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Why Is My Engine Oil Low? 14 Causes & Solutions

Why Is My Engine Oil Low? 14 Causes & Solutions

Have you ever asked yourself, “why is my engine oil low?” Here are the Top 14 reasons:

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  1. Not enough oil
  2. Bad oil pressure gauge
  3. Wrong oil viscosity
  4. Dirty oil
  5. Bad oil pump
  6. Oil leak
  7. Damaged components
  8. Oil contamination
  9. Bad oil filter
  10. Oiled bypass valve activation
  11. Damaged oil lines
  12. Clogged suction tube
  13. Wrong oil grid
  14. Bad oil pressure relief valve

Motor oil is one of the most critical fluids that you have to keep up with. It is important to keep the engine within the operating temperature. If it has an issue, you can easily deal with complicated engine problems that could cost you the entire engine.

One of the worst situations that you can get into is when you have low motor oil. Things get more critical if you ignore the problem for some time. To avoid dealing with the complications and extend your engine's lifetime, you better immediately address any common engine oil issues.

This article highlights 14 different causes of low engine oil to help you answer the question, “why is my engine oil low?” We will also provide some recommendations on fixing the problem to prevent thousands of dollars in repair.

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What is the purpose of engine oil?

Before we dive into the details and help you answer the question, “why is my engine oil low?” We must provide you with a quick summary of the purpose of motor oil in your car. This way, you get a sense of how critical the problem is, and you will have an idea that you should think twice before ignoring low engine oil. Your progress typically, your engine consists of different interacting moving components. These components are made of metal and then interact with each other; they cause a lot of friction and release more heat and temperature.

Your engine must operate within a certain temperature range. If it exceeds that range, that's where problems happen, and that's where the engine might even get self-destructed.

Why is it important to keep oil at the right level?

As we mentioned earlier, there's no way for your engine to operate properly if it doesn't have the right amount of oil.

Therefore, whenever you notice that your engine is dealing with a low oil level, you got to take the issue seriously because if you ignore it for some time, it can easily damage the entire engine. On the other hand, if you think and evaluate the situation, fixing the oil problem is much cheaper than replacing the entire engine.

Therefore, you must keep the oil at the right level and quality. Otherwise, your repair costs will be extremely high, and you might get to a point where you cannot we can fix your vehicle.

Why is my engine oil low?

No, you have a good understanding of what could go wrong when or oil issues in your car; the next step is to understand why this happened in the first place. For example, you know for sure that you just changed your motor oil or that nothing recently happened, so why are you dealing with low engine oil pressure.

The good news is that older move experts put together a list of 14 top causes for low motor oil. Once you go through this list, you should be able to answer that question, “why is my engine oil low?” Yourself!

1-    Not enough oil

And the most obvious reason is that your vehicle is complaining because it doesn't have enough oil. Typically, your car is expected to consume some of this oil, but there shouldn't be a significant reduction in the motor oil.

Therefore you should consult with your mechanic and check if this reduction in motor oil is normal or related to some other problems listed in the following causes. Then, try topping off your motor oil and see if the problem is resolved. If you noticed a continuous drop in the motor oil level, that is concerning, and you should evaluate the other causes that we will highlight next.

2-    Bad oil pressure gauge

Sometimes, there might be enough oil in your engine, and it's just that your vehicle cannot understand it. In other words, your vehicle's computer is just confused because it's not receiving the right information or if your engine is not receiving the oil and it's just sitting in the reservoir.

For example, if your vehicle has the wrong oil pressure gauge, this gauge will read the wrong information and communicate with a computer with the wrong information. Therefore, your computer will think that you don't have enough oil, and that's where it will trigger a complaint about a low oil level.

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3-    Wrong oil viscosity

Many inexperienced drivers think that it's smarter to save on different vehicle fluids by choosing lower-quality ones. For example, many customers have complained about low oil pressure issues just because they recently changed the oil type.

One of the biggest mistakes that they have made is choosing the wrong oil that doesn't have the right viscosity level. Every oil has specific characteristics, and your vehicle is designed for that specific type of role. So changing the oil and going with a lower viscosity level is not to your benefit, and it will just cause problems that will cost you more money than what you saved when changing the motor oil.

4-    Dirty oil

Even if you have the right amount of oil in your engine car, this doesn't mean that your vehicle is safe. In other words, if the oil is very dirty and if it's due for a change, with some issues with the low pressure.

When the oil is dirty, it won't be able to lubricate the engine because many foreign objects prevent the right lubrication process.

