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Auto Oil Filters and Low Oil Pressure: Troubleshooting and Solutions


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Auto Oil Filters and Low Oil Pressure: Troubleshooting and Solutions

Maintaining optimal oil pressure is crucial for the proper functioning of an automobile engine. A drop in oil pressure can indicate an issue with the oil filter. Malfunctioning oil filters can create blockages and reduce the oil flow to the engine, resulting in low oil pressure. In this article, we will discuss troubleshooting low oil pressure caused by auto oil filters. Additionally, we will provide solutions to address these issues.

Symptoms of Low Oil Pressure

Several signs indicate low oil pressure, such as knocking sounds from the engine, low oil pressure readings on the dashboard, and an illuminated oil warning light. When the oil pressure drops, it can cause severe engine damage and reduce the lifespan of the vehicle.

Reasons for Low Oil Pressure

A decrease in oil pressure can be caused by several reasons such as:

Clogged oil filters

Worn out oil pump

Worn out engine bearings

Low oil levels

Types of Oil Filters

Oil filters come in different types and sizes, and the type used can affect the oil pressure. The two main types of filters are:

1. Spin-on filters: These filters have a housing which threads onto the engine block and are easy to replace.

2. Cartridge filters: These filters are inserted inside a housing and need to be removed and replaced.

Troubleshooting Low Oil Pressure

1. Clogged Filters

Oil filters prevent dirt and debris from entering the engine. They filter out small particles that can cause damage or blockage. However, clogged filters can lead to low oil pressure or no oil flow at all. A clogged filter may be due to a build-up of debris or a dirty engine.

Solution: The solution to a clogged filter is to replace it. Spin-on filters are quick and easy to replace. Cartridge filters require unscrewing the housing and removing the old filter. After removing the filter, clean the housing and replace the O-ring before installing the new cartridge filter.

2. Worn-out Oil Pump

The oil pump circulates oil to the engine's components, maintaining oil pressure. A worn-out oil pump will not provide enough pressure to meet the engine's needs. As a result, the engine may produce knocking sounds or run hot.

Solution: The solution for a worn-out oil pump is to replace it with a new one. It is crucial to have the oil pressure checked before installing a new oil pump.

3. Worn-out Engine Bearings

Engine bearings are designed to reduce friction between the engine's moving parts. They are lubricated by oil and are susceptible to wear and tear over time. Worn-out bearings can increase the gap between the bearing and the crankshaft, reducing the oil pressure.

Solution: The solution to worn-out engine bearings is to repair or replace them. The repair may involve resizing the bearings or replacing them with new ones.

4. Low Oil Levels

Low oil levels can lead to low oil pressure. This can occur when oil leaks from the engine or due to improper maintenance such as not checking the oil levels regularly.

Solution: The solution to low oil levels is to check and maintain the recommended oil levels. It is vital to check the oil levels regularly, especially during long journeys. If the oil level is low, add the recommended amount and check the oil levels regularly.

5. Contaminated Oil

Contaminated oil can cause issues such as oil pressure drops. Dirt, metal shavings, and debris can enter the engine through a dirty oil filter or through a worn-out component.

Solution: The solution is to perform an oil change. Flushing the engine thoroughly before replacing the oil can remove contaminants.


Low oil pressure can lead to severe engine damage. Troubleshooting low oil pressure issues can help to detect and address issues early. A well-maintained oil filter can help to maintain optimal oil pressure, ensuring a smooth-running engine. Proper maintenance and regular checks can prevent costly repairs and prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.


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