Oil Change | Baltimore, MD | AutoStream Car Care Center

Oil Light Observations

What Does My Oil Light Mean?

An illuminated dashboard light causes concern for most drivers. Worse, the oil light frightens many motorists more so than some of the other lamps. When your virtual oil can lights up, perhaps you’ll wonder what it means and how it might have been triggered. We’re glad to help you navigate those questions. For all your oil change needs, entrust your vehicle to the ASE certified technicians at AutoStream Car Care Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

A Quick Review of Oil’s Function

First, let’s review oil’s vital functions in your vehicle. First, it lubricates the moving metal parts in the internal combustion engine, reducing friction that would otherwise be catastrophic. Also, it removes some of the heat that results from that friction. Finally, it suspends dirt and debris, keeping them from becoming abrasive to engine components. As oil ages over time and across miles, it can begin to break down. It loses some of its essential properties. Not only does it no longer protect as well, but it can also begin to combine with dirt, allowing sludge to form.

The Oil Light’s Purpose

Now that you see how critical a sufficient supply of clean engine lubricant is to your car, you can better understand the oil light’s purpose. If you are low on oil (for whatever reason) or if the oil quality has become poor, you need to know that as a driver/owner so that you can remedy the situation before you have a significant or catastrophic problem. The oil light will let you know if there is an issue with your oil that needs attention, and it’s best not to ignore it.

Reasons for Oil Light Illumination

There are multiple contributors that can cause your oil light to come on. You could have an insufficient amount (due to a general low level or a leak), or it could be dirty. It’s a good practice to check your oil periodically even if you don’t suspect a problem. While we can certainly do that for you, you can also develop the habit of checking it yourself between visits to our shop. You’ll begin, of course, by raising the auto’s hood. Your owner’s manual will show you where to find the oil dipstick handle. Pulling the handle, remove the dipstick and wipe any oil clinging to it with a clean cloth or sturdy disposable wipe. Reinsert the stick completely, and pull it out again. You will now be able to obtain a true reading of the oil level. You’ll notice markings on the stick that indicate sufficient or insufficient oil levels. If you’re lacking oil due to loss through leakage, we can repair that for you.

Regardless of the cause, AutoStream Car Care Center can determine the reason the oil light has illuminated and remedy the situation. You can trust us for all your engine maintenance and repair needs, from oil and oil filter changes to more significant leak repairs and more. Come see us in Baltimore today!

Written by Doug Grills