How to Check if an Oil Pump is Bad

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Time is a major issue when it comes to diagnosing problems with your car. If you wait too long, something that was once fixable can destroy your car over time. Keeping a close eye on your car's oil pump is extremely important because a bad oil pump can deprive your engine of oil pressure and severely damage or ruin it.

  • Look at the dashboard when you slow down and when you take off. If the "check oil pressure" light appears when you are stopped and disappears when you begin moving, this is a sign that your oil pump is having problems.

  • Pop open your hood and remove your oil dipstick to check your oil. If your oil measures low on your dipstick, there may be a crack in your oil pump, debris stuck in the pump, or some other problem with your oil pump.

  • Listen carefully for any noises coming from your engine, such as a rattling or whining noise. A bad oil pump will cause the engine to lose oil pressure and become damaged.

  • Park your car and look underneath. If there is a large amount of oil on the ground, the oil pump has gone out.

  • Take your car to a mechanic, who will have to remove your oil pump and disassemble it. Reassembling the oil pump and putting it back in your car is the only way to know for sure that your oil pump is the culprit of your car problems.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are unsure how to locate your oil dipstick, consult your owner's manual to find out. Even if you have nowhere to drive, let your car run for a few minutes each day; an oil pump on a car that has sat for a long period of time can stop working properly.
  • Do not put off getting your car checked out when it begins making noises or when lights come on. Time is critical with oil pump problems.

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