Top 4 symptoms of bad oil pump and how to fix it

Knowing the signs or symptoms of a bad oil pump should never be taken for granted. You must intentionally seek to know these signs and learn how to detect them early. Most importantly, you must also know how to fix such issues.

This article will take you through identifying the symptoms of a bad oil pump and how to fix them. Your attention must be unwavering as damage to your oil pump will seriously damage your car's engine. As a result, you may need to replace or rebuild it, depending on the severity of the damage caused by the bad oil pump.

To understand how the oil pump works, you can read our article on the oil pump; it explains its mechanism, types, and other details.

Top 4 symptoms of a bad oil pump

top 4 sign of a bad oil pump

Top 4 sign of a bad oil pump[/caption]Ideally, you should never have issues with your car's oil pump, all things being equal. But sadly, all things aren't equal on this side of time. Signs and symptoms of a bad oil pump are essential to the well-being of your engine. Therefore, without much ado, let us look at the top 4 symptoms or signs of a bad oil pump.

The rapid rise in engine temperature caused by the bad oil pump

dashboard indicators

We already know that the oil pump pumps towards the engines' moving parts act as a lubricant. However, when the oil sent to these moving metallic parts is not enough, these moving parts rub off on each other and create heat.

A warning light on your dashboard will pop up, or you will notice a rise in your engine temperature from the gauge on your dashboard. If this rise increases further over time, it will severely damage your engine and its components.

Therefore once this light comes up, we advise that you send your car immediately to the mechanic workshop so the mechanic can work on it. Failure to do so will leave you frowning at the bank as you make huge withdrawals to replace your damaged engine.

Bad oil pump noise and noise from hydraulic lifters

Wear to a bad oil pump's internal gears is often associated with a whirring or whining sound. This symptom is usually a rare one. However, when it happens, you must completely replace the oil pump.

Furthermore, the noise emanating from the hydraulic lifters is a product of factors such as the type of oil you use and insufficient lubrication. Hydraulic lifters will often function unnoticed when they get enough oil and are adequately lubricated.

However, a faulty or bad oil pump inadvertently leads to insufficient lubrication. This symptom appears because a bad oil pump is often associated with low oil pressure. Over time, the effect of this low pressure will mean the pump will send an insufficient amount of oil to the hydraulic lifters or no oil at all. When this happens, the hydraulic lifter on the receiving end will riot with a loud noise.

Noise from valvetrain

The hydraulic lifters are essential to sustaining the efficiency of the valve train. However, the valve-train symptom has a network of other components that the engine relies on to function correctly beyond the hydraulic lifters. Such features include pushrods, seals, and valve guides.

The oil pump must lubricate the components often. A bad oil pump will be unable to serve this purpose efficiently. So when the bad oil pump fails to deliver the oil they deserve, they will stop working, and as with the lifters, they will be a riotous noise from the valve-train as the oil levels perpetually decrease.

Oil pressure warning light or low pressure

Causes low oil pressure

The oil pressure light will always come on when the oil pressure becomes low. However, do not write-off your oil pump when you see this; because it may not be the fault of a bad oil pump. To be sure, you can check the oil level and top-up the oil.

If this process reoccurs after a short time, you can conclude that you have a bad oil pump. Once the car's oil pump goes bad, it is naturally accompanied by a significant drop in the oil pressure existing with the system. To handle this, you must replace the oil pump immediately without fail.

How to replace an oil pump (DIY) - step by step

Oil pump replacement

Bad oil pump[/caption]When most drivers notice for a surety that the problem with their car is a result of a bad oil pump, the first line of thought is to replace it and, more so, to do this on their own. Well, replacing a bad oil pump is not as easy as the name sounds.

The process is a lot more complicated than you may imagine. We advise that you leave this job to a trained mechanic to do, especially if you are terrible with repairs because a bad job on your oil pump will put your entire engine at risk.

