Engine oil plays an essential role in every internal combustion engine. It lubricates and cools the internal engine parts. However, it must be clean and adequately tightened to carry out this duty. And that’s where the oil filter comes into play. The filter filters any contaminants in the engine, preventing them from entering the engine oil.
And the filters should be replaced every oil change and be appropriately tightened for it to work as intended. Some folks complained of seeing the illumination of the low-pressure oil light on their dashboard after an oil change. This prompts them to ask, can a loose oil filter cause low oil pressure?
In this article, we’ll see if a loose filter can cause low oil pressure in car. We’ll outline the causes of loose filters, other causes of low oil pressure, what happens if the filter is loose, and how to fix low oil pressure lights.
Can a loose oil filter cause low oil pressure?
A loose filter can cause low oil pressure in a vehicle. The filter removes contaminants from the oil as it circulates through the engine. If the filter is loose, it may not be able to properly seal and filter the oil, leading to a drop in oil pressure. If this happens, the engine control unit will project an oil pressure light – a low oil pressure symptom to tell you something isn’t right.
Causes of loose oil filter
There are several causes of a loose filter. Here are the most probable causes you should watch out for.
One common cause is improper installation. If the filter is not correctly tightened, it can become loose over time. You may notice the oil filter leaking engine oil as it becomes loose.
Another cause is vibration. The filter may become loose due to vibration if a vehicle is driven on rough roads or is frequently taken off-road.
Additionally, if the filter is not the right fit for the vehicle, it may not be able to seal properly and may become loose.
What happens if oil filter is loose?
If a filter is loose, it can lead to several problems. One of the most significant problems is that it can allow unfiltered oil to circulate through the engine. This can lead to the accumulation of contaminants, which can cause catastrophe to the engine.
Additionally, a loose oil filter can lead to a drop in oil pressure or low engine oil level, which can cause the engine to run poorly or even stall. In worst cases, if the filter falls off ultimately, it can cause catastrophic engine damage.
To prevent these problems, it is essential to ensure that the filter is tightened correctly and is the correct fit for the vehicle. It is also important to replace it at every oil change interval.
Furthermore, if you suspect that your filter is loose, it is best to have it checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your engine.
Other causes of low oil pressure
Low or no oil pressure can have a variety of causes, including issues with the oil pump, problems with the filter, or worn-out bearings in the engine.
Low engine oil
One of the most common causes of low oil pressure is a lack of oil in the engine. This can be caused by a leak, such as a faulty oil seal, or simply not checking the oil level frequently enough and allowing it to run low.
Another common cause is a clogged filter. A clogged filter can restrict oil flow to the engine and cause the pressure to drop.
Worn-out engine bearings
Bearings are used to support the moving parts of the engine, and over time they can become worn and no longer provide proper support. This can cause the parts to rub against each other, leading to damage and a drop in oil pressure.
Lousy oil pump
The pump is responsible for moving oil throughout the engine; if it is not functioning accurately, it can cause the pressure to drop. The pump can fail over time from regular use or due to a clog in the oil passages.
Clogged oil passages
The oil passages are responsible for directing oil to all the moving parts of the engine, and if they become clogged, this can restrict the flow of oil and cause low oil pressure. Oil passages can become clogged due to debris, such as engine sludge or buildup.
Lousy oil pressure sensor or gauge
The sensor or gauge measures the oil pressure and sends a signal to the engine control unit (ECU). If the sensor malfunctions, it can send a false reading to the car’s computer. The engine control module will work with this information and trigger the low oil pressure on the dashboard.
How to fix low oil pressure
Fixing low oil pressure typically involves identifying and rectifying the underlying cause of the issue. Here are some steps that can be taken to resolve car low oil pressure:
Check the pressure
As explained earlier, low oil Level is one of the most common causes of low oil pressure. To fix this, check the oil level using the dipstick and add more oil if necessary. Make sure to use the correct type of oil for your vehicle and to check the oil level while the engine is cold.
Replace the filter
A clogged filter can restrict the flow of oil to the engine and cause the pressure to drop. The defective filter should be replaced with a new one.
Check the oil pressure sensor or gauge
If a diagnosis proves the oil pressure sensors or gauges are bad, the only solution will be to replace them.
Replace the oil pump
If a diagnosis proves you have a failed pump, you must replace it to fix the low oil pressure. It would be unfair if I failed to point out that this is not a DIYer repair task.
Check for clogged oil passages
If you see engine sludge in the valve cover and think the oil passages are clogged, you have to fix the sludge issues and see if that rectifies the problem.
Check for worn-out bearings
As explained earlier, if the bearings in the engine are worn out, they can cause the parts to rub against each other, which can lead to damage and a drop in oil pressure.
To fix this, remove the crankcase and check for metal shavings. If metal shavings are in the crankcase, you have to disassemble the engine and examine the internal parts. If the diagnosis proves the bearings are worn, you should replace them with new ones.
It’s important to note that it’s best to have a professional mechanic diagnose and fix the engine oil pressure low and loose oil filter issue, as some procedures, like disassembling the engine and replacing the oil pump, can be dangerous and require specific skills and tools.
At this juncture, we’ve cleared the confusion – can a loose oil filter cause low oil pressure? A loose filter can cause low oil pressure in a vehicle. Loose oil pressure is mainly caused by improper installation, vibration, and wrong fit.
A loose filter can lead to several problems, such as the accumulation of contaminants and engine failure. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the filter is properly tightened and is the correct fit for the vehicle.