Q:

How do you know when an oil pump needs to be replaced?

A:

Quick Answer

An oil pump may need replacement if a car has a clanking noise emanating from the hood. When the check engine light or oil light indicator appears on the car’s dashboard, it signals a problem in the engine or a defective oil pump, as does higher engine temperature.

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Full Answer

Failure of the engine to operate normally as a result of oil cut off to the hydraulic lifters leads to uneven wear and noise. Such noise occurs due to insufficient lubrication of the lifters. A drop in oil pressure also causes noises in the valve train system, which includes valve guides, pushrods and seals. An oil pump may produce a loud whirring sound if it is malfunctioning or beginning to fail, and this occurs due to wearing of the pump’s internal gear mechanism, although the problem is less common that other symptoms.

When the car’s oil light is on, it indicates that the oil pressure is low, which may signal various problems besides the oil pump. The car owner should rule out other issues such as a leakage by adding oil, but if the light persists, he should look out for engine noises and higher engine operating temperature. A damaged oil pump reduces the flow of engine oil, which prevents adequate lubrication of various parts, causing them to heat up as friction increases.

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