We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Read more about us.
Low oil pressure, internal and external oil leak, sounding valve, or connecting rod are some of the possible symptoms of an engine’s oil lubrication system error.
One does not need to be an automobile engineer to diagnose an engine’s lube system error.
I am here to point out some of the probable causes of oil lubricating system errors and how you can solve such issues on your own.
Point to be noted, if you have never worked with an engine or do not know the basics of engine troubleshooting, it is always a better option to do the job with the help of a professional.
Before we jump into the problem pointing and diagnosis section, here are some of the basics you might want to know about the engine lubrication system-
What is an engine lubricating system?
An internal combustion engine consists of multiple moving parts that create high friction and temperature when the engine is running.
An engine lubrication system lubes the moving parts of an engine to prevent scoring, burning, or any internal damage.
The engine lubrication system includes a greasy and high viscosity fluid that runs through the moving parts of the engine to reduce the friction and temperature that those moving parts generate when the engine is running.
HOW DOES THE ENGINE LUBRICATING SYSTEM WORK?
The main engine’s oil lubrication system consists of several different organisms that work combinedly to keep the system running.
Here are the main parts of an engine’s lubrication system-
- Lube oil samp tank (contains the oil for lubrication)
- Strainer (removes larger particles)
- Pump (transfers fluid from one location to another)
- Cooler (cools the heated oil that comes out of the engine)
- Filter (filtrates to prevent contaminants)
- Heater (ensures better purification by lowering the viscosity)
- Purifier (removes dirt and water)
- Storage tank (stores lube oil)
- Valves (controls the flow of fluid)
If the level of lube oil goes down in the Lube oil Samp tank, the open storage tank supplies oil to the samp tank by Gravity.
When the level of lube oil in the samp tank comes to the right proportion, a sounding happens that closes the valve.
Therefore, lube oil stops transmitting from the open storage tank to the samp tank.
Possible engine oil lubricating system problems
Now that we have the basics of how an engine’s oil lubricating system works, let’s talk about the problems one may face with the lubricating system and how to diagnose those problems-
The top five symptoms of a main engine’s oil lubricating system error are-
- Low oil pressure
- Higher oil consumption
- Sound from the main bearing
- Sound from the connecting rod
- Sound from the valve
Now, let’s find out the probable reasons behind those problems and the ways to solve the issues-
1. Low oil pressure
Low oil level
Pour oil to the right level.
Faulty oil pressure sending unit or warning light
Requires new oil pressure sending unit or warning light installation
Drain the loaded oil and refill the tank with the right graded oil.
Weak relief valve
Install a right-sized relief valve
Decayed oil pump
Replace the stock oil pump
Damaged or broken oil line
Replace the damaged oil line
Stucked oil filter
Change the oil filter
High bearing clearance
Repairing or measuring the appropriate bearing clearance
2. High oil consumption
If the engine’s oil lubricating system is consuming more oil than expected, this can be because of three probable reasons-
- External oil leak
- Internal oil leak
- Oil leaks around the piston and piston ring
External oil leak
Damaged valve cover or fuel pump gasket
Replace the gasket
Lose timing gar cover
Change the gasket and tighten it according to the right torque level
Oil pump gasket or drain plug
Replacing the oil pump gasket or drain plug
Damaged oil seal of front and rear main bearing
Change the oil seal
Oil line in the oil filter gasket or filter
Replacing the gasket and repairing the oil line.
Closed crankcase outlet vent
Cleaning the vent
Internal oil leak
A faulty crankcase ventilation valve is one of the primary reasons why an internal oil leak may happen in the oil lubricating system.
Replacing or repairing the crankcase ventilation valve will solve the issue.
Oil leaks around the piston and piston ring
Spotted, damaged, or broken piston ring
Replacing the damaged oil ring and cleaning the oil ring deposits
Rotting outside the cylinder wall
Installing oversized piston
Tightening the head nut with the right torque level
3. Sound from the main bearing
Insufficient oil supply
Check oil level. If necessary, change or replace the relief valve
Low oil pressure
Oil level checking
Choose oil according to the appropriate oil viscosity
Higher bearing clearance
Inspect the bearing clearance
Excess end-play in the crankshaft
Inspecting the rotting level of the main bearing and flange
Lose torque converter
Tightening to the right level
4. Sound from the connecting rod
Insufficient oil supply
Checking the oil level and relief valve
Low oil pressure
Check oil level and other probable reasons
Drain out the oil and pour the right viscosity oil inside the chamber
Higher bear clearance
Checking the bearing clearance level
Out of round connecting rod journal
Grounding the journals
Bended connecting rod
Replacing the connecting rod
5. Sound from the valve
Low or high oil level
Adding or subtracting oil to the chamber until the oil level comes to the right level
Adding the right viscosity oil
Low oil pressure
Checking oil level
Dirt in the valve tappets
Cleaning the valve tappets
Bended push rod
Replacing the push rod
Decayed rocker arms
Replacing the faulty rocker arms
Installing new tappets
Decayed valve guide
Rimming the valve guides and installing new oversized stem valves
Higher runout in the valve phase and sit
Grounding the valve phase and sit
Preventing malfunction in the engine’s oil lubricating system
Modern engines are equipped in a way that allows the users to take long intervals between oil changes.
It is recommended that one changes the engine’s lube oil after every 5,000 miles.
Extended oil change intervals can be a good reason why one may notice malfunctions in the lubricating system.
At the same time, proper maintenance is more than important to prevent any issues with the lubricating system.
Those who maintain both the car and all the organisms related to the vehicle are expected to get a better service both from the engine and the vehicle.