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The auto dash board carries various warning lights, any flickering of which will lead to the rider’s panic. As normally the flickering warns some possible problem to vehicles resulting in possible expense.
A kind of light named engine oil light is easily differentiated with others on the dash board. What does that mean for the flickering oil light? To most of us, it may mean shortage of oil, and it will be easily solved after recharging some oil to the engine. When we pull out the oil gauge however, the oil volume in the tank is normal. That’s why?
Actually, there are two kinds of oil lights which are easily confused by drivers. One is called oil pressure warning light and the other is called oil level warning light (lots of vehicles are not fitted with oil level warning light.). Note the difference on their appearance. Oil pressure warning light looks like a Lamp of Aladdin, while the oil level warning light looks like a floating Lamp of Aladdin. We should distinguish the two lights which reflect very different problems.
As it is named, the oil level warning light tells the problem of lacking oil. Therefore when it is flickering, we need to check the oil gauge to see if the engine oil is in shortage.
Oil pressure warning light tells the problem of oil pressure. The reason why it is mistaken into oil volume warning light in some cases, is that the oil will also be short of pressure at sorely lack of oil, in which situation the oil pressure warning light will be flickering for alarm too.
What’s more, if any case below happens, even if the engine oil is plenty enough, the oil pressure will also be insufficient leading to the alarm of the oil pressure warning light.
Low engine oil viscosity will reduce the sealability of the system leading to insufficient oil pressure. The reasons for over-low viscosity can be distinguished as external one and internal one. The internal reason lies in the engine oil itself, such as the oil viscosity selected is not matching with the engine, or the oil in use is in poor quality. The external reason attributes to the exterior factors resulting in oil viscosity decline, for instance, intense driving results in oil’s overheating (the engine oil viscosity decreases with temperature raising.), or cooling system failure leads to engine’s overheating, or blow-by of crankcase cause the engine oil to be diluted by fuel.
Oil pump failure is one key factor for insufficient oil pressure. The common failure is the over worn to oil pump bearing resulting in oil depressurizing.
Oil circuit or filter is blocking
Once the oil circuit or oil filter was blocked by sludge, the oil amount sent from oil pump will be not enough leading to low oil pressure. The blocking mainly happens in two cases: first the vehicle’s maintenance is overdue for long without replacing the oil and filters; second is to use oil in poor quality.
Control circuit’s problem
If there is some problem to the control circuit, it will cause “false alarm” that is, the oil light flickers with normal oil pressure and liquid level. This is possibly caused by oil pressure sensor, oil liquid level sensor, instrumental control unit and the relative circuit failure.
No matter what reason for the flickering oil light, it should be taken seriously. If the warning happens on the road, we should stop immediately at roadside to check the reason. For alarm from oil liquid warning light, recharging oil should be a workable solution. If the alarm is from oil pressure warning light, we should be more cautious, as the pressure shortage may lead to poor engine lubrication resulting in serious problems. Therefore, once receiving the alarm of oil pressure warning light, it is prohibited to drive the vehicle for long any more, and the vehicle should be sent to a garage nearby for checking and repairing.
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