Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive?

You may get stressed out when you see the oil light on in your vehicle. Do you know what it means? Oil light on how long can I drive? Is it even safe to drive? Let’s find out.

Even after regular maintenance of cars, many people find low oil pressure in their vehicles. You may panic when you see the oil light popping up. But do you know what it means? Is it ok to drive your vehicle with low oil pressure? How long can I drive with oil change light on? 

So, when the oil light is turned on, you need to get your vehicle checked by a mechanic and get it fixed as soon as possible. However, you can drive for a few miles without worrying about any damage. Generally, you can drive for up to 500 miles or 2 weeks before the oil light turns into a problem. 

Remember, once the oil light is turned on, it will go downhill much faster and damage the engine. So it is better to pull over and switch off the engine immediately. Change the engine oil sooner rather than waiting for the damage to happen.

In this article, let us look further at why your oil light has popped up and what you can do about it.


Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive


What Is The Use Of Oil In Your Vehicle’s Engine?

It lets you know when your engine oil level is low.

Oil is the main part of any vehicle, and it helps your car run smoothly and keeps the engine well lubricated. After a period of time, the oil pressure gets low and becomes less effective and needs to be changed from time to time. 

If you do not change the oil timely, it will damage the engine parts causing more problems. It also depends on how frequently you drive and what type of oil is used in your vehicle.

Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive?

You can continue to drive for about another 500 miles, but we won’t suggest you do it.

On average, you can drive your vehicle up to 5000 to 7000 miles before you need to replace the oil. And how long you can drive also depends on the signal you get in your vehicle. Usually, when the oil level goes down, your vehicle will show either red or yellow light. 

If a yellow light appears, your oil level has dropped to around one liter, and this is just a reminder that you need to get your vehicle to the service station soon. Typically you can still drive another 500 miles if this happens. 

And if a red light flashes, it means your vehicle’s oil is too low, and you will not be able to drive too far without fixing the issue. 


Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive


Reasons That Leads To Oil Light Popping Up?

Oil Pressure Is Low

This means oil pressure is too low in the vehicle or if the oil pump does not have enough oil for the engine to run smoothly. Oil is used to keep the engine running smoothly and effectively. So if your vehicle is showing low oil pressure, you need to stop your car and turn off the engine immediately. If you drive at low oil pressure, it can further damage the engine.

Oil Circuit Is Old

Your vehicle’s oil circuit wears out over time. You may find tiny gaps in the vehicle’s moving parts that will increase gradually over time. This causes low oil pressure. When your pump becomes old, it gradually causes the oil pressure to drop. If your oil pressure gets low due to these reasons, the oil light pops up and needs to be changed.

Time To Change The Oil

The oil level in your vehicle may decrease for many reasons, from volves damage to a problem with head gaskets. Eventually, your vehicle will not run smoothly and may cause severe damage.

You need to regularly replace your car’s oil as per your car’s manual. If you do not change the oil as recommended, the oil level will go down and turn on the oil light.

Oil Sensor Is Faulty

Sometimes, the oil sensor becomes faulty, making the oil light respond to the sensor. This problem may occur randomly, usually due to wear and tear. Sometimes some particle gets inside the oil sensor and sends false signals to your vehicle’s computer. You can check your vehicle’s oil level using a dip, and if it is fine, you need to get the sensor replaced.


Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive


What To Do When The Oil Light Pops Up While Driving?

Pull Over And Turn Off The Engine 

If you see the oil light turn on, the best thing you can do is pull over and turn off the engine immediately. So, your vehicle stops; it will help avoid any collisions on the road.

Check And Add Oil, If Required

You can use a dipstick and check the oil level remaining in your vehicle. Just take out the dipstick that will be there in your car’s hood and clean it properly first. Put it inside to check the oil level. And if you find the stick dry, it means the oil level is too low. Do not drive until you fix the issue. Driving at low oil pressure will further damage your car’s engine, and the repair will be expensive.

Should You Change The Oil Regularly?

Yes, you should change it every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

If you change your vehicle’s oil timely, the engine will run smoothly. When the engine oil is circulating properly, your vehicle will run smoothly without any issue. The engine parts will work much better and will also increase its durability. 

It gives you the following benefits:

  • Your engine will have a better lifespan. And if you sell your vehicle after a few years, you will be able to sell it at a much better price.
  • It will give better performance.
  • There will be a decrease in carbon emissions while driving.
  • Your vehicle will provide better mileage, and the engine will be well cleaned.


Oil Light On How Long Can I Drive


Can You Still Drive When The Oil Light Is On?

Yes, but ideally you should not.

No, you should not. Driving in low oil in the vehicle will damage the engine and further break down its motor. If you drive and your oil light turns on, take it seriously as it can lead to engine failure. Avoid driving until you replace the oil or get the issue fixed by a professional mechanic.

Oil Light Comes On When I Brake, What Could Be The Reason?

It could simply mean that your oil is low. Oil inside the oil tank might be sloshing away from the sensor which measures the oil level. This is more likely when the car is getting a jerk due to the brakes. In such a case, please ensure to add more oil to your car.

A Few Final Words

So if you find the oil light flashing up while driving, do not get stressed out as it won’t damage or stop your vehicle right away. You can drive safely for up to 500 miles or two weeks. It is advisable to keep a check on engine oil and get it changed timely. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope it helped you understand the significance of the oil change light in your car. You might like to read: How Long Can I Drive On 0% Oil Life?