SBT Car News

Why Is The Oil Light In The Car Blinking?

oil light

The vehicle’s instrument panel has various warning lights. Each has a specific purpose. When a warning light starts blinking, it usually is a sign of an issue that requires quick and decisive action. However, not all warning lights require you to stop driving immediately. If you maintain your car regularly, then you need not panic about seeing the oil light in the car blink.

However, it is necessary to comprehend the different reasons that make the oil warning light blink. When you know the possible reasons, you are in a better position to take the correct action. Let’s explore the causes and solutions for the oil light in the car to blink.

Where Is The Oil Warning Light, And How To Identify It

Whatever vehicle you drive, it is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with its controls and settings. This includes knowing the locations of the warning lights on the dash. Their positioning is fairly standard across different makes and models. If you are unsure, you can check the vehicle’s manual for guidance.

While the position is the same across vehicles, its image can differ. Typically, the warning light for oil is represented by an oil can. In some vehicles, it may be accompanied by the word “oil.”

The oil warning oil may appear in different colors to reflect the severity of the issue. For instance, red usually means it requires immediate action; orange or yellow may reflect a minor issue you should fix as soon as possible. In some cars, the warning light for oil may begin to flash, indicating urgency.

Causes and Solutions

Following are some of the reasons that can lead to the oil change light to turn in color or start blinking. Let’s take a look at these along with their solution.

Low Oil Level or Worn-Out Oil

One of the primary reasons for the oil light to start giving a warning signal is low oil levels. Without it, the engine cannot function properly, requiring oil to overcome the friction between parts.

Lack of lubrication can cause the engine to damage itself or seize up. Sometimes, the damage can be beyond repair. You should change the car oil every 5,000 miles or every three to six months, whichever comes first. Moreover, to avoid this, you should check the oil level regularly and ensure that you maintain it.

Clogged Filter

The oil filter is an integral part of the system that ensures the right oil pressure in the engine. A dirty or clogged oil filter can reduce the flow of oil as the oil pressure increases. It can be one of the reasons that the oil light starts to blink.

In this case, you can replace the oil filter to regulate the oil pressure again in the right way. A new oil filter will ensure the oil flow is smooth, allowing the engine to function properly.

Faulty Oil Pump or Oil Pressure Gauge

Another reason for the oil light to blink could be a problem with the oil pressure gauge. In this case, you will find that the oil levels will be normal. A common reason for the oil pump to malfunction is faulty wiring or another electric problem that causes inaccurate readings and activates the oil warning light.

If you suspect this is why the oil light blinks, you will have to visit a mechanic who will test the oil pressure mechanically. They can also perform a thorough diagnostic test to determine the source of the problem. It will reveal whether or not a faulty oil pressure gauge is the culprit.

An Overheating Engine

Another common reason for the oil light to blink is an overheating engine. This problem usually arises in older cars. If you see the oil light blinking and there are audible clicking sounds from the engine, chances are the engine is overheated due to a lack of oil lubrication.

The car oil fails to lubricate the engine properly when it is overheated. In this case, it either changes in viscosity or burns off completely and behaves more like water than oil. If this happens to your engine, it will undergo extensive wear and tear quickly and more than usual. In certain cases, the damage to the engine can be irreparable. The quicker you move to resolve this problem from a professional mechanic, the better it will be for your car’s health.

Oil Leaks

Another possible reason for the oil light to blink could be an oil leak. It can occur through gaskets, o-rings, broken pipes, or worn-out seals. A significant oil leak can reduce the oil pressure, which can cause the oil light to blink. You should be vigilant but oil leaks and check the ground before driving your car away.

How To Check The Oil Level Yourself

If you own a car, you probably know how to check the oil level. It is to ensure that there is enough engine oil at all times. You can also ensure this through regular maintenance and compliance with your car’s inspection due dates.

However, if you are not aware of how to check the oil level yourself, it is something you should learn to avoid any mishap. To check the level of the oil, ensure that the car is not tilted. Next, the engine should be warm but makes sure it is switched off for a while.

Then you can pull the oil dipstick out to clean and reinsert. After you take it out, you will find out the current oil status from the stick markings.

Consequences Of Ignoring The Oil Warning Light

You shouldn’t think that ignoring the blinking oil light will solve matters by itself. They will only get worse. Your car will start breaking down more frequently, which can be a nuisance when you have to attend important meetings or events.

Moreover, neglecting the issue can lead to a bigger financial liability later on. Major engine damage can be very costly as opposed to fixing the issue right away at a minimal cost. Therefore it is imperative to take it seriously and act accordingly if the light starts blinking.

What To Do When The Oil Light Starts To Blink

If you are on the road and the oil light in the car starts blinking, the first thing to do is keep calm and don’t panic. You can call roadside assistance right away if you are unsure of the actual problem, or you can slowly drive the car to a nearby workshop.

It would be the right thing to do instead of continuing to drive to your destination and ignoring the signals. If you continue to drive with little oil or less oil pressure, then it can significantly reduce the life of your engine and lead to irreparable damage.


Any issue in the vehicle, irrespective of the complexity, is not to be ignored under any circumstance. It can lead to bigger problems later on and a higher financial burden. SBT Japan ensures that it thoroughly checks all used cars before we stock our inventory. You will only find the best cars to choose from our online portal. Find your next car or contact our customer support for further assistance.