Why Does Oil Pressure Drops To Zero While Driving?

The Engine oil is a vital component of an internal combustion engine. It keeps the inside components lubricated by reducing friction, therefore, regulating the optimal operating temperature. Suddenly oil pressure drops to zero while driving your car can be caused by a low oil level, a failing oil pump, incorrect oil viscosity, or damaged oil pressure sending unit.

Oil pressure and oil level go hand in hand. If they fail to do their job, the amount of repair cost, detrimental effects, and inconvenience will wear you out.

Here Is Why Your Oil Pressure Drops To Zero While Driving?

If your oil pressure goes up and down while driving, it can indicate something wrong with your car. That is why it is best to know the various reasons behind the issue.

1. Insufficient Oil in the Engine:-

The most common reason your oil pressure drops to zero while driving your car is that the engine is low on oil. If the motor is low on oil, you can notice that the temperature gauge reading is above average temperatures. That happens due to the lack of oil lubrication inside the engine.

2. Incorrect Oil Viscosity:-

If the oil you are using is either too high or too low in viscosity. It can be detected as a loss of pressure in the engine oil supply. Low viscosity tends to have lesser resistance to flow through the system. However, high viscosity produces greater resistance from the oil being circulated. The lack of lubrication in the system and varying liquid behaviors jeopardize the maximum potential of the engine as well as the performance.

3. Engine Wear:-

The internal components, such as bearings, bolts, etc., are not as tight and sturdy as before due to the mileage accumulated throughout the years. The excessive wear caused by continuous thermal stress reduces the original flow restriction, subsequently dropping the pressure.

4. Poor Engine Performance:-

When the engine oil pressure starts to drop, the amount of oil circulating going to the components is exponentially decreasing. In addition, the lubrication on these components weakens, increasing the friction between them. This causes the engine to perform poorly, such as fuel economy decline, engine stalling, and power loss.

5. Damaged Oil Pump and Oil Pressure Gauge:-

The oil pump’s role is to circulate the engine oil to lubricate the bearings, pistons, and camshaft under particular pressure. If the oil pump is damaged, the circulation of the oil is not efficient, affecting other peripheral components. It would also cause more damage if not fixed immediately. Another thing that causes oil pressure drops beside the oil pump is the oil pressure gauge. Having a faulty oil pressure gauge or a damaged one will not help you with your problem because it will show the same results due to the issue.

Hence, these are some basic reasons which are responsible for oil pressure drops to zero while driving.

How To Fix The Issue Of Oil Pressure Drops To Zero?

Here are some fixes to reduce the risk of driving your car with oil pressure drops.

Step 1:-

If you have insufficient oil in the engine, the solution is to fill it up until it reaches the full mark. It would be best for you to check the actual oil level in the engine by using a dipstick in contrast to what you see on the screen. However, if the dipstick shows that the engine oil is full, you must replace your oil pressure sending unit.

Step 2:-

Try to look at the latest engine oil that you used in your car. Then grab your vehicle manual if it fits the criteria of the needed oil. If not, then you have to change it. There are different viscosities recommended for each engine, and you can see them as 5W-30, 10W-30, etc.

Step 3:-

Replace the damaged oil pump and oil pressure gauge, if they are responsible for the cause. These parts are easy to find in every shop. You can opt to buy a used or a brand new one it depends on you.

Step 4:-

When you have engine wear you have to either rebuild or replace it. This is unavoidable because, one way or another, the engine will eventually reach its ending point if not properly maintained and cared for. You can rebuild it by purchasing the needed components to restore the machine to its old glory.

Therefore, these are some basic steps to cure the issue of oil pressure drops to zero while driving your car.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix Oil Pressure Drops?

The repair cost of fixing this issue ranges between $130 and $200. It is only for the oil pressure sensor replacement. Other charges may add up, like taxes and fees.


Having efficient oil circulation helps your engine to run efficiently. So, if you have ever experienced any oil pressure drops to zero while driving, it is important to have your car investigated as soon as possible.

We hope the above-mentioned information will be helpful to all the readers. If anybody’s doubts persist feel free to comment in the comment section below. We’ll try to solve your doubts as soon as possible.

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