Step by step approach to replacing a bad oil pump

  1. First, you will have to disconnect the battery terminal. Then initiate the parking brake, raise the front of your vehicle with your jack and jack stands. Choke your wheels in the process.
  2. Secondly, you will have to drain your engine oil and remove the serpentine belt.
  3. Remove the oil pan bolts after which will enable you to remove the oil pan easily. You may need to remove some components (starter motor, exhaust pipe, etc.) before the oil pan is seen.
  4. Gently remove the old oil pan's gasket. Be careful not to damage the oil pan or scratch it as you remove the gasket.
  5. Then, remove (by unfastening the cap bolt) the oil pump and extension shaft.
  6. Now place in your new oil pump. To do this, ensure both the pump and the drive shaft extension are in place. You must engage drive shaft extension into the drive gear. Finally, install the pump-to-rear cap bolt and tighten it.
  7. Wipe your oil pan clean and change the oil pan gasket. Gently install the oil pan into position.
  8. Double-check that your drain plug is tight, then refill your engine oil.
  9. Finally, remove your jack stand and the wheel chocks.

What is the cost of replacing a bad oil pump?

The cost of replacing a bad oil pump is between $1000 and $1,300. Maybe this is why most people decide to repair themselves, as not everyone is willing to fork out that amount on replacement cost. Nonetheless, the cost should not scare you from employing the services of a professional mechanic. At least you are sure that he will do a much better job than you would have done.  

Frequently asked questions about bad oil pumps

When dealing with bad oil pumps, there are some questions you will often find being asked by those who suspect a faulty oil pump in their vehicle. Let's take a look at some of these questions.

How long does an oil pump last?

Giving you an exact time frame as to how long your oil pump will last is almost impossible. With some drivers, the oil pump might last just a few years of usage before it goes bad. With others, they may never experience a bad oil pump throughout the days of their driving experience.

That is why you must pay keen attention to it as we do not know the day your oil pump can spring up surprises on you like a thief in the night.

However, your oil pump's longevity can be tied to the type of oil pump you use, the type of car you drive, and how you generally maintain your vehicle. Furthermore, we can say, maintaining your car will help to enhance the life span of your vehicle.

Concerning this, we advise that you use the right oil for your car's engine, change your oil often, and the oil filter simultaneously. Lastly, take your vehicle to a professional mechanic immediately you sense an issue with your oil pump. A stitch in time can save nine.

Adhering to these maintenance principles will put you in a safe zone and free from experiencing a bad oil pump anytime soon.

Can you drive with a bad oil pump?

Yes, you can drive your car with a bad oil pump. However, we only advise that you do so only if you are taking it to the mechanic workshop. Before you do this, make sure you have more than enough oil, and the distance you intend on driving is short.

However, taking a car for a road trip with a bad oil pump will mean you never want to drive that car ever again. Therefore, do not attempt it. Break that urge that makes you feel you can risk it.

Furthermore, you must know that you should never try to start your car once you see any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above. Your engine will not get enough oil, and you will be putting an undue strain on it by doing so. If you insist on starting it despite the warnings, your engine could seize entirely. What you need to do at this point is to call your mechanic and replace the oil pump if it is necessary to do so.

What kind of noise does a bad oil pump make?

When an oil pump's internal gear begins to wear and becomes weaker, you will typically hear a loud sound emanating from it. The sound from a bad or failing oil pump is often a whining or whirring sound. This sound can be heard when the vehicle is idling.

What would cause an oil pump to fail?

A new oil pump

An oil pump[/caption]An oil pump's failure is often a product of the following causes, including engine sludge, oil contamination, wear and tear of the internal gear, improper installation, low engine oil levels, infrequent oil change, faulty oil passage or oil lines, open bypass valves, etc.

Can an oil pump get clogged?

Yes, your oil pump can get clogged. The clogging of your oil pump can be noticed when the oil pressure drops due to a clogged pickup tube screen. When this happens, chances are your oil pump is faulty and in need of immediate replacement.

Key Takeaways!

  • The oil pump is a cardinal part of your car. It is responsible for pumping oil to your engine's moving parts, which helps to keep them lubricated always.
  • Bad oil pump symptoms include low oil pressure, noisy oil pump and hydraulic filters, increased engine temperature, and noise from valve-train
  • You must treat failure to the oil pump as urgent. Do not drive the car once these symptoms pop up.
  • You must employ the services of a professional mechanic immediately.
  • The replacement of an oil pump is between $1000 and $1300. The cost often scares people, but it is a necessary cost as doing it yourself may further complicate things.

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