What does an engine oil pump do?

The oil system is one of the most important parts of your car. Without being able to circulate motor oil to the moving parts inside the engine they would very rapidly become damaged beyond use. Motor oil is sandwiched between parts acting as a lubricant, allowing them to glide over each other smoothly. Without it the parts could even get so hot that they would melt and before you know it the car’s engine is a lump of scrap metal. These things happen very quickly when there is not enough oil but over the long term there is also a danger if the oil is not replaced. Because oil contains additives to help it work and to clean and protected the engine. when these additives are used up engines can become dirty. This might not sound so terrible but dirty engines overheat and perform inefficiently.

Obviously motor oil is vital but it has to be continuously circulated and this is the job of the oil pump. The oil pump draws oil out of the engine’s sump, also known as the pan, beneath the engine and pressures it. After leaving the oil pump the oil is pushed through a filter to remove large particles before the pressure is measured by the oil pressure sensor, also known as an oil pressure sender. This is the device that triggers the warning light on your dashboard if the pressure is too low.

Sports and racing cars need the oil to be circulated even more quickly because the engine runs at a higher number of revolutions per minute. A high-pressure oil pump has to be fitted and an oil cooler is also needed to deal with the extra hot running temperatures of performance vehicles.

If your car is suffering from low oil pressure fitting a more powerful pump is not the answer. You may have an oil leak or the clearances between the components may have worn away so you’ll need more oil.

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