An oil pressure warning light (or low gauge reading) means one of two things: either your engine has dangerously low oil pressure or the oil pressure sending unit that triggers the warning light (or operates your gauge) has failed.
If your oil level was low, it means your engine is either leaking oil or burning it. Leaks can be fixed by finding and replacing leaky gaskets and seals. Sometimes the oil filter will leak if it isn’t installed or tightened properly. But an oil burning problem means the valve guides, rings and/or cylinders are worn or damaged and more serious repairs may be needed.
The oil pressure may be low because of a worn or broken oil pump, a plugged oil pickup screen in the engine’s crankcase, possibly a plugged oil filter or excessive bearing wear. Or, the oil pressure may be fine but the oil pressure sending unit has failed. Further diagnosis will be required to determine what’s wrong.
If you think you might have a low oil pressure or oil delivery problem because of a bad oil pump or one of the other problems mentioned above, it is recommended that you do not drive your vehicle. Doing so only increases the probability of further engine damage. Call Erve’s Towing 801.266.7961 and have your vehicle towed to Bill’s Auto for repair and auto services.
Important Note: On some late model of vehicles, the warning light will come on (or a message will appear) if a sensor in the oil pan detects a low oil level. The light is supposed to come on before the level gets low enough to cause any damage.