Does Low Oil Cause Overheating? (Symptoms Of Overheating)

does low oil cause overheating

Engine oil is an essential lubricant to maintain the good health of the engine and ensure its longevity. It also helps to cool down the engine components. So, when you notice that your engine produces a lot of heat, you might be suspicious about the oil level too.

Does low oil cause overheating? Yes, it does. Today we will explain how engine oil contributes to cooling the engine components in this blog post. So, you will know the importance of regular changing of engine oil.

How Does Oil Help with Cooling? 

Engine oil is responsible for lubricating the components of the engine as well as cooling the moving parts. When the engine runs, engine oil cools the parts by carrying the heat to the oil cooler.

The oil cooler is a small radiator that provides air to pass through while you are driving.

When the oil amount has become low, there is not enough lubrication. Then, the components face friction. As a result, heat is generated.

A small amount of oil is unable to help with the cooling process. Then, the coolant system of the engine strives to remove the heat from the engine bay. But this mechanism properly runs when every component work preciously. Since there is not enough oil, the coolant system can overdrive, struggling to keep the right temperature. In fact, it cannot handle the heat on its own; engine oil should help with cooling.

Does Low Oil Cause Overheating? 

Certainly! Mainly, engine oil is used to lubricate the components of the engine. When the oil level is low, there will be friction, it means excessive heat.

When there is excessive heat, the components are stressed, and the cooling system can be overdriven since it tries to keep the temperature low. Eventually, some components, like the water pump and thermostat, can become faulty within a short time.

And if there is old engine oil, it can oxidize and turn into sludge instead of providing enough lubrication. Then, there is a risk of overheating too.

Engine oil contains some additives like corrosion inhibitors. When there is a low oil, it degrades. Consequently, low oil causes other issues, too, apart from overheating.

The engine might have rust and corrosion over time. And also, the engine can fail bearing. Moreover, some other engine components, like turbo, can be damaged due to this issue.

If you keep failing to maintain the right amount of oil, you will have to spend money on different repairs. Thus, you need to maintain a proper amount of oil in your vehicle.

However, remember that a low oil level is not the only cause of overheating. Indeed, it is a minor reason.

Some other faulty parts, such as the water pump and radiator core, can also cause overheating.

Can Adding Oil Fix Overheating? 

If the cause of overheating is the low level of oil, topping up will solve the case. As once said, there are some other reasons for overheating. If you still have the issue, you need to visit a mechanic for a diagnosis.

If you can see the oil level still remains on the dipstick, driving will not be a problem. But you need to change the oil as soon as possible. As a general recommendation, automobiles can run 5000 to 7500 miles once the oil is changed.

In years, it is nearly two years. However, if you drive the vehicle often, the intervals can be shorter than these recommendations.

It is highly recommended to check the oil level regularly; then, you will not have to face such terrible issues.

What are the Symptoms of Low Oil in a Car? 

What are the Symptoms of Low Oil in a Car

  • Heat – as we discussed so far, the engine becomes too hot. After a long ride, you will not be able to even touch the unit for several minutes. 
  • Warning Light – oil pressure warning light is connected to the system that checks the oil level. If its sense is too low, the light will flash on your dashboard.
  • Burning Smell – sometimes, you will smell something burning in the cabin when there is a low oil level. If you smell so while driving, park the vehicle and check the oil level after the engine cools down.
  • Strange Noises – you might hear a clunking sound underneath the hood when there is low oil. The reason why, the inner components might rub together due to the lack of oil. This is one of the most noticeable signs.
  • Weak Performance – the engine components start to overdrive because of the low oil level. Then, the overall performance of the unit becomes low.

Can Overheating a Car Destroy an Engine? 

Overheating simply means that your engine overdrives due to an absence or lack of something. Then the inner components can rub together as well. As a result, some components begin to wear out quickly. For example, cylinder walls or pistons can warp or bend. Therefore, overheating can directly affect the longevity of your car engine.

In general, it is not safe to drive if your car produces a lot of heat since it causes some severe damage during a ride. Sometimes, the overheating may cause a fire too. Therefore, you need to be very careful.

What to Do If your Engine Overheats? 

If you are driving at the moment, you need to park the vehicle in a safe place first. If you drive continuously with an overheating engine, the engine will be damaged.

You can turn on your heater since it can pull the heat that the engine produces. It seems awkward, but the heater works in that manner.

Turn off the engine and open the windows of the car. If you feel that it is unsafe to stay inside, go out and let the engine cool down completely. After the engine cooled down, you can check the coolant level.

If it has become low, you have to fill an adequate amount. It would always be better to keep some extra coolant in your car.

Although you solved the problem, it can be a temporary solution. Thus, you are highly encouraged to visit a professional service station to get your automobile checked well.

Watch this video,

Video Credits – Helpful DIY 

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