Cars run on engine oil which helps lubricate engine parts and reduce friction. The oil, however, will start degrading after a while and sometimes pick small particles and metal during combustion. If these contaminants pass through to the engine, there will be issues. Hence, the need for oil filters.
Oil filters help trap dirt and other contaminants, so it doesn't enter the engine. The oil filter is also responsible for regulating oil pressure. For this reason, this question pops across different platforms – can a clogged oil filter cause low oil pressure?
Yes, a clogged filter can cause low oil pressure. Here is what happens. When an oil filter gets too clogged, it reduces oil flow. As the oil flow reduces, so does your engine oil pressure. The low oil pressure will usually cause the oil warning light to turn. If you're driving and you see the oil light, park your car and have your oil filter checked.
But the thing is, a clogged oil filter is not the only cause of low oil pressure. It could stem from incorrect oil viscosity, insufficient oil in the engine, bad oil pump, defective oil pressure gauge, etc. A proper diagnosis will usually reveal the cause of the problem.
When your engine oil pressure gets low, your car will start acting in specific ways. And knowing this would ensure you tackle the issue before it worsens or damages your engine. So here are clogged oil filter symptoms you should watch out for.
A clogged or bad oil filter will cause your vehicle's performance to reduce drastically. Your accelerator would look like it's not responding when stepping on it. You will also notice your engine lagging and inability to pick up your usual speed.
While a clogged oil filter can reduce engine performance, it could also stem from faulty fuel injectors, clogged fuel filters, etc. So ensure you carry out a proper diagnosis before concluding.
The oil filter helps clean the motor oil and ensures only clean oil goes into the engine. However, when the filter gets clogged, oil flow will be reduced. And because the engine does not get the accurate oil quantity needed to lubricate engine parts, your engine will sputter. You will notice the sputtering increasing as your speed increases. And as your engine sputters, you will also have issues retaining speeds.
One job of the engine oil is lubricating engine parts to enable them to move freely. However, because a clogged oil filter prevents oil from entering the engine, the engine won't get the oil needed to lubricate its parts.
This will cause the moving parts to grind against each other, causing a loud metallic noise. At this point, stop driving and fix the issue. Letting these parts keep grinding will damage the engine.
Low oil pressure is always an indication that you have an oil problem which can be caused by a clogged oil filter. A clogged oil filter will automatically reduce oil flow to the engine, causing low oil pressure. As the oil pressure reduces, your oil gauge drops and the oil light illuminates.
Please note that the oil pressure gauge can drop slightly, which is normal. If it drops suddenly, it could mean you're experiencing low oil pressure. Don't drive in this condition; get your car checked immediately.
A clogged oil filter will send exhaust fumes back to the engine and contaminate the engine. As your engine runs, it releases this smoke through the exhaust pipe, causing a dark exhaust.
The filter's inability to supply enough oil to the engine will not reduce engine friction, increasing heat. This increase in engine heat can result in engine overheating. However, other issues like a bad head gasket could cause engine overheating.
Replacing a clogged oil filter can be anywhere between $30-$50. Depending on your make and model, you can get a new oil filter for between $15 and $30, with labor lurking around $20 depending on your location and repair shop. Suppose you're mechanically inclined and have the right tools; you only need to get a new filter and do the replacement job.
Oil pressure keeps your engine running smoothly and efficiently. Your car's engine is complex as it is made of many parts carrying lots of weight. With engine oil, these parts get lubricated and move freely. And as the oil flows through the engine, the engine builds up pressure.
This pressure ensures the motor oil gets to every party it is supposed to reach and continues flowing. However, when the oil pressure decreases to an extent the oil no longer flows freely around the engine's part, many things go wrong.
Engine parts will not be lubricated, causing metals to contact themselves. Lack of oil will also result in loss of friction, broken seals, warping, etc. Driving a car with low oil pressure is a quick way to destroy your engine. So ensure your oil pressure is always at the right level.
The best way to fix low oil pressure is to diagnose and tackle the causes of low oil pressure. Low oil pressure can be caused by a clogged filter, incorrect oil viscosity, oil leaks, bad oil pump, defective oil pressure gauge, etc.
If diagnosis shows a clogged or bad oil filter is why your oil pressure drops, try changing the oil filters. Many manufacturers recommend changing the oil filter with every oil change, as this even helps reduce the possibility of filter clogging. Similarly, change a faulty oil pump, bad oil pressure gauge, etc.
If you're experiencing leaks, your engine will also not get enough oil to function; fix anything you detect causing the leaks. Also, ensure you switch to the recommended oil viscosity for your car. If you're using oil with low viscosity, try changing to a higher one.
Yes! If the oil filter gets bad or clogged, it will reduce the oil flow, which invariably lowers the oil pressure. A clogged filter can also stress your engine and cause an increment in the oil pressure.
Generally, your vehicle will still function if your oil filter is clogged. However, many things will go wrong. A clogged oil filter will not allow enough oil to enter the engine; this can cause moving metal parts to grind against each other.
Because the engine doesn't get enough oil, your vehicle's performance will also reduce, and you will experience engine sputtering. Lack of oil can also result in engine overheating and engine wear and tear. And generally causing severe engine damage.
Yes, a dirty oil filter will reduce your engine performance. Not enough oil will be supplied to your engine when the filter gets dirty. You will notice the accelerator not responding and the inability to meet certain speeds.
Yes! When the oil filter gets clogged, the engine will not get enough oil to lubricate its moving parts. Because lubrication is hindered, the car exerts more force, which stresses the engine.
Too much engine work causes the engine temperature to rise, invariably increasing oil pressure. You can resolve this issue by either cleaning the filter if you have a reusable filter or replacing it.
Yes, you can clean the oil filter. However, there is a catch. If you replaced it with a reusable filter during your last oil filter change, you can clean it. If you don't use a reusable filter, the only way will be to replace it when it gets clogged or dirty.
No, it's not necessary to change the oil filter every time. But you should change it at the interval recommended by your manufacturer. Generally, most manufacturers recommend changing your filter during every oil change.
This article has answered the question can a clogged oil filter cause low oil pressure? A recap! Yes! A clogged oil filter would lower your oil pressure. This happens because as the filter clogs, the oil flow will reduce, resulting in low oil pressure. To fix this, change your oil filter with the filter that fits your car.
Alternatively, you could clean it if your car utilizes a reusable oil filter. But the best will be to prevent a clogged filter by changing the oil filter at the right time. You can change the filter during every oil change.