Dangers of Driving a Car With Low Oil Levels

By Ruth on June 2, 2014 in household

Many people never check the oil levels in their car. Their mechanic will top the levels off when they take it for an oil change, but it can be a serious problem if the vehicle is leaking or burning oil. You can run into a number of problems if you drive your car with low oil levels.

Driving a car with very low oil levels can destroy your engine. However, other problems can arise even if there is enough to run the engine properly. Here are some things that you will need to be aware of.

Excess Friction

Oil serves as a lubricant for your engine. Driving a car with very little oil is going to cause a lot of friction between your pistons, bearings and other parts of your engine. These parts can be worn down over time if you don’t replenish your oil levels. This will lead to expensive engine repairs. They could eventually fail altogether, which would mean that you would need to replace the entire engine.


oilYou should always check your oil levels if it looks like your engine is overheating. There could be other problems as well, but low oil levels are one of the most common causes.

Oil removes about three-quarters of the excess heat from your engine. This means that your engine will be a lot more likely to overheat if you are running it with low oil. Even being down by a quart of oil means that your engine will remove about 20% less heat than it otherwise would.

Performance Issues

Your car may also face performance problems if you are trying to run it with low oil levels. You should also check your oil levels if your car seems to be stalling or not running as smoothly as it used to. You may risk causing long-term engine problems if the oil isn’t topped off soon.

Keeping Your Oil Levels Topped Off

You should make sure that your engine has plenty of oil at all times. Here are some tips that you will want to follow:

  • Check your oil levels regularly. It is a good idea to look at them every time that you fill your gas tank.
  • Pay attention to any signs that your vehicle may not be operating properly.
  • Ask your mechanic to top your oil every time you get your oil changed.
  • Pay close attention to the oil pressure gauge in your vehicle. You should always check your oil levels if it shows that you have a low oil pressure.
  • Look for oil pools near your vehicle, because they indicate that your car is leaking oil.

Keeping your oil levels topped off should be one of your top priorities. Make sure that you know when levels are running low to avoid potential problems.



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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


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