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5 Symptoms of A Bad Oil Pump

Dec. 15, 2022
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There are common symptoms you will notice when an oil pump fails, such as a drop in oil pressure or an overheated engine. If you hear a noise coming from your engine's valve train or oil pump, or if your car won't start at all, it's almost like a death sentence for your engine's oil pump. 

In this guide, you'll learn to spot a bad oil pump in your vehicle. Recognizing the signs of a bad oil pump is key.

1. Oil pressure drops

The engine oil pump is responsible for pressurizing the entire oil system. Therefore, a drop in oil pressure is the first sign of a problem.

However, most cars do not have an oil pressure gauge. Your vehicle may be equipped with an oil pressure warning light or indicator.

The light is in the shape of an oil can. When it turns on, this indicates that you should stop driving immediately to prevent any further damage to your engine.

5 Symptoms of A Bad Oil Pump

2. Engine overheating

Next, a faulty oil pump can also cause the engine to overheat. When the oil pump fails to circulate the oil properly, the engine will quickly overheat. The excess heat will certainly overwhelm the cooling capacity of that system.

This is another reason why you must stop the engine as soon as you notice signs of a faulty oil pump and have it towed to the shop.

3. Noise of the system

First, you will hear noise from the valve train system. That's the engine component that includes the hydraulic tappets, pushrods, valve guides and other moving parts.

When not enough engine oil flows over to lubricate these parts, they begin to rub against each other. When you hear these sounds, you must turn off your car immediately.

4. Noise from the oil pump itself

Of course, a faulty oil pump itself will make a noise. However, most drivers don't notice this noise unless they look for it.

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If you have the opportunity to hear a noise coming directly from the oil pump while inspecting the engine compartment, it is an early sign of a faulty part. You will hear a whining or whirring sound as its internal moving parts wear out. You will hear these sounds even when the car is idling.

5 Symptoms of A Bad Oil Pump


5. The car won't start

In the most severe cases of fuel pump failure, your car won't start at all. None of its parts can move, so the combustion process does not take place.

At this stage, you have no choice but to tow the vehicle to the workshop. In addition to replacing the fuel pump, the mechanic must thoroughly inspect the engine for any other signs of damage.

Can you drive with a bad fuel pump?

No, you can't drive with a bad fuel pump. Doing so is a bad idea for two reasons.

First, a faulty oil pump cannot circulate oil to lubricate engine components. Therefore, when you keep your engine running without enough oil, its metal parts will rub against each other and damage the engine from the inside.

Second, insufficient circulating oil can cause the engine to overheat and cause engine damage.

Therefore, as soon as you become aware of bad oil pump symptoms, turn off the engine and have someone troubleshoot it. 

To learn more about engine oil pumps and other auto parts, check out the blog on AUTOTOOLDEPOT. There are many educational blog posts to help you understand the condition of your car, and contact us for product listings and quotes! Autotools Depot has been in this business for more than 20 years and served lots of customers around the world. With our years of experience behind us, we guarantee that you will be satisfied with our products and service. 

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