Person pouring oil into an engine

What is the oil pump and what are its most common faults?

Person pouring oil into an engine
min reading
With proper maintenance, the oil pump should not fail in your car. It is an essential element. We tell you how it works and what faults it can have.

The oil pump is an essential element in the operation of any car. Thanks to it, the engine remains lubricated and keeps its temperature adequate so that it does not overheat. Because it is a very important element, you should know what its main faults are and that you perform periodic maintenance on it.

What is the oil pump?

So that the lubricant found in the engine crankcase can be distributed throughout all its passages , it is necessary to have an oil pump to mobilize it. The pump is responsible for distributing the oil throughout the engine, thus preventing serious breakdowns from occurring.

The pump facilitates the circulation of oil through the engine by providing pressure that causes the stored oil to rise to the highest areas to lubricate all areas of the engine. The pump will maintain a constant pressure and flow . As you can see, the role of the oil pump is essential for the correct functioning of any engine, for this reason it is advisable that you check it regularly and know how to identify possible breakdowns.

Causes of oil pump breakdowns

Changing the oil at the time indicated by the manufacturer is absolutely necessary. If it is not changed in time, excess dirt can accumulate in the oil pump filter, making it unable to maintain its flow and pressure to send oil to all parts of the engine.

This can cause friction inside it, which can cause serious engine damage. This dirt from combustion can block the internal oil circulation passages. For the pump to work correctly, and not cause breakdowns in your car, you must perform proper maintenance and change the oil when necessary.

Most frequent oil pump breakdowns

Mechanic repairing a car

The breakdowns suffered by the oil pump are usually related to a lack of pressure or particles within the circuit. Other times, a bad oil filter can damage the pump. The engine may have pressure problems due to a leak or malfunction of the relief pump. Therefore, a lack of pressure does not always mean damage to the pump.

    Oil leaks through the pump seal are the most common cause of oil pump failure. To solve this, you just have to replace the damaged gasket with a new one. If the gear teeth are subjected to high pressure, they can wear out and cause pump failure.

    How to Identify Oil Pump Problems

    You can detect pump failures if you look at your car’s dashboard. You will see an icon that indicates the oil pressure. The light comes on when you start the car and indicates that the system is not yet ready. When the light goes off, the circuit will already have the necessary pressure so that you can start your car. If this light stays on for a long time and in full motion, you should stop the car since there is insufficient pressure in the circuit, and the engine could suffer irreparable damage.

    Breakdowns caused by the oil pump are expensive, so the best option is to perform proper maintenance. To do this, you must check the oil and filter following the manufacturer’s instructions for your vehicle.

    On the other hand, maintaining efficient driving in which you do not rev the engine too much can help you improve the oil pump’s functioning and prevent it from breaking down.


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