When oil circulates through the engine of a car, it is the same as the blood which circulates through the human body. The purpose of engine oil is to provide lubrication to all the engine’s moving components, so they stay functioning smoothly and steadily. Think of the engine like a human heart which pumps blood to its other vital organs. In this case, oil keeps the vital components of the engine healthy and strong. If the engine ever had low levels of oil, then permanent damage could be caused to it. Then you’ll need to spend thousands of dollars either replacing the engine or purchasing an entirely new vehicle.
As you can see, it is very important to keep the oil levels normal in your engine. It can save you so much time, money, and stress in the long run. Besides, it is so easy and affordable to add more oil to an engine. This is a job that most people can even do themselves. Just go to your local auto store and purchase the proper type of oil, according to what is recommended in the owner’s manual. Most engine oil products only cost around $20 to $40, so it’s not much at all.
Of course, if you want to ensure that the oil is added or changed correctly, then go to an auto service-person and have them do it for you. They may also investigate the reason for the low oil level. If there is a leak anywhere in the engine or one of its corresponding parts, then they can fix that leak for you in order to prevent this problem from happening again.
5 Common Symptoms
It will be easy to recognize when you have low engine oil because the symptoms will be more than obvious. Some of the symptoms are less severe than others, but you should take each one seriously, nonetheless. Below are the top 5 symptoms of low engine oil in your car.
1) Strange Knocking Sounds
Your engine components depend on lubrication in order to reduce friction and heat. If you have low engine oil, then the components won’t be lubricated properly. This will eventually cause the engine rods to loosen and get tossed all over the place inside the engine. You’ll know this is happening because of the knocking sounds that are heard from it.
2) Oil Light
The oil warning light should be the very first symptom you notice if your oil levels are low. The engine control unit can detect whenever there is not enough oil circulating through the engine. This is detected by an oil pressure sensor which analyzes how fast oil flows in the engine. If you have less oil, then you have less oil pressure too. This causes the engine control unit to activate the Oil Warning Light on your dashboard.
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3) Failed Dipstick Test
A dipstick is the best way to find out whether you have low oil levels in your engine. Just make sure you perform the test after your engine has been off for at least 1 hour. After you conduct the test with the dipstick, you’ll know whether you need to add oil or not.
4) Burning Odor
When your engine components are not lubricated thoroughly, the friction and heat generated will also cause a burning odor too. This burning odor comes from the hot metal components rubbing together. Since there is no oil to cool them down, the odor will only get worse as your engine stays running.
5) Engine Malfunction
If you’ve ignored these other symptoms for a while, then the problem could escalate to an engine malfunction. As your engine components keep wearing down due to a lack of lubrication, they will eventually suffer permanent damage. Because of this, your engine will fail to even operate normally anymore.