Oil Light Comes On While Braking – Causes and Solution

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Have you ever had that heart-stopping moment when you hit the brakes and suddenly the oil light decides to join the party? Yeah, it’s not the kind of surprise anyone enjoys. But fret not, because we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of why that oil light might decide to make a cameo while you’re slowing down. From potential causes to practical solutions, we’ve got your back. So buckle up, grab a coffee, and let’s unravel the mystery behind why your oil light might be playing hide-and-seek when you tap on the brakes. Time to hit the road to enlightenment!

Causes of Oil Light Comes On While Braking?

1. Low Oil Level: The most common culprit for the oil light flickering on during braking is a low oil level. When you brake, the oil in the engine shifts, and if there isn’t enough to go around, it can trigger the oil pressure warning. Regularly check and maintain your engine oil levels to avoid this issue.

2. Worn Engine Bearings: Over time, engine bearings can wear out, leading to increased clearances and reduced oil pressure. Braking causes weight transfer and can exacerbate this issue. If your engine bearings are worn, it may result in lower oil pressure when you hit the brakes, triggering the oil light.

3. Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor: Sometimes, it’s not the oil level or pressure that’s the problem, but a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor. This sensor is responsible for detecting changes in oil pressure and signaling the warning light. A faulty sensor can inaccurately trigger the light, even if your oil levels and pressure are within the normal range.

4. Contaminated Oil: Dirty or contaminated oil can hinder its ability to maintain proper pressure. When you brake, the demand for oil increases, and if the oil is contaminated, it may struggle to meet the requirements, causing the oil light to illuminate. Regular oil changes and using the recommended oil type are essential for preventing this issue.

5. Worn Oil Pump: The oil pump is crucial for maintaining proper oil circulation and pressure. If the pump becomes worn or malfunctions, it can lead to reduced oil pressure, especially when braking. Regular engine maintenance, including checking the condition of the oil pump, can help prevent this issue.

6. Engine Overheating: Braking generates heat, and if your engine is already running hot, it can further reduce the oil’s effectiveness and pressure. Ensure that your cooling system is functioning correctly to prevent engine overheating, which can contribute to the oil light coming on while braking.

Addressing these potential causes can help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue of the oil light illuminating during braking, ensuring a smoother and safer driving experience. If in doubt, consult with a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.

How To Check The Oil Level?

  • Park the car on a level surface.
  • Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle.
  • Locate the oil dipstick in the engine bay.
  • Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a cloth.
  • Reinsert the dipstick fully and pull it out again.
  • Check the oil level against the markings on the dipstick.
  • Add oil if the level is below the recommended range.
  • Use the recommended oil type for top-ups.
  • Repeat the process after adding oil to ensure the correct level.

How To Know If The Oil is Leaking?

To determine if your vehicle is experiencing an oil leak, regularly inspect the area where you park for any puddles or spots of oil. Additionally, check the engine bay for visible signs of oil around the engine and beneath the vehicle. Look for dark, wet spots on the ground or a burning smell when the engine is running, as this could indicate oil dripping onto hot engine components. Monitor the oil level using the dipstick – a sudden, unexplained drop may be a sign of a leak. Leaks can also be identified by examining the underside of the car for oil stains, especially around the oil pan, drain plug, or the oil filter. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to address the oil leak promptly to prevent potential engine damage and ensure the overall health and performance of your vehicle.

How To Stop Oil Light From Coming On While Braking?

1. Check and Maintain Oil Levels

Regularly check your engine oil levels and ensure they are within the recommended range. Low oil levels can trigger the oil light during braking.

2. Inspect for Oil Leaks

Look for any signs of oil leaks in the engine bay and underneath the vehicle. Addressing leaks promptly can help maintain proper oil levels and pressure.

3. Use the Right Oil Type

Ensure you are using the manufacturer-recommended oil type and viscosity. Using the correct oil is crucial for maintaining proper oil pressure, especially during braking.

4. Replace or Service the Oil Pressure Sensor

If the oil pressure sensor is faulty or giving inaccurate readings, consider replacing or servicing it. A malfunctioning sensor can lead to unnecessary oil light activation.

5. Check and Replace Worn Engine Bearings

If worn engine bearings are causing low oil pressure, consult a mechanic to inspect and replace them. Regular maintenance can help prevent this issue.

6. Inspect and Maintain the Oil Pump

Regularly inspect the oil pump for wear and ensure it is functioning correctly. A well-maintained oil pump is essential for maintaining proper oil circulation and pressure.

7. Address Contaminated Oil

Regularly change the engine oil and filter to prevent oil contamination. Dirty or old oil may struggle to maintain proper pressure, especially during braking.

8. Monitor Engine Temperature

Ensure your engine is not overheating, as high temperatures can affect oil viscosity and pressure. Maintain a properly functioning cooling system to prevent overheating.

9. Consult with a Professional

If you are unable to identify or fix the issue yourself, consult with a qualified mechanic. They can perform a thorough inspection, diagnose the problem, and recommend appropriate solutions.

10. Perform Regular Maintenance

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular servicing can help identify potential issues before they escalate, ensuring the overall health of your vehicle and preventing unexpected oil light activation during braking.


So there you have it! Dealing with the oil light playing tricks on you while you brake can be a real head-scratcher, but armed with the right knowledge, you can tackle it like a pro. Whether it’s a simple low oil level fix, a sensor on the fritz, or a bit of TLC needed for your engine components, taking the time to address the issue can save you from potential headaches down the road. Remember, regular check-ups, timely oil changes, and a keen eye for leaks go a long way in keeping that oil light from stealing the spotlight during your braking performance. So, hit the road with confidence, keep an eye on your engine’s well-being, and enjoy the journey hassle-free!

Oil Light – FAQs

1. How to know if the oil is dirty?

Ans: Inspect the oil on the dipstick; if it appears dark and gritty instead of amber and smooth, it’s likely dirty. Additionally, a burnt smell and a decrease in its lubricating properties indicate dirty oil that needs changing.

2. Oil is fine, still the oil light is on. Why?

Ans: Even if the oil level is adequate, a persistent oil light could signal a faulty oil pressure sensor, engine bearing wear, or a potential issue with the oil pump. Consulting a mechanic for a thorough inspection is recommended to pinpoint and resolve the underlying cause.

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