5 Signs Of Low Engine Oil In Vehicles

It is essential that you are aware if there’s something wrong in your vehicle. As a driver or car owner, that’s an essential skill to possess. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you only need to rely on your intuition so that you can detect these problems. For instance, you can always spot the symptoms of low engine oil. 

The oil in the engine plays a crucial role. Keep in mind that the engine is made up of different moving parts that continuously grind on each other. Without oil to lubricate them, friction can take place, causing your vehicle to malfunction.

There are imminent signs that the engine oil is running low. Here is the checklist. 

Oil Pressure Warning Light

One of the easiest means to identify the levels of engine oil is the warning light. When it starts to blink and illuminate, then you need to change and refill the engine oil of your car. 

This warning light is attached to a sensor that measures the oil level in the engine. Low engine oil means that the pressure is low as well. It is the one that triggers this particular sensor to alarm you. 

Burning Scent

Even without a sensor, you can still detect low fluid levels in the engine. A good way to do this is sniffing things. Have you smelled a scent that is akin to burning? If yes, you should be worried. The best thing that you can do is pull over your car and shut it off. 

The burning smell is a sign that is a leak in the engine, causing the oil to flow on its hot parts. You should give time for your vehicle to cool before you check the oil level on the engine. 

It is essential that you have a dipstick with you so that you can assess if the oil level is still at the appropriate amount. If you deem that it is too low already, don’t drive anymore. Otherwise, you will just cause unwanted damages to the engine. 

Clunking Noises

Keep in mind that the role of engine oil is to remove the friction between the engine components. If the oil is on an abundant level, the engine can work smoothly and silently. If they are not properly lubricated, you will hear concerning sounds such as grinding and knocking. These are the parts of the engine that are hitting each other. If this continues, these parts will sustain significant damages.

A knocking and clunking sound under the hood of your vehicle is the tell-tale sign that your engine is failing already. Of course, that issue is probably caused by insufficient engine oil and poor maintenance. 

Inefficient Operation

Modern cars are engineered to ensure better mileage and fuel economy. As much as possible, these vehicles will cover great distances without consuming too much gas. However, such a feat is only possible if all the parts of the vehicle are functioning at an optimal level. 

A low engine oil might be a small issue for others. But in actuality, it does not only damage the engine of your car; it also deteriorates the performance of your car. Not enough lubrication will cause the engine to work harder than it should be. In turn, the excessive operation of the engine will weaken your fuel economy. 


Of course, an overheating engine is one of the immediate signs that you need to refill its fluids. Always remember that heat is a byproduct of friction, and friction is pretty prevalent whenever there’s no lubrication. A “dry” engine is susceptible to overheating because its parts are rubbing against each other without any form of protection. 

It is not desirable that the metal parts of the engine are grinding unceasingly. It does not just produce sound and decrease the fuel economy; it also affects the overall lifespan of your vehicle. If your engine overheats, treat it right away. It is serious already. You should stop driving if you notice smoke under the hood.

If you don’t have oil replacements with you, call someone to deliver one to your location. Or if possible, call a mechanic to assess the situation. It would really be great if a professional can inspect the status of your car. Who knows? There might be underlying issues and damages that should be addressed right away.