Why Oil Light Comes On When Braking?

The oil pressure light is located on the dashboard and is typically in the shape of an oil cane. If not, in some of the cars, simply flash a warning saying “check the oil”.

In this article, learn why the oil light comes on when braking and get running your vehicle.

Why Oil Light Comes On When Braking?

While there is no way to know for certain why the oil light comes on when braking without doing a thorough inspection of your vehicle, here are the three scenarios,

1. A Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor

The most likely, and fortunately, the least problematic issue that your oil light comes on when braking is due to a faulty oil pressure sensor.

The oil pressure sensor works to keep track of the oil pressure in the vehicle and convey this information back to the instrument panel or combination meter. If the given information, that is calculation range exceeded normal, then the oil pressure light comes on.

This is an important function because,

  • Low oil pressure could mean that insufficient oil circulates through the engine, leading to poor lubrication, it may cause the engine to grind or seize.
  • Excessive oil pressure could mean that the oil bay may be overfilled with excessive force causing a gasket to burst which leads to a major leak.

What To Do If You Doubt The Oil Pressure Sensor Is Faulty?

If you aren’t near the mechanic shop to test the cause of the oil pressure light, here are some steps to overcome this problem:

  1. Pull your car to a safe place so that your car can rest for sometimes and also it is easy to diagnose the car.
  2. Give some time to rest your car’s engine so that the oil can settle.
  3. After some time, pop the hood and locate the oil with the dipstick. This is likely to be located in the front and it should have a yellow ring and the top through which you can insert your finger to pull.
  4. Now remove the oil dipstick.
  5. After removing it using a paper towel or other light cloth, clean the dipstick with oil. Check that the color of the cloth, it should be in the color of light brown and not un dark-colored or excessively creamy.
  6. Then, re-insert the dipstick into the oil bay and remove it once again.
  7. In this process, check the level of oil in the bottom of the dipstick. It should be in the normal range. In which the dipstick should mark the normal range.

If the oil level is in the acceptable range in your car, then you can be hopeful to face the problem which is related to the oil pressure sensor. In this case, if you want to replace your oil pressure sensor, the cost of a new sensor is about $20 at most auto parts stores and can be replaced.

If the oil light stays ‘ON’, even after these processes or you don’t feel comfortable working in your vehicle, then it is best to have your car towed to your mechanic shop for further consultations.

2. A Bad Oil Pump


If the oil pressure sensor is not the cause of your oil light getting triggered, you could be looking at a bad oil pump.

The oil pump circulates pressurized oil to the parts like rotating bearings the sliding pistons and the camshaft of the engine. This lubricates the bearings and assists in the cooling of the engine.

Signs Of That Your Pump Is Bad

Here are some of the signs that you know need to know.

1. Decreased Oil Pressure

The oil pump regulates the oil pressure. This, low oil pressure problem may put your vehicle at serious risk. Vehicles with low oil pressure will have less power, increased engine heat, and a higher frequency of stalling out, which could be the reason for oil light illuminating when braking.

2. Higher Engine Operational Temperature


The oil prevents friction of the engine components. As the friction causes heat, vehicles with a worn oil pump will be susceptible to overheating. If your temperature gauge increases immediately with the oil warning light, pull your vehicle off the road and kill your engine.

3. Noisy Hydraulic Lifters

A reduction of oil pressure and flow can cause the oil not to penetrate the hydraulic pressure. This can cause a lot of noise and wear over time.

While a bad oil pump may keep the oil light on all of the time, even when not braking there is a chance that the decreased oil pressure that occurs when the RPMs lower could trigger the oil light when applying the vehicle’s brake with a faulty oil pump.

The beginners should not attempt the replacement process of the oil pump. It is a time-consuming problem and it also takes the whole mechanic shop for the replacement.  The cost of a professional oil pump repair will cost approximately $400-$500 for most vehicles.

4. A Leak Somewhere In The Engine

The vehicle will consist of a series of seals, gaskets, and oil plugs that keep the oil contained in the engine of the traditional internal combustion engine(ICE).

While high oil pressure can permanently cause a leak from any of these areas, time, cold weather, and normal wear can also cause any or all of these components to fail, allowing oil to leak out.

The oil leak can lead to low oil levels and when oil pressure decreases during braking, there may not be sufficient in the pan to lubricate the various engine components, causing the oil light to flash ‘ON’.


Here are some causes to overcome the problem. Once you checked, the oil that has been changed according to your schedule, there is a high likelihood that the oil light comes on when the braking due to the faulty oil pressure sensor. Oil pressure is expected to drop 10 psi for every 1000 RPMs, and because the pressure decreases when braking could cause a faulty oil pressure sensor to calculate an acceptable range incorrectly.

If the oil pressure sensor is the cause, the repair is generally simple, straight due to a bad oil pump or engine leak, then you will need to take care of your vehicle with a professional. Under no circumstances should a vehicle be driven with the oil light on even if you’re sure that it’s just a bad pressure sensor.

We hope that your doubts are cleared by this article. If your doubts persist, you can put your comment below in the comment section.

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