Therefore, you should consult your vehicle's manual and determine whether your vehicle is due for an oil change soon or not. It is never a good idea to ignore an oil change because it doesn't only result in reducing your motor oil, but also it can easily lead to damaging your engine and cost you thousands of dollars on repair.

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5-    Bad oil pump

Like the bad oil gauge, sometimes a bad oil pump might prevent your vehicle from receiving the right lubrication, and that's why your engine will complain about low oil levels.

For example, if you're dealing with a bad oil pump, that's where your engine won't receive oil and won't get lubricated. As the name suggests, the oil pump is responsible for pumping oil from there is a war to the different components around the engine, but if the pump is not working properly, it won't be able to do the job. As a result, you'll notice it in the form of low oil pressure.

6-    Oil leak

One of the top reasons for low oil levels or low oil pressure is when you have an oil leak. So it is not surprising to hear that the oil level will drop significantly if you have a significant leak. So therefore, you must keep an eye on this specific problem because it is one of those critical problems that can easily result in catastrophic outcomes.

You can look underneath your vehicle for any signs of fluid leaks. Check around the areas where the oil was sitting, and sometimes the oil leak might be minor where it won't drip on the floor. However, you will easily see some oil spots on the vehicle bottom indicating some oil leaks.

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7-    Damaged components

Did you know some of the damaged components around the oil system might lead to low oil levels? Yes! If there is a bad bearing or some damage in these surrounding components, they might cause troubles to the engine pathways and, therefore, the oil level might drop significantly.

Therefore, you must consult your mechanic and haven't looked around all components in this area. For example, your mechanic needs to look at the mains and the different connecting rod bearings to see if they're causing any oil issues or not around your car. Once the culprit is confirmed, it must be fixed immediately.

8-    Oil contamination

Like Dirty oil, you might deal with oil contamination because of all the potential pollutants to the oil pathways. When this happens, you must flush the oil and replace it with a fresh one to achieve the right engine lubrication and eliminate low oil level issues.

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9-    Bad oil filter

If the oil filter is not in good condition, I will prevent oil from coming in the right quantities to the engine. That's why your vehicle will complain of a low oil level, and that's why you ask yourself, “why is my engine oil low?”

If you don't already know, the oil filter is responsible for preventing any contaminants or degrees from getting inside the engine compartment with the oil. Unfortunately, this oil filter can get clogged over time, and the more it clogs, the lower the oil level. Therefore, it's not checked out your oil filter and see if it's the actual culprit causing the issue.

Typically, if you're keeping up with your oil changes, your mechanic should know that he must replace the oil filter every time we change. However, if your mechanic forgot, that's where you might deal with low oil levels because of a bad oil filter.

10- Oil bypass valve activation

There is a specific valve in your engine. As the name suggests, it's called the oil bypass valve pure; this valve might allow some oil to escape pathways, especially if there is too much oil. When the oil bypass valve is activated by mistake, it can easily reduce the oil level in your vehicle carrying her graph. Therefore, your mechanic should have the right tools that allow him to detect whether this valve is not working properly or not.

Typically, the issues with the bypass valve are very rare, and by the time you get to this point, we should already resolve the low oil level issue.

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11- Damaged oil lines

In some older vehicles, the pathways and the lines that oil runs through might go bad hearing this happens can easily lead to oil escaping the pathways, and that's where you deal with low oil levels.

Of course, if you're driving a newer vehicle, these are rare occasions, but if you, for example, got involved in a car accident, these oil lines might be damaged pretty much.

12- Clogged suction tube

The vehicle has a suction tube but also has to do with the oil pathway and running here when this suction tube is clogged might reduce your oil level. But, again, it is one of those very rare occasions.

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13- Wrong oil grid

Like the cloud suction tube, about oil grid might also reduce the oil level in your vehicle. So, check the oiled grid to ensure that it's not in that condition.

14- Bad oil pressure relief valve

Finally, if the pressure and lead valve also don't work properly, it could release more oil than needed and reduce the oil level in your engine. So do give up if, by this time, you still didn't solve the oil level issue; it could be a bad oil pressure relief valve.

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Final thoughts

Your vehicle contains lots of fluids, and the oil is one of the major ones. Low oil pressure is a common problem that can happen because of various causes. This article helps answer the question, “why is my engine oil low?”

It highlights 14 potential causes for the reduction in your oil level. We typically expect that by going through the 1st seven or ten causes, you should be able to resolve the oil level issues; however, there are some rare occasions where the rest of the causes might trigger the problem.

It's important to note that some of the repairs you might deal with might be severe and significant. That's where you need to evaluate the situation and check whether it's worth or care. You might sell your vehicle rather than receive your time and effort in some instances.

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