What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change? Causes & Fixes


If you’ve just had your oil changed and are experiencing low oil pressure, don’t panic! It’s not uncommon for this to happen after an oil change. In fact, there are several reasons why this might occur. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 7 reasons for low oil pressure after an oil change. We will also provide tips on how to fix the issue. Keep reading to learn more!

Worn-out engine bearings, low engine oil, wrong viscosity oil, dirt in the oil pick-up tube, worn oil pump, oil leak, and dirty oil filter are the most common causes of low oil pressure after an oil change.

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change?

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

Many car owners experience low oil pressure after an oil change. Regardless of whether the oil change was done by you or a mechanic, mistakes can happen. Low oil pressure after an oil change can be both a human error or there was an underlying issue with the engine in the first place. Here are the most common causes of low oil pressure after an oil change:

1. Worn engine bearings

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

Engine bearings are an essential part of a car’s engine. They help to support the crankshaft and allow it to rotate smoothly. Bearings are usually made from metal, and they can be either cylindrical or ball-shaped. Depending on the type of engine, there may be several bearings in different sizes. As the crankshaft turns, the bearings help to reduce friction and protect the metal surfaces from wear. In addition, bearings can also help to absorb shock and vibrations, providing a smoother ride for the passengers.

A common cause of low oil pressure is worn engine bearings. Bearings are what the moving parts of the engine, like the crankshaft and connecting rods, ride on. Over time, they can wear down from the heat and friction, causing clearance between the bearing and journal to increase. This increased clearance causes a drop in oil pressure because there’s less oil being pumped to the bearings.

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In some cases, worn bearings can also cause a knocking or ticking noises. If you suspect your bearings are worn, it’s important to have them checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. Worn bearings can lead to engine failure if they’re not replaced in a timely manner.

2. Low engine oil

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

The primary purpose of engine oil is to lubricate the moving parts in your car’s engine. Engine oil helps minimize friction between these moving parts, reducing wear and tear and preventing mechanical breakdowns.

In addition to its role as a lubricant, engine oil also serves as an important coolant for the engine. The heat generated by all those moving parts can quickly overheat an engine if it is not properly cooled down by circulating oil through the system.

Low oil pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of the most common is simply low engine oil. If your car’s oil level is low, it can cause the oil pump to work harder, which in turn will lead to lower oil pressure.

Additionally, if the oil is old and has broken down, it may not be able to provide adequate lubrication, again leading to low oil pressure. If you suspect that your car’s oil level may be low, check it as soon as possible and top it up if necessary.

3. Wrong viscosity

Low oil pressure is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including using the wrong viscosity oil. Viscosity is a measure of an oil’s thickness, and it’s important to choose an oil with the right viscosity for your engine. If the oil is too thick, it won’t flow properly and could lead to low oil pressure. However, using an oil that’s too thin can also cause problems.

It may not provide enough protection for your engine, leading to premature wear. As a result, it’s important to consult your owner’s manual or a qualified mechanic to choose the right oil for your car. Using the wrong viscosity oil is one of the most common causes of low oil pressure, so be sure to get it right to keep your engine running smoothly.

Check out our oil guide website to find the best oil for your vehicle.

4. Dirt in the oil pickup tube

Another cause of low oil pressure can be dirt in the oil pickup tube. An oil pick-up tube is a crucial component of your car’s engine that helps to keep it running smoothly. This small piece of equipment acts as a funnel, drawing oil from the crankcase and delivering it to the rest of the engine where it is needed most.

The oil pick-up tube is responsible for collecting oil from the bottom of the oil pan and delivering it to the engine. Over time, the bottom of the oil pan can become filled with sludge and debris, which can then become lodged in the oil pick-up tube. This can restrict the flow of oil to the engine, causing low oil pressure.

In some cases, the only way to fix this problem is to replace the entire oil pick-up tube. However, if caught early, it may be possible to clean the oil pick-up tube and restore normal flow.

5. Worn oil pump

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

The purpose of the engine oil pump is to circulate engine oil throughout the entire system at a certain pressure, ensuring that all moving parts are well-lubricated and protected. This helps to prevent wear and tear on critical components, allowing your car’s engine to run smoothly and efficiently for many years to come.

Additionally, the oil pump also plays an important role in regulating the temperature of your car’s engine by regulating how much heat is allowed into the system. By controlling heat buildup, you can ensure that your vehicle’s performance does not suffer due to overheating or other issues related to excessive friction within the system. Overall, then, a functioning oil pump is essential for keeping your car running at its best for as long as possible.

