Can Low Oil Cause Check Engine Light to Flash?

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Can Low Oil Cause Check Engine Light to Flash

A check engine light is a warning light in your vehicle that alerts you to a problem with the engine’s control system. It is an indicator that something is not quite right with your car. One of the reasons why your check engine light may flash is because of low oil levels. This article will discuss the relationship between low oil levels and a flashing check engine light, the common causes of low oil levels, how to diagnose the problem, what you can do when low oil cause check engine light to flash, and the consequences of not addressing an issue with a flashing check engine light.

1:What is a Check Engine Light, and Why Does it Flash When Low on Oil?

The check engine light is shown that there is something wrong with your car’s engine control system. This system controls emissions, fuel injection, and ignition timing. When something goes wrong, the check engine light comes on, and it continues to flash, indicating that there is a severe problem. One of the reasons why the check engine light may flash is because there are low oil levels.

1.Common Causes of Low Oil Levels in Your Vehicle

There are different reasons why the oil levels in your car may be low. A leak in the engine oil system, a worn-out engine, or failure to maintain your vehicle are the common causes of low oil levels. A leak in the oil system can cause oil to seep out of the engine, leaving the car’s oil levels low. A worn-out engine may burn oil, reducing the oil levels in the car. Lastly, failure to do regular maintenance, such as oil changes, can also reduce the overall oil level in your car.

2.How to Diagnose the Problem with an OBD-II Scanner?

You can diagnose the problem with an OBD-II scanner by following the steps below:

2.1.Connect the Scanner to Your Vehicle:

The first step is to connect the OBD-II scanner to the diagnostic port. The diagnostic port is usually located under the dashboard, near the steering wheel. You can refer to your car’s user manual to locate the diagnostic port. Once you find the port, plug in the scanner and switch on your vehicle’s ignition. The scanner should power on and be ready for use.

2.2.Run a Diagnostic Test:

After connecting the scanner, it’s time to run the diagnostic test. Select “diagnostic” or “scan” from the menu options on the scanner, and it will begin to communicate with your vehicle’s onboard computer system. This process can take a few minutes, depending on the complexity of the vehicle. After the scan, the scanner will display the fault codes.

2.3.Identify and Interpret the Fault Codes:

The OBD-II scanner will list the fault codes in numeric form. Each number corresponds to a particular issue, such as a faulty sensor or malfunctioning component. To understand the problem, you will need to refer to your car’s user manual. The manual will list the fault codes and their corresponding issues. You can also search online to understand the fault codes better.

2.4.Address the Problem:

Once you have identified the cause of the problem, it’s time to rectify it. Depending on the issue, you may need to replace faulty components or repair damaged wires. It’s advisable to consult with a professional mechanic to assist you in fixing the problem. They can also advise you on any further action you need to take to prevent the issue from recurring.

2.5.Clear the Fault Codes:

After addressing the problem, you will need to clear the fault codes from the onboard computer system. This process will reset the system and remove the fault codes. To clear it, select “clear codes” from the scanner’s menu options. Once done, turn off the engine and unplug the scanner.

3:What to do if your check engine light comes on after an oil change?

If you’ve recently had an oil change and noticed the check engine light coming on, it’s possible that a problem occurred during the service that triggered the sensor. For instance, the mechanic may have accidentally disconnected a wire or damaged a sensor while changing the oil filter or adding new oil. In this case, you should bring your car back to the auto shop and have them diagnose and fix the issue.

However, it’s also possible that the check engine light coming on after an oil change is just a coincidence and has nothing to do with the service. Other factors, such as a loose gas cap or a dead battery, may be responsible for the warning signal. In any case, it’s best to have a professional mechanic check your car as soon as possible.

4.Consequences of Ignoring that Flashing Check Engine Light:

The consequences of ignoring the flashing check engine light are as follows:

4.1.Damage to the Catalytic Converter:

One of the biggest dangers of ignoring a flashing check engine light is the potential damage that can be done to your catalytic converter. This important part of your car’s exhaust system can be damaged if your engine is misfiring or if there are other issues that cause too much-unburned fuel to enter the exhaust system. Replacing a catalytic converter can be extremely expensive, so it’s best to have the issue fixed before it becomes a major problem.

4.2.Reduced Fuel Efficiency:

Ignoring a flashing check engine light can also lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency. When your car’s engine is struggling to function properly, it tends to use more gas to do the same amount of work. This means you’ll need to fill up more often, which can lead to more money spent on gas over time. Fixing the issue will not only save you money on gas but also result in a smoother ride.

4.3.Risk of Getting Stuck:

Another issue with ignoring a flashing check engine light is the risk of being stranded. If you neglect to get your car checked out, you run the risk of breaking down on the side of the road. This could be a simple fix, like a dead battery, but it could also be something more serious. If you’re far from home or a repair shop, getting stuck could be a nightmare scenario.

4.4.Worse Problems Down the Line:

Finally, ignoring a flashing check engine light could lead to even bigger problems in the future. If you don’t address the issue when it first arises, it could cause other parts of your car to fail as well. This could lead to even more expensive repairs down the road. By taking care of the issue as soon as possible, you can save yourself some headaches – and money – in the long run.


There is a relationship between low oil levels and a flashing check engine light. It is crucial to diagnose the problem using an OBD-II scanner and add more oil if necessary. Ignoring the flashing check engine light risks damaging the car’s engine, failing environmental tests, and putting you, your passengers, and other road users in potential danger. Finally, regular vehicle maintenance, such as oil changes, can prevent low oil levels and other related issues from affecting your vehicle’s performance and safety.

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