What Causes Oil Pump Failure?

by Jason Medina

All vehicles use an oil pump to pump and pressurize engine oil. An oil pump ensures that oil stays moving and flowing throughout all parts of the engine during operation. A malfunctioning oil pump can seriously damage a vehicle's engine.

Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear can cause an oil pump to fail eventually, gradually losing its ability to function at optimal levels with repeated use.

Infrequent Oil Changes

A vehicle that does not receive frequent oil changes will develop a lot of wear particulate, grime and sludge in its engine oil, all of which can lead to failure.

Oil Contamination

Oil contamination, in the form of gasoline in the oil, metallic wear particles, or any other foreign substance in a vehicle's oil, can, over time, cause an oil pump to fail.

Low Engine Oil Level

If a vehicle is routinely driven with a low engine oil level, its oil pump can experience increased friction, which can lead to warping, mechanical defects, and ultimately, oil pump failure.

Engine Sludge

Engine sludge, which is usually a combination of dirt, contamination and old engine oil is highly damaging to a vehicle's mechanical parts, restricting normal oil flow and causing friction and heat build-up, both of which can lead to oil pump failure.