Why does my oil light comes on when I stop my car? Answered

If you see the oil light come on when you stop the car and then the light turns off when you hit the gas, you probably have a sensor problem. Changing this sensor is easy to do. Unfortunately, the difficult part is finding it.

Before I continue, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t disregard your oil light. Few things are more important than that little light on your dashboard.

That light is your car telling you something has gone awfully wrong.

Or maybe not. That’s the thing here: in this scenario, the light comes on when you’re stopping the car, not all the time. If it wouldn’t turn off – then there’s an oil problem. Since it turns off when you accelerate, the sensor is probably malfunctioning.

If I were you, I’d change the sensor first, especially if you check the oil levels and they are ok. Your average oil pressure sensor will cost you $125.

Now, remember: the oil light is very important – and you shouldn’t disregard it as a sensor malfunction right away.

In this particular case (the light comes on when you stop the car), I’d blame the sensor first. In other scenarios, I wouldn’t be so sure that’s the case.

Should I pay attention to my oil light?

You should always pay attention to your oil light. If it comes on, there’s something wrong with your car: it could be something small like a sensor not working to something more drastic like your car running out of oil.

Why does your oil light come on?

  • A bad sensor
  • Lack of oil
  • Worn out oil
  • Engine overheating
  • Faulty gauge, pump, or filter

None of these issues present a happy car scenario, but you can fix all of them – as long as you don’t push your car more than you absolutely have to until you solve your problem.

Is the oil light coming on a death sentence for your car? Not at all! I’m a little drastic right now – but it’s only to stress how important the oil light is.

I know of plenty of new car owners who don’t even know what oil is. That’s why I’m stressing its importance.

What should I do when my oil light comes on?

Right when you see your oil light, you need to figure out when and where’s the best place to stop your car. Then, you need to check your oil. Doing so is not difficult and it’s not something you can postpone either.

Is the oil light important?

Your oil light is one of the most important things you have on your car’s dashboard. If the oil light comes on, you’re in an all-hands-on-deck and stay alert scenario. In extreme cases, your oil light is warning you of a life or death scenario for your car.

Veteran car owners know how important oil is. If you’re having oil issues for the first time, you probably don’t grasp the importance of this scenario just yet.

So, let me be as dramatic as possible. Oil is like blood for a car. Without it, it’ll stop working. With poor oil, it’ll stop working. That’s as simple as I can explain it.

Fortunately for all car owners out there, the oil light is there to let you know when something is wrong. That’s how important that little light is.

What if my oil light comes on when braking?

If the oil light comes on when you’re braking (and not after a full stop), it could be a sign of your car not having enough engine oil: not enough for the light to come on all the time, but enough for the sensor to notice it when you’re stopping.

It could also be the same thing as before. Your sensor is malfunctioning at low RPMs and then picking a real reading of your oil levels when the car works a little harder after you press the gas pedal.

Although not knowing what the real problem is right away isn’t that good, a sensor problem is better than an oil problem.

So, I recommend you take a deep breath and check your oil before making any decisions. If the oil is okay, the sensor is not – and believe me, that’s the best scenario possible when the oil light comes on.

By the way, if you check your oil and something is wrong, don’t change the sensor. That little fella was right all along!

How can I check my engine oil?

Park your car, turn the engine off, pop the hood, and find the dipstick. With a piece of cloth, remove the oil from the dipstick and put it back in its place. Then, remove the dipstick again and check the sides of it to see where you’re at oil-wise.

So, the first thing you need to check is if you’re running low on oil. You’ll find the dipstick itself has two holes with an L (low) and an H (high) alongside. Anything above the L is okay.

You should also pay attention to the quality of the oil. It should be brown or black. There’s something wrong with your engine if you find it of any other color.

If you find pieces of metal in the oil, there’s engine trouble as well.

How often should I change engine oil?

Most car owners should change the engine oil on a yearly basis. Or, better said, once a year at least. People who use their car more than the average person will probably have to change the oil every six months or so.

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking in time and not in miles. Well, believe it or not, most people drive the same amount of miles every year. It varies on where you live, but it’s often the same.

I’ll break it down in mileage, though.

You should change your oil after:

  • 3,000 miles for old cars
  • Between 5,000 and 7,500 miles for modern cars
  • One year after your last oil change, if you haven’t gone past the necessary miles

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