Oil Light On After Oil Change: Top 5 Reasons To Look Out!

The oil light on after oil change is a sign of concern. You have to understand that the light indicates the oil pressure, not the oil level. 

If this happens, it’s bad for several reasons. Low pressure means the critical joints and friction surfaces of the engine are not sufficiently lubricated, which will lead to serious damage, like oil pressure low stop engine.

Oil Light On After Oil Change: The Top 5 Reasons

Although after an oil change, there could still be something that ignites an oil pressure light. If this happens, you should pull the car off and turn off the engine as quickly as possible. Let’s find out the reasons that cause the problem:

Incorrect Oil Level

If the light comes on after an oil change, the wrong level of oil might be the culprit. Just like the low oil level, an oil level too high could be the reason for an out-of-range oil pressure

You should first check to see if you utilized the correct viscosity rating oil as stated by the automobile manufacturer or your professional mechanic.

Following that, unless you are confident that you supplied the correct oil, you should proceed to check the oil level. 

If the oil level rises over the line, kindly decrease it until it falls below the line. Additionally, in case it slips below the line, you could consider filling it up to get it to the line-level.

why is my oil pressure low
Incorrect oil levels could trigger the light. (Photo: Error Code Guy @ Youtube)


Not Lubricating the Oil Filter

It’s the standard procedure to put some oil in the filter before its installation. The engine oil pressure light can go on as the oil pressure goes down if you don’t lubricate the filter. Don’t make the mistake of revving the engine during this time to pressurize the system. 

What you should do is run the starter after removing the spark plugs. When the system gains pressure, reinstall the plugs and kick off the engine.

Dirty Oil

Not changing the oil at the due time and poor maintenance may lead to sludge buildup in the engine. It will not wash out even if you just change the fuel. 

The deposit deprives the sensitive engine parts of normal oil pressure. As a result, you will see the oil light on after oil change.

low oil pressure light but oil is full
Dirty oil could build up sludge in the engine. (Photo: StockSolutions)

Damaged Pressure Sensor

If the light is still on after getting everything right, measure the pressure by using a test gauge. If it shows that the pressure is fine, the problem could be with the sensor and circuit that operates the light. 

The sensor is attached to the engine and it has a probe that goes into an oil passage. Sometimes, dirt or any other particle gets into the probe and triggers the sensor to switch the light on. The sensor is easy to replace and does not cost much.

Oil Leak

Car oil leaking may seem rare, but it is possible when there is a flashing oil light

If your oil light is on though you just filled and changed your oil, you may have an oil leak. To check for it, put your car on a flat surface for a few hours and look for puddles beneath it.

If there are no puddles but you suspect a leak, try filling off your oil to the full mark on your dipstick. Your owner’s handbook may lead you through how to do this for your specific make and model. 

When you start the automobile, make sure the oil light is turned off. Start driving and check to see if the oil light turns back on. Check your oil levels if it does. If they’re low, it’s time to book an oil leak repair appointment.

Other indicators of oil leaks include a burned smell or smoke emanating from the engine. These symptoms, however, may not always be present. 

Bringing your car in for a comprehensive vehicle check is the best approach to rule out any engine oil concerns. 

car leaking oil
If your oil light is on though you just filled and changed your oil, you may have an oil leak. (Photo: My Car Makes Noise)

Bad Oil Pump

You can also consider the oil pump malfunction as a cause of oil light on after oil change

A faulty oil pump will inefficiently circulate oil to your engine’s moving parts, causing engine sounds and overheating, which can lead to more serious problems. If you believe your oil pump is faulty, you must immediately stop driving and head to any trusted auto local store for a full-scale check.

FAQs On Oil Light On After Oil Change

  1. How long does the oil light remain on after an oil change?

In general, you have around 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light becomes a serious issue. 

However, once it reaches that stage, things can quickly degrade, resulting in catastrophic mechanical damage. So, attempt to get your car into a repair as soon as possible.

  1. Is it safe to drive with the oil light illuminated?

If your oil light comes on while you’re driving, you must stop immediately and turn off the engine. When you run out of oil, your engine may cease and refuse to start. If your automobile suddenly stops while you’re traveling, you might be in big trouble.

  1. How serious is it when the engine oil light?

When the oil warning light illuminates, it indicates that the engine oil pressure has decreased to an unsafe level. A low oil pressure engine may soon damage it.

  1. Why is my oil light on if I’m not in need of oil?

If the oil pressure low stop engine but oil is full and conditions are normal, or even the engine is operating normally, the most likely cause is a worn-out oil pressure sensor. 

You can drive safely in this situation, but you should get the automobile checked thoroughly and the sensor replaced by a trained mechanic as soon as feasible.

  1. Why does my oil light flash when I’m driving?

Other issues that cause the oil light to flash on and off include oil leakage, oil contamination, a malfunctioning oil pump, a damaged oil pressure sensor, a low engine oil level in your car, damaged oil pressure sensor cables, and a blocked oil pump or filter.

  1. Why is the oil light illuminated while I idle?

If the oil light blinks when the vehicle is stopped or idling, the oil sensor may be faulty or the pressure is too low. When not moving, the engine should have at least 5 PSI. If the PSI is less than 5, the oil light will activate and flicker off and on.


The oil light on after oil change is a serious problem without any ahead warning. It means that there is no oil flowing inside the engine parts. 

If you keep running the car in this condition, the whole engine could be damaged. So, when the light is on, tow it to a mechanic to find out the root problem and fix it.