Oil pressure is necessary for oils to outstretch all the components of an engine. Oil pressure may vary from vehicles to vehicles depending on the engine system. However, it is considered too low or too high when the pressure remains elsewhere of the required range, 25-65 PSI. 

Importance of Oil Pressure In An Engine

Putting oil in the engine is essential to make sure that different parts of the engine are well lubricated and functioning impeccably. Oil flows through the engine to build up some pressure. It is what ensures graceful driving and the ease of engine operation. A sufficient amount of oil pressure also ensures that the rotating shaft and the bearing shell never come to contact with each other.

The lubrication system of an engine is determinately formed by an oil filter, pump, necessary hardware, and lubrication lines. The resistance generates pressure in the engine that oil overcomes in the lubrication lines to meet the components.

The duty of the pump is to enforce the lubricating oil through the system. Manufacturers engineer pumps in a way so that it can generate the required level of pressure and allow the oil to pass on to each of the remote areas. 

Oil pressure often turns low meaning the expected process is not working gracefully. One reason may be the system is not having enough lubricant. Oil is so important for an engine since starvation can lead to junctions among the engine parts. Running out of oil may also cause machine failure. Users have to bear the forfeit in such situations and replace the engine of their vehicle.  

What High Oil Pressure Means

What High Oil Pressure Means

Causes of High Oil Pressure


Engine oil or motor oil has to be at a balanced level of pressure. Sometimes, it may be higher than the predicted scale. High oil pressure is the indicator of the inability of oil to operate properly. The process of pumping oil incorporates sucking lubricants through a grid. It blocks any clog and channels the dirt down to the lubricating system.

High oil pressure gives voice to an unusual resistance in the engine system that requires it to be removed. The deposits of carbon and dust are the reason that blocks the flow of oil. 

Sending Unit Issue

Another reason for high oil pressure is faulty sending units. A sending unit controls the gauge in the bolt of the vehicle. It works as a sensor to measure oil pressure in the engine. A defective unit will send false readings. 

Relief Valve Malfunction

The relief valve is not a complicated component of the engine but consists of a piston, spring, and plus to protect the engine from any kind of damage caused by high oil pressure. A relief valve regulates oil flow. Relief valve malfunctions are very common to higher oil pressure. 

Wrong Engine Oil

The reasons behind high oil pressure somewhat depend on the oil quality and its viscosity. A thicker form of oil has more resistance at the time of passing through the passages of an engine which leads to higher oil pressure. So, using too viscous oil can be another reason for the grown pressure of engine oil.

Treatment of High Oil Pressure

Treatment of Sending Unit

To fix a faulty sending unit, the first thing to do is, checking the engine. You need to see if the engine has cooled down adequately to work. Put the transmission in park or neutral to apply a hand brake.

Then locate the unit near the oil pan and have an oil seep pan ready. Connect the gauge and turn your vehicle on. Again, press the gas pedal and hold the pedal from 2500 to 4000 RPMs for around 20 minutes. Do not forget to look at the manual of the vehicle to help follow the correct range of RPMs. 

Cleaning Up Relief Valve

To test if the problem is in the relief valve, drive your vehicle for a minute and see whether oil pressure reaches the predicted level or not. If it does not, it indicates a malfunction of the relief valve. Simple cleaning is enough for this problem.

Change The Engine Oil

Wait 20 minutes after starting the engine to know the accurate PSI and consider the properties of your engine oil. If the oil is too thick for your vehicle, you are recommended to switch it by looking at your manual. Good engine oil is healthy for the engine and keeps it clean at the same time.

What Low Oil Pressure Means

Causes And Treatment of Low Oil Pressure

Fallen Oil Level

The most common reason for low oil pressure is a poor oil level. When the oil level on the dipstick goes down to the least sign, it causes low oil pressure. So, look at the level more often to ensure that you are keeping the balance of oil pressure.

Sludge Formation

Although modern oils do not let sludge formation happen in the engine, unfollowing the scheduled servicing of your car can lead to this issue. Due to not touching up for a long time, the remaining oil keeps losing its properties and forms sludge gradually. If you use the wrong grade oil, it can also cause sludge formation. Just do crosscheck the right grade oil from the manual given by your car manufacturer.

Improper Viscosity

Manufacturers calibrate the oil pressure sensor so that it works with the recommended level of viscosity of the engine oil. When engine oil is too thick or thin, it triggers the pressure warning. It leads to oil pressure issues after an oil change. 

Blocked Strainer

Strainer is a pipe in the sump after picking up oil. It is also called a mesh filter. The strainer is not easily accessible that keeps it untouched and uncleaned after regular servicing. However, strainers get clogged when it takes debris from dirty engine oil. In such cases, the oil pan needs to be cleaned and put back on.

Clogged Filter

The oil filter may get clogged with sludges if it is not changed on every oil change. It happens more on diesel motors. It becomes a big obstruction when the oil filter is clogged and pauses the pathway of lubricant. The result is always lower oil pressure. Consider changing the oil filter more than you do now to avoid low pressure caused by clogs.

Pump Damage

Well, it is not quite common to have a faulty oil pump since it is always well lubricated. Still, you can have pump damage that reduces oil pressure. You have to get a hand from professional servicers to replace the pump or repair it.

What Affects Oil Pressure

It is quite well known that viscosity plays a major role in affecting oil pressure although there are more factors considered. When oil is poured onto inclined surfaces, it will flow downward. The higher viscosity of engine oil makes the flow slower.

Viscosity is often stated as the resistance that varies with temperature change. Lower viscosity generates lower resistance and higher viscosity generates greater resistance to flow the oil. It leads to a lack of lubrication and continually affects the oil pressure. 

How to Increase Oil Pressure at Idle: Is That Possible ?

Is It Possible to Increase Oil Pressure At Idle

We already know the treatment of having low oil pressure. When your engine has worn out to higher the oil pressure at idle, it is indicating that either the engine of your vehicle is suffering from wear or the engine is low on oil.

If you have found that the issue is restricted by the wear alone, using an full synthetic engine oil with a higher level of viscosity expects to solve your problem and increase the oil pressure at its intensity. You can switch your oil from 5W-20 to 10W-30, for instance, to get an instant response.

This minor change will increase the clearance of bearing in the motor along with raising pressure and allowing the pump to carry the right balance in the future. If you figure out having low oil, consider pouring the necessary amount and get back the normal oil pressure.

Sometimes, the issue of oil pressure also arises with oil filter incapability. Car owners should know that oil filters play a vital role in maintaining oil pressure. The filter often gets clogged and reduces oil pressure by affecting the flow.

The best solution is to get a lifetime oil filter for your car. A lifetime oil filter is reusable which is made from high-quality aluminum and stainless steel. Compared with a disposable oil filter, a lifetime oil filter gives you better performance, ease of optimal oil flow, and increased oil pressure all at once.

Moreover, you should not forgo any of the causes of having low oil pressure we have discussed earlier since those are also apt to take place. You are required to increase the oil pressure unless it goes out of the range.

Before making any change to your vehicle and engine, read the vehicle manual, which is the best guide for you. You should find the perfect balance for oil pressure in the book, and by doing it, you help yourself best treat the engine.