Things To Know About The Oil Lights In Your Vehicle - Service Information at Capitol Toyota

Knowing a few things about your vehicle can go a long way toward helping you take the best care of it, and it's nice to know what to do when you see something like an oil warning light. At Capitol Toyota, we've put together articles like this one to help you know more about your vehicle. Below, our experts look at five things you should know about the oil system in your vehicle and what those oil lights on the dash or gauge cluster mean. To learn more, give our authorized Toyota service center a call or schedule your next Toyota maintenance right here online.

If you see this oil warning light, your engine is at risk of serious damage 

5. There's A Difference Between The Oil Warning Light & Oil Change Reminder

If your Toyota or other vehicle is equipped with some manner of maintenance reminder, you may have seen a light or message come on to tell you that it's time to change the oil. These reminders come in a variety of looks, but they're all self-explanatory when you see them. When you see this light, the best thing to do is make an appointment with your local authorized service center. They'll take care of the maintenance that's due and reset the oil change light.

The oil warning light, however, is another matter entirely. This light typically looks something like a genie lamp with a drop coming out of the end, but sometimes it may just be a red light that says oil. In fact, any red warning light is an indication that your vehicle is at risk of serious damage. In this case, the light is telling you that the engine oil pressure has dropped to dangerously low levels. Running the engine with low oil pressure can quickly destroy it.

Message on car gauge cluster that it is time to change the engine oil 

4. Low Oil Pressure

If the low oil pressure warning light is on in your ride, the best thing you can do is shut the engine off and not drive the vehicle until the matter is resolved. We understand that this can be awfully inconvenient, but it's better than needing a new engine. Fortunately, the oil pressure light often comes on when the sensor goes bad. Fixing a bad sensor is generally quick, easy, and affordable.

3. Low Oil Level

One of the most obvious reasons for engine oil pressure to be low is that the amount of oil in the engine is too low. To avoid this, check the engine oil regularly by parking on a level spot, letting the engine cool down, and checking the oil dipstick. It likely has a yellow loop or handle. When you pull the dipstick out the first time, wipe it off and reinsert it all the way. Then pull it out again to determine the accurate level of oil in your engine. If it's too low, make sure you fill it with the recommended type of engine oil as stated in the owner's manual or on the oil fill cap on the engine.

An oil pump like this one is responsible for keeping engine parts lubricated 

2. Engine Oil Pump Isn't Working

If the level of oil in your engine is fine and the sensor is working the way it should, the most likely reason for low oil pressure is the oil pump. This is located at the bottom of the engine inside the oil pan and replacing it can be a big job. We don't see this problem too often with Toyota models, but if you do need a new oil pump, it's easier and more affordable to replace it than an engine that's been destroyed because it didn't have any oil pressure.

1. Don't Drive Your Vehicle With Low Oil Pressure

We mentioned this above, but it's important enough to earn the number one spot in this list. That's because low oil pressure doesn't have to ruin an engine, but it will if you keep driving the vehicle without enough oil pressure. The light is your first and most important warning. If you wait until the engine starts making new and disturbing noises, it's likely already too late. So, if your oil pressure light comes on, turn off the engine and address the problem right away. It may simply be a matter of adding some oil and finding out why the level got low in the first place, or it may be something more involved like replacing the oil pump. No matter what the problem and solution, trust the experts at an authorized dealership service center like Capitol Toyota, next to Keizer, OR.

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  1. Capitol Toyota

    783 Auto Group Avenue
    Salem, OR 97301

    • Sales: (888) 459-7024

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Capitol Toyota

783 Auto Group Avenue Ne
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-399-1011
  • Service: 503-399-1011
  • Parts: 503-399-1011