs as a result of extreme oil leaking. Unfortunately, it can quickly cause catastrophic damage to vehicles.
Your car relies on an engine with many small internal components to move. When your vehicle has low oil pressure, these internal components aren’t receiving the necessary amount of lubrication. As friction and heat build up within the engine, the engine may begin to break internally. If you notice that your car has a low oil pressure light, stop driving immediately and seek professional assistance.
Your Car Has A Faulty Oil Pump Or Pressure Gauge
While less common than other causes of oil change symbol illumination, faulty oil pumps and pressure gauges have been known to cause the light to turn on. You should suspect this issue if you notice that your car’s oil level appears normal and that servicing didn’t resolve the issue.
If you believe your car might have a faulty oil pump or pressure gauge, you must work with a technician to verify the issue. Diagnostics like a mechanical oil pressure test can be used to confirm that one of the components is malfunctioning.
When Should I Be Concerned About The Oil Change Symbol Turning On?
If you notice that your oil change indicator is on, you should immediately take the issue seriously. While the light turning on isn’t always dangerous, there is extreme potential for your car to suffer catastrophic engine damage if you make the wrong judgment.
The most important thing you can do if you notice that your oil change symbol is illuminated is to check your oil level. Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, turning on your hazard lights if necessary, and use the oil dipstick to check the oil.
If your oil dipstick is unusually dry, you should stop driving immediately and have your vehicle towed for repair. Driving while your oil is catastrophically low almost guarantees your vehicles engine will suffer damage. As you drive the car, you will also be at risk of serious injury.
What To Do About Oil Change Symbol On
If your oil change symbol turns on, you should take all the necessary precautions as you work with an experienced mechanic to address the underlying issue. In many cases, your car may only need an oil change before it’s back to functioning perfectly as intended. In other cases, you may need to address an oil leak or make some serious repairs.
While visiting the mechanic can be intimidating, it’s one of the most crucial things you can do to maintain your vehicle and guarantee your safety. That rings particularly true when it comes to the oil change light, as a lack of oil can quickly cause serious damage.
Diligently Take Care Of Your Vehicle
It is often stressful when your vehicle begins displaying warning lights on the dashboard. It is always tempting to assume that there’s nothing to worry about, but you should always take heed of the warnings your car offers. With the proper care routine, your vehicle can feasibly deliver top performance for years.