Is the oil light illuminated on your vehicle's dashboard? This typically indicates low oil pressure. Like most other automotive fluids, oil is designed to operate under pressure. The operational oil pressure for most vehicles is between 25 and 65 pounds per square (PSI). If your vehicle's oil pressure drops below the operational PSI, the oil light will illuminate as a warning. What causes low oil pressure exactly?
#1) Blown Head Gasket
A blown head gasket can cause low oil pressure. The head gasket is a mechanical seal that sits between the cylinder head and the engine block. It's designed to seal the oil, coolant and combustion gas passages that run between the cylinder head and the engine block. If it fails, fluids or combustion gas may leak. Coolant may leak out of the engine, or oil may leak out of the engine. If the latter occurs, your vehicle's oil pressure will drop.
#2) Oil Pump Failure
Oil pump failure can cause low oil pressure. The oil pump is a device that circulates oil from the oil pan to the engine. If it fails, oil won't be able to reach the engine. This lack of circulation will prevent the oil from heating up and, thus reaching its operational PSI. Oil pumps typically last a long time, but they aren't immune to failure. And once the oil pump fails, your vehicle's oil pressure will drop.
#3) Infrequent Oil Changes
Neglecting to change your vehicle's oil on a regular basis may lead to low oil pressure. Oil vehicles may burn a small amount of oil. As long as you get the oil changed regularly, though, this shouldn't be a concern. The oil loss will be negligible and have no impact on your vehicle's performance. But if you continue to drive for long periods without getting the oil changed, all of this burned and oil may lead to low pressure.
#4) Oil Pan Damage
Damage to the oil pan may result in low oil pressure. The oil pan is a metal container that stores oil. You can find it by inspecting the undercarriage of your vehicle. Directly below the engine is the oil pan. Because it's located on the undercarriage, the oil pan is susceptible to damage. Driving over a bump or debris in the road may damage your vehicle's oil pan. A dented or otherwise damaged oil pan may then leak oil. And as oil leaks out of the pan, your vehicle's oil pressure will drop.