3 Reasons Why Oil Pressure Light Comes on When Engine is Hot

If you’re driving and suddenly the oil pressure light turns on, then you have a problem. There may not be enough motor oil to lubricate the moving parts of the engine. The problem may be that the oil pump is failing. A third reason could be that the wrong oil is in the vehicle and it is flowing too fast.

The Oil Pressure Light Appears After the Engine Warms. What’s Wrong?

Your car is older than you would like. It still runs well, but you now have to warm the engine before you back out of your driveway and take off. You usually turn on your vehicle 5 minutes before you have to leave and either sit there scrolling on your phone or gather the last few items you need before going off to work. 

But now you’ve noticed a recent development. The oil pressure light appears a few minutes after the engine turns on.

When the oil pressure light appears on the dashboard of your vehicle, it means there is an issue with the oil pressure system. 

There could be one of three reasons causing issues in the oil system: 

  • You or your mechanic accidentally added the wrong type of oil to your engine and now it flows too quickly. 
  • The oil pump could be broken.
  • The third reason is not enough oil in the engine, meaning there is a leak somewhere.

A Failing or Broken Oil Pump

The oil in the engine moves with the help of an oil pump. The oil pump uses pressure to push the oil through the hundreds of heavy, small, or constantly moving components throughout the engine. Without the oil pump, the motor oil isn’t going anywhere and it will sit right in the oil pan.

Without the oil pump pressurizing the oil, there is no oil pressure. So, you will need to replace your oil pump as soon as possible to keep your engine in excellent condition. You’ll notice issues with the oil pump if the engine’s temperature is hotter than usual and if there is noise coming from the engine.

The cost of a brand-new oil pump is quite a lot of money. A brand-new oil pump ranges from $390 to $1300. This price is just for the oil pump itself. When you add in the cost of labor, an oil pump replacement job can cost between $500 and $1500.

The Wrong Type of Motor Oil Is in Your Vehicle

Every single vehicle requires motor oil. But you can’t just walk over to any motor oil product in an auto shop, buy it, and add it to your engine. You have to purchase a specific motor oil designed for your vehicle.

If you realize that you put the wrong type of motor oil in your engine, all hope is not lost. While it’s never a good idea to mix up motor oil types, at least there is motor oil in your vehicle. 

It would be so much worse: you could have accidentally poured water into the motor oil compartment. Then your engine would be destroyed forever. 

Here’s what you should do: 

Drive your vehicle to your mechanic and tell them you added the wrong motor oil to the engine. They will know what to do. 

First, they will check the underside of your vehicle and the engine to see if there’s anything leaking. 

Then, they will perform a full oil change and also flush out any oil remaining around the many components of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is flushed, then they will add the correct type of motor oil to the engine.

Replacing the incorrect oil with an oil change and a flush should not cost more than $75. If your vehicle is on the expensive side or it’s a luxury vehicle, then it might cost $150.

Motor Oil Is Leaking from the Engine or A Tube

Every single person who’s ever had a vehicle has had to deal with a motor oil leak at one time or another. Motor oil leaks are very common issues and your mechanic can fix them right up. 

Here are the signs of a motor oil leak:

  • There is a strong burning smell coming from the engine
  • Oil pools underneath your vehicle
  • You occasionally see smoke coming from the engine

When you turn on your vehicle and allow it to warm up, you will soon see smoke coming from the engine. Then the motor oil warning light will appear. This is because there’s not enough motor oil to coat all the hot moving components in the engine and they’re beginning to scrape and scratch against each other.

When this happens, pour some motor oil into your vehicle and then head over to your mechanic. Mechanics will be able to find the leak and repair it. 

Depending on the size of the leak and its location, repairing a motor oil leak costs between $100 to $2,000.

The Oil Pressure light must disappear

When you have fixed the issue that caused the oil pressure light to appear, it must then turn off. If you see that the oil pressure light is not turning off, tell your mechanic. 

There’s still maybe something wrong or perhaps the system is experiencing a glitch. Glitches will happen if the engine becomes too hot and some of the sensors are damaged due to heat.


Out of all the reasons the oil pressure light can appear, we hope it is not an issue with the oil pump. As you read above, the cost of replacing an oil pump can go up to $1,500! Without an oil pump, the oil cannot move through the engine and lubricate all the hot moving parts.

Make sure you always select the correct type of motor oil for your vehicle. If you do not know the type of motor oil that goes into your vehicle, the manager at the auto body shop can look up the make and model of your vehicle and tell you which motor oil goes with it.