High or Low Engine Oil Pressure
The oil in your engine is used to cool and lubricate the bearings and machined surfaces of the internal moving parts.
Without oil and oil pressure your engine will experience extreme internal engine damage due to heat caused by friction. All engines run on a pre-set pressure that cannot be adjusted without other modification uprated pumps on some models. This pressure will vary depending on engine speed and temperature. As a rule of thumb the engine oil pressure gauge should never drop below 1/4 pressure and never exceed 3/4 pressure.
To check for these conditions below a manual oil pressure gauge is needed. Locate the oil pressure port near the engine oil filter. Remove the sender or switch and install the oil pressure gauge adapters will be needed insure its the right thread.Note insure this is a tight fit. Start the engine and observe the gauge. From cold to hot as the density of oil will change.
If the gauge indicates the low pressure this could mean:
- Engine could have low oil level or incorrect grade or amount.
- Broken oil pump pressure relief spring (common on older cars)
- Excessive bearing clearances (worn components)
If the gauge indicates the high oil pressure this could mean:
- The engine oil pressure sender has failed (common)
- The engine oil pump could have a stuck pressure relieve valve