Can Low Oil Cause Check Engine Light To Come On? (Explained)

While you are driving and minding your own business, your car engine alarm lights in front of you out of nowhere, it looks like there’s something wrong with your engine and immediate checking is a must. 

So, can low oil cause check engine light to come on? Yes, it can cause engine alarms to illuminate. However, there are two reasons why it illuminates whether your car needs checking or repairing.

But you don’t need to worry because you’ll know the different forms of engine light in this article and the reasons.

For instance, if your car engine has simple loose gaps of caps, it will trigger the alarm right away. A car engine is a very delicate and sensitive part of a car. 

Even if the situation has a simple solution due to its sensitivity, it will light your car engine.   

Sometimes it also creates false alarm warnings due to the car’s condition. It usually happens if your car is an old model.

If you’re planning to fix it on your own, make sure that you know very well what part you are fixing because you might damage your engine light system more.

It is why you should get it checked by professionals that can give you an accurate answer to your car’s issues.

Can Low Oil Cause Check Engine Light To Come On

Will The Engine Light Come On For Low Oil?

Some car owners think their car engine alarm lights are on because of low oil levels. However, there are different reasons why it alarms, the most frequent situation why car engine alarms are due to an increase of car engine oil.

It is a severe problem if your car engine runs low with its engine oil. Because if your car engine loses too much fat, its performance will begin to change. For example, the machine can’t support the engine acceleration from fast to slow because it lost its lubricant inside.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Oil In A Car?

Oil Level Warning Lights

The oil pressure warning lights are connected to your car oil level when the sign turns on. The symbol will tell you that the oil level is not at its average level.

When you see this light signal pop up, make sure that you go directly to the nearest mechanic shop.

Burning Oil Smell

Of course, if the engine detects that it has a low oil level, it will start to create an odd burning smell.

If this happens while you’re driving, you need to pull over for your safety. After you pull over, check below if your car hood is leaking, then after it cools down, check the engine. 

When you notice that your car engine has a low oil level, don’t use it any further, especially if the car shop is far away, you can call a tow car to help you. It is much safer for you and your vehicle. 

Strange Noises

If you hear that your car engine creates a strange smell, it is caused by a low oil level. The engine parts will start rubbing noisily inside when the oil level isn’t average. The sound under your car hoods is not a good sign, and it could lead to major car repairs. 

Moreover, you should continually upgrade your engine oil to avoid any dysfunction. 

Weaker Performance

If your car oil level isn’t average, it will give you a weak performance on the road. On the other hand, if your car engine oil is regular and updated, it will also increase its performance, allowing you to go to your destination smoothly. 

In addition, any engine is already set to schedule getting a tune-up and changing oil. You can check your owner’s manual for more precise information. 

Overheating Engine

When your car overheats, meaning your engine oil is not enough to support the engine. It will cause more friction inside, which leads to an engine fire.

It is not good if your engine gets too hot because you might end up in the hospital if you miss checking your engine oil level. The engine oil is the one that prevents friction. Having less of it will be a big problem.

Why Is My Check Engine Light On After The Oil Change?

Your engine light is still on after changing its oil because of the improper placement of its oil filler cap, or the oil dipstick is not fully seated to the oil pan.

If your engine oil dipstick is not seated correctly, it will cause the improper placement of the cover. Hence, after you replace the oil, make sure that the dipstick is placed perfectly so that the engine light will stop lighting up.

Then you can now turn on your vehicle to check, then press the gas pedal three times within ten seconds to depress the oil to the system. 


In summary, you should check the oil level frequently, especially if you like to travel a lot. . Not giving any attention to it will cause your car to overheat or start to fire. 

As an owner, take a responsible reading to its manual so you would know when is the appropriate day to change the engine oil.

Also Read:


Image credits – Canva

Share on:

My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more