What can I do when the Red Oil Light Comes On

This week we are going to discus the Red Oil Light on the dash. We will cover what should be done and what you may do to get home.

When the Red Oil Light flickers or comes on steady on the instrument cluster. STOP THE CAR !!  Why stop? If you were running and all of a sudden you had no air to breath, how far do think you could you go? This is about what happens to your engine with little or no oil. The difference being, the engine attempts to self destruct in a mechanical way and you just plain stop. When you see the light flicker, the oil may be down enough to starve the sensor of oil to read. Stop and check the oil level very soon. If the light comes on steady, it may be too late. Pull to the side of the road and check the oil level after a few minutes with the engine off. Not being on a level surface will effect the reading on the dipstick. In most cases, if there is oil on the dipstick, you should – should – be OK. As soon as possible put some oil in the car. IF possible, put the correct type, if not available, the closest you can buy is better than nothing if you want to continue on your way. Have the oil changed as soon as you can. The newer the car, the more critical the oil type comes to overall operation. There is not enough space here to explain all the reasons.

What if the oil level is fine? The oil sensor has most likely failed and needs replaced. There are other possibilities, but this is the most common. Most of the time it will be safe to drive your car home. If your engine has run out of oil or has no oil pressure, there will not be a question there is a problem. The engine will be making allot of clattering or clunking noise to let you know – it’s probably too late. Your not going to make it much further. Driving the car further, with it making noise, will most likely only cost you more to repair. It’s Your Call at this point. Good Luck.

One the other questions we are asked, can I go by the “oil change due indicator”. This is a calculated guess in most cases. In other words, since the computer systems monitor everything your car does, the calculations can be used to turn on your “oil change due” indicator at a pre-programmed  setting. Can I use it? Sure, but take into consideration how you drive and how the oil looks when you check the level.

As Always ” Great Service with a Smile”