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Engine Oil

By David Sturtz, April 15, 2008

Engine oil provides lubrication for all internal moving parts of an engine. It also helps conduct heat away from these components.

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Engine Oil

  • Engine oil light may illuminate
  • Low oil pressure gauge
  • Abnormal knocking noise from engine
  • Excessive sludge buildup in engine

Engine Oil Related Repair Advice

  • The manufacturer's recommended oil type and change interval should always be followed
  • The engine oil light can illuminate due to low oil pressure, a defective pressure sender, or a problem with the wiring for the oil warning light. Diagnosing this problem will require checking the oil level, oil quality, and oil pressure. If the oil pressure is okay, then a diagnosis of the sender, wiring, and gauge will be performed.
  • Some vehicles have internal oil system seals that leak, which will cause low oil pressure. Failure to identify these leaks can lead to the replacement of un-needed parts.
  • If the incorrect type of oil is used, the oil pressure can drop too low and cause the oil light to come on.
  • If the oil light is on, it's best to avoid driving so as to avoid possible engine damage. Check the oil level and add oil if needed. Then have a shop diagnose the issue to avoid any future problems.

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