If your car’s oil pressure is low, it could be due to a worn oil pump. The oil pump is responsible for circulating oil throughout the engine, and over time, it can wear out. When this happens, the pump may not be able to circulate the oil properly, resulting in low oil pressure. In some cases, the pump may also make noise or leak oil. If you suspect that your car’s low oil pressure is due to a worn oil pump, take it to a mechanic for inspection. They will be able to confirm whether or not the pump needs to be replaced.

6. Oil leak

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

Low oil pressure is a common problem that can be caused by several different issues. One possibility is an oil leak. If oil is leaking from the engine, it will eventually lead to a drop in oil levels. This, in turn, will cause the oil pump to work harder in order to circulate the oil, which can lead to low oil pressure.

One of the easiest ways to check for oil leaks in your car is by looking under the engine bay. Look for any dark or wet spots on the ground, and pay attention to places where you might typically see oil drips, like near hoses and other components that are connected to the engine.

If you notice any signs of an oil leak, it’s important to take your car into a mechanic as soon as possible. An experienced mechanic will be able to accurately diagnose the source of the leak and provide you with a solution that keeps your car running smoothly.

Some common causes of oil leaks include cracked or damaged seals, loose connections between parts, old gaskets that need replacing, or even worn-out parts due to age or excessive use.

7. Dirty oil filter

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine, and it needs to be kept clean in order for the engine to run properly. Over time, debris and impurities can build up in the oil, causing it to become less effective at lubricating and cooling the engine.

One of the most common causes of low oil pressure is a dirty oil filter. If the filter becomes clogged, it can restrict the flow of oil to the engine, leading to low oil pressure. In severe cases, this can cause engine damage.

That’s why it’s important to have your oil filter replaced regularly according to your car’s maintenance schedule. If you notice that your oil pressure is low, be sure to check your oil filter and have it changed if necessary.

Low Oil Pressure Symptoms

If you’re experiencing low oil pressure, it’s important to identify the cause as soon as possible. Low oil pressure can lead to engine damage if left untreated. Here are the 8 most common symptoms of low oil pressure:

1. Low oil pressure light on

If the oil pressure light is on in your car, it means that the oil pressure in the engine is low. One of the most important things to keep an eye on while driving is your vehicle’s oil pressure. Low oil pressure can lead to engine damage, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and how to avoid them. The low oil pressure light usually comes on when the oil level is low or when the oil is not circulating properly. If you see this light, it’s important to stop driving and check the oil level as soon as possible. By being aware of the symptoms of low oil pressure, you can avoid costly engine damage and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

2. Increased engine noise

Every vehicle depends on oil to keep the engine cool and lubricated. Over time, however, oil breaks down and starts to lose its effectiveness. One of the first signs of this breakdown is increased engine noise. As the oil gets thinner, it is no longer able to effectively cushion the moving parts of the engine.

This can lead to a knocking or ticking sound as the metal components come into contact with each other. If left unchecked, this increased engine noise can eventually lead to more serious problems such as decreased fuel efficiency and engine damage.

For this reason, it is important to be aware of the low oil pressure symptoms and to have the oil changed as soon as possible when these symptoms start to appear.

3. The engine is difficult to start or it stalls soon after starting

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

As any car owner knows, oil is essential for keeping the engine running smoothly. Not only does it lubricate the moving parts, but it also helps to dissipate heat and prevent corrosion. Without adequate oil pressure, the engine will start to wear out prematurely.

There are several symptoms that can indicate low oil pressure, including difficulty starting the engine. If the engine is cranking slowly or making strange noises, it may be a sign that the oil pressure is too low. In addition, if the engine warning light comes on, it is important to check the oil level and pressure as soon as possible.

Low oil pressure can cause serious damage to the engine, so it is important to pay attention to these signs and take action accordingly.

4. Smell of burning oil

If you notice a burning oil smell while driving, it’s important to take action immediately. This is usually an indication of low oil pressure, which can cause serious engine damage if not addressed promptly. Anytime your engine smells like burning oil, it’s cause for concern. Low oil pressure is one possible explanation, but it’s important to understand all the potential causes before making any assumptions.

There are a few things you can do to try and diagnose the problem. First, check the oil level in the dipstick. If it’s low, that could be the cause of the issue. Next, take a look at the viscosity of the oil. If it’s too thick, that could also be causing low oil pressure. Finally, check for any leaks in the system. If you find any, that could be why your engine is smelling like burning oil.

