The Reasons for Oil Pressure Light On After Oil Change

The oil pressure 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 enough lubricated, which will lead to serious damage.

The Reasons for Oil Pressure Light On After Oil Change

There could still be low oil pressure after oil change. 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:

low oil pressure after oil change
Incorrect oil level could trigger the light. (photo source: Error Code Guy @ Youtube)

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. If you are positive that you have used the fuel with the correct viscosity rating, check the level. If it’s above the fuel line, send it below the line.

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Not Lubricating the Oil Filter

It’s the standard procedure to put some oil in the filter before its installation. The oil pressure can go down if you don’t lubricate the oil filter. Don’t do the mistake of revving the engine during this time to pressurize the system. What you should do is to 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 see the oil pressure light on after oil change.

oil pressure light on after oil change
Dirty oil could build up sludge in the engine. (photo source: StockSolutions | Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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 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.


The oil pressure light on after oil change is a serious problem. 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 problem and fix it.