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Is Your Oil Light Flickering? Here’s What You Need to Know

  • Cars Explained
  • Silas Smith
  • 5 minutes

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Oil light flickering can be a great cause of concern as it indicates that your car’s running low on oil and could seize up your engine. People often mistake this as an indication to stop driving and tow their car to the mechanic, which in reality, is not what you should exactly do.  

If you happen to find the oil light flickering in your car, it is important to understand the root cause and how to fix it. Read along to learn more about it.

oil light flickering

Oil change light 

The oil light on your dashboard is a tell-tale light indicating an oil change is due on your car. A blinking oil light means something is wrong with the oil in your car. It can either be a dip in oil levels or bad oil quality. Eventually, it can lead to overheating and irreparable engine damage.  

Why is my oil light flickering? 

The oil light on your car can start flickering due to various causes. We’ll explain each of them in detail to let you understand better.  

The oil level is low. 

A low oil level in your car is one of the important causes of a blinking oil light. Oil is the lifeblood of your car, and it is essential to maintain an adequate level of engine oil to help your engine run in perfect condition. While topping it up, make sure to use the oil type recommended by the manufacturer recommended oil type to avoid pushing your car to further trouble.  

However, if you’re unsure how to check your car’s engine oil level or refill it, it’s better to take your car to a mechanic and get it fixed from there. Furthermore, you can also refer to your car’s owner’s manual to figure out all of this.  

Faulty oil pressure sensor 

Another issue that can trigger an oil light to flicker is a faulty oil pressure sensor. However, there’s no need to worry, as replacing your oil pressure sensors wouldn’t cost much. 

Bad oil condition 

Expect sludge buildup on your car’s engine oil if you don’t change it regularly. This can make the engine oil thick and affect its lubrication properties. Again, this will accelerate the wear and tear of your engine components, leading to irreparable damage. Bad or dirty engine oil can cause a flickering oil light. 

Blown fuse 

A blown fuse can also be one of the reasons for a flickering oil light. Again, fuses are cheap and easy repairs you can do on your own.  

Bad wiring 

Wiring is one of the most common parts susceptible to damage over time. It can also happen during an accident, particularly in a frontal collision. This, in turn, can cause a flickering oil light while driving.   


Oil light flickering: what should you do? 

Now that you know some possible reasons for an oil light flickering, it is important to know what you should do upon spotting the issue. As mostly the light pops up due to low oil quantity, your focus should be checking the oil level and filling new oil if needed.  

However, topping up the oil may not always solve the issue. In this case, you must check the oil quality and replace it with fresh engine oil.  

If putting new engine oil on your car isn’t eliminating a flickering oil light, you may need to take your car to the mechanic to find out if there are any severe issues with parts like the oil pump, oil pressure sensors, or its wiring kit.  

How to avoid the oil light flickering?  

Following these steps can help avoid an ‘oil light flickering’ situation.  

  • Ensure that your car has enough oil and top it up as required. This is one of the most important reasons for a flickering oil light.  
  • Alongside checking the oil level, make it a point to note if the engine oil used in your car is not dirty or clogged with particles, reducing its efficiency. It’s extremely important to keep your engine clean and lubricated for its smooth functioning and to avoid a flickering oil light. 
  • Monitor the oil pressure gauge to identify any irregular readings. Make sure to send your car to service if you find any.  
  • Follow the regular service intervals recommended by the manufacturer.  


It is always important to take note of the oil levels in your car and take remedial steps as and when required. Even if you forget to watch it, the oil light indicator will let you know it’s time. So, always ensure you don’t ignore an ‘oil light flickering’ indication to protect your car from much trouble. 

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