Your car is a complicated piece of modern engineering. It needs to have everything working in perfect balance and all fluids should be at optimal levels. These little details can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring the vehicle lasts. Something as simple as having your oil light come on while braking can be a warning sign of more critical problems.
This post is intended to help educate you about why your oil light comes on, what causes it, and what can be done to resolve and prevent the issue. The more you know, the easier it will be to avoid the issue in the future.
Vehicles are fitted with a variety of sensors to ensure that serious damage doesn’t occur due to driver error. These include oil pressure sensors, coolant temp, ABS sensors, and of course low oil level sensors. Let's have a look at why you’re warning light may come on.
This is the most common reason as to why your oil light may come on while braking. Low oil can be detrimental to the engine. It can cause overheating and excessive wear to moving parts. It is very important to closely check the level on the infotainment system or dipstick. The amount of oil may seem fine, but when braking, it will cause it to shift and cause the “low oil level” indicator to come on.
Other reasons that may cause low oil level light to come on include, but are not limited to:
As you can tell, there are several reasons as to why your “Low Oil” may turn on. The first thing to do if you notice it is to check the actual level. On older models, checking the dipstick would be the best plan of attack.
Simply pop the hood and look for the dipstick. If you don’t know where it is located, check the owner's manual. Be careful though, as some older vehicles will also have a dipstick for the transmission fluid.
On newer vehicles, this process can be done from the comfort of the driver's seat without even having to pop the hood. Usually, checking the oil level can be accessed in the infotainment system by going to the “Settings” section.
Every manufacturer will have a different method of checking the oil level. However, a simple watch this video, and you’ll be an expert at getting into your car’s settings in no time. It’s as easy as that.
As previously mentioned, one of the first things to do is to check the oil level. If that checks out we’ll need to look a little further. Alternatively, if you have to keep adding oil in between changes, chances are that there is a leak somewhere.
If the oil is topped up, a vehicle scan for fault codes may be required. This can be done via an OBD2 reader. Not only will it check for sensor problems, but can help show certain parameters such as oil and fuel pressures. It is equally important to know as it can help prevent other majors problems.
Oil Leaks can be caused by a variety of factors such as old gaskets or even cracked engine heads. One can be fixed relatively easily and inexpensively, while the other can take several days and a lot of money.
The best thing to do is to take care of the problem as the first signs of trouble. Putting it off from one day to another will only make it worse. An oil leak can, regardless of how it is caused, can be one of the main reasons why your oil light comes on while braking.
Leaving the problem as and just topping up the oil is like putting a bandaid on a serious cut. It will not solve the problem, but rather hide it. On top of that, oil leaks can cause further damage to key components of the car. And let's not forget about the environmental impact of it.
In conclusion, some of the most common reasons that your oil light may come on while braking can be caused by low oil, a defective sensor, and even a failing or seized water pump. The latter could have serious negative consequences almost instantly.
Start by checking the oil and working your way down the list in terms of seriousness. If you are unsure, have the vehicle checked by a trained mechanic. This way, further damage will be prevented.
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Willie here (hope u still remember me)
Great post, Mike! (as always).
Loved it! It's helpful and concise.
But, from what I know, a bad oil pump can also cause this problem. What do u think?
Besides, do you know how much is the fixing cost? I think it's worth mentioning in your blog post. Many readers (and I) are interested in this.
Anyway, well done, Mike. I'll be your avid reader now.