How to Know If Your Oil Pump Is Going Bad

by Elyse James

The oil pump plays an important role in any vehicle because it supplies fuel to the engine, allowing it to run. If the oil pump becomes worn or breaks, it can cause damage to the engine or result in engine failure. If you pay enough attention to your vehicle, you will notice problems with your oil pump before it requires costly engine repairs .

Look on your dashboard to see whether your car has an oil pressure gauge. One of the easiest ways to detect oil pump failure involves noting a decrease in oil pressure. If your reading is low, have your pump serviced. Normal oil pressure of a warm engine is typically 30 to 45 lbs. per square inch (psi).

Listen to the sounds of your engine as you drive.Clattering or tinkling noises indicate that your pump might require replacement.

Add new oil to the oil tank. If you notice low oil pressure, or if a service light comes on telling you to check the oil pressure, stop your car immediately and check the oil level. Once you've added more oil, if the light stays on and the pressure is still reduced, have a mechanic look at your oil pump.

About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.