5. Reduced engine performance

What Causes Low Oil Pressure After Oil Change

Reduced engine performance is one of the most common low oil pressure symptoms. If your car’s engine isn’t performing as well as it used to, it could be a sign that the oil pressure is too low. You might notice that your car takes longer to start, or that it doesn’t accelerate as quickly as it used to.

These reduced engine performance symptoms can be caused by a number of issues, but low oil pressure is one of the most common culprits. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to have your car checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. Low oil pressure can lead to serious engine damage if it’s not addressed in a timely manner.

6. Engine running too hot

How To Cool Down Overheating Engine Fast

One of the most common low oil pressure symptoms is that the engine is running too hot. This can happen for a number of reasons, but one of the most common is that the oil isn’t being circulated properly. When the oil isn’t circulating properly, it can’t effectively cool the engine, leading to overheating.

Engine oil has many purposes, but the most important one is to take away heat from the engine components. If the engine has low oil pressure, the oil isn’t circulating as it should and is not taking heat away from the crucial engine components.

This can result in an increased operating temperature of the engine. Now, depending on how low the oil pressure is, the engine might not overheat, but it will be on the high side of the allowed temperature.

7. Low oil level

Low oil pressure can be caused by either a low oil level or dirty oil. A low oil level will cause the engine to run hotter, as there is less oil to cool it down. This can lead to engine damage, as well as decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions.

If the oil level is too low, it means that there isn’t enough lubrication between the moving parts of the engine, which can also lead to overheating.

Dirty oil, on the other hand, can cause the engine to work harder, as it has to pump the oil through a dirty filter. This can also lead to decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions. In addition, dirty oil can cause deposits to build up on engine parts, leading to wear and tear. To prevent these problems, it is important to regularly check the oil level and change the oil filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

8. Illuminated check engine light

The oil pressure controls tensioners on the timing belt or timing chain. It also controls pumps like the fuel pump on a diesel engine. If the oil pressure is too low, the chain tensioner won’t tension the timing chain as it should and the camshaft timing will be off. This will result in an illuminated check engine light.

8. Complete engine failure

Low oil pressure is one of the most serious problems that can affect a car engine. If the oil pressure gets too low, it can cause the engine to seize up, resulting in complete failure. The most common symptom of low oil pressure is a sudden drop in oil pressure when the engine is running. This can be accompanied by a loud knocking noise, or the engine may simply stop running entirely. Other symptoms include increased engine noise, smoke from the exhaust, and loss of power.

How To Reset Low Oil Pressure Light

Many modern vehicles are equipped with an oil pressure light that comes on when the engine oil pressure is low. If this light comes on, it’s important to take action immediately to avoid serious engine damage. The good news is, resetting the light is a relatively easy process. All you need is a few tools and about 15 minutes of your time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to resetting the oil pressure light on your vehicle:

  1. Start by locating the oil dipstick and removing it from the engine. Wipe off the dipstick with a clean rag and reinsert it fully into the engine.
  2. Locate the drain plug underneath the engine and remove it. Make sure you have a catch pan in place to store the old engine oil.
  3. Next, locate the oil filter and remove it using an oil filter wrench. Discard the old filter and replace it with a new one.
  4. Finally, add fresh oil to the engine until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick.

Once the engine has been filled with fresh oil, start it up and allow it to idle for a few minutes. This will allow the new oil to circulate throughout the engine and reach all of the critical components. After a few minutes, turn off the engine and check the oil level again. If necessary, add more oil until it reaches the full mark once again. With the new oil in place, the low oil pressure light should reset itself and turn off automatically.

Can Too Much Oil Cause Low Oil Pressure

If you’ve ever found yourself driving down the highway with your oil light flickering on and off, you know how important oil pressure is to your vehicle. But what happens if you have too much oil in your engine? Can too much oil cause low oil pressure?

Yes, too much oil can cause low oil pressure. When there’s too much oil in the system, it can’t circulate as easily and can start to foam. This reduced circulation can lead to lower oil pressure, which can in turn cause your engine to run less efficiently and maybe even overheat.

So if you’re checking your oil level and see that it’s higher than normal, don’t just top it off. You may need to drain some of the oil out until the level is back to where it should be. That way you can help keep your engine running smoothly and avoid any potential problems down the road.

While draining engine oil may seem like a simple task, there are actually a few steps involved in doing it correctly. First, you’ll need to warm up the engine to help the oil flow more easily. Next, locate the drain plug and remove it, allowing the oil to drain into a catch pan. Recheck the engine oil level and add or drain as needed.

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Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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