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How to Increase the Oil Pressure in a Car

by Contributor

Ask any high-performance engine builder what the main cause of engine failure is and, short of parts breakage, it is problems with the oil supply. Oil is the life blood of an engine, and every moving component inside the engine is designed to operate on a cushion of oil. The faster you go--and, thus, the faster you turn the engine--the more oil pressure you need to provide the same level of lubrication as at the lower revolutions per minute (rpms). There are ways to improve your oil pressure if you are willing to spend some time and have a little mechanical ability.

Prepare the car. Open the hood and apply the parking brake. Raise the front of the car on the jack and place jack stands under the chassis. Lower the car onto the stands.

Drain the oil. Place a catch pan under the oil pan drain plug and remove the drain plug with a wrench. Allow the oil to drain into the pan. This is also a good time to change the oil filter. Place the catch pan under the oil filter and remove the filter with an oil filter wrench. Allow the filter to drain into the pan. Place a drop of old oil around the rubber gasket of the new oil filter and spin it into place on the filter mounting pad. Once the rubber gasket makes contact with the pad, tighten it three-quarters of a turn by hand.

Remove the catch pan. Dispose of the used oil and filter in an appropriate manner. (Most communities have a designated place to throw away waste like this.)

Loosen the oil pan. With a socket, loosen and remove the bolts from the perimeter of the oil pan. Pull the oil pan to remove it. Place it off to the side in a clean location. Remove the oil pump. Remove the oil pump retaining bolt with a wrench. Drop the oil pump from the oil pump mount.

Replace the oil pump. Place the new high pressure oil pump onto the oil pump mounting pad and replace the retaining bolt. Tighten the bolt with a wrench. Remove the oil pick up from the old oil pump by removing the retaining bolt with a wrench. Re-install the pick up on the new oil pump and tighten the bolt with a wrench.

Replace the oil pan. Scrape the old gasket off of the pan with a gasket scraper. Once it is clean, apply a bead of gasket sealer around the edge of the pan and set the new gasket in place. Allow the gasket to tack up for a few minutes. Place the oil pan against the bottom of the engine block and reinstall the bolts by hand and finger tighten them. With all of the bolts finger-tight, tighten them with a socket wrench.

Add the oil. Raise the car off of the stands with the jack and remove the stands. Lower the vehicle slowly and remove the jack. Pour the new oil into the engine through the oil fill location on top of the engine. Start the engine and check for oil leaks. Shut the engine off and shut the hood.

Tip

  • Wait until your engine has cooled off before attempting to change the oil pump. This will prevent you from becoming burned.

Warning

  • Never work on a raised vehicle without support stands. It could cause injury or death if it falls on you.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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Photo Credits

  • pressure-gauge image by Dusan Radivojevic from Fotolia.com