Why My Oil Light Comes On When Braking – And What To Do

Last updated on December 7th, 2023 at 09:47 pm

When your oil light comes on when braking, it can be a frightening experience. The sudden warning light can make it difficult to understand what is happening, leading to panic. However, this is a common issue that drivers can face, and there are several reasons behind it.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the possible reasons why my oil light comes on when braking and provide tips on how to handle the situation calmly.

It’s critical to remember that the oil light is a warning signal that should not be ignored, as it may indicate a severe problem with your car’s engine or oil system.

Our post will include advice on how to safely and quickly respond to the situation to prevent any further damage to your vehicle.

How Do Car Brakes Work?

When it comes to driving, safety is always a top priority. One of the most crucial safety features in a car is the brakes.

But have you ever wondered how brakes work? The answer lies in the friction created by the pads and rotors.

When you press on the brake pedal, a hydraulic system is activated, forcing brake fluid to travel through pipes to reach the brake calipers. The calipers contain pistons that push the brake pads against the rotor or drum, creating friction that slows down the vehicle. The force of the pads against the rotor depends on how hard you press the brake pedal. The harder you press, the more force is applied, and the quicker the car will stop.

Disc brakes are the most common type of brakes used in cars today. They consist of a rotor that rotates with the wheel and a caliper that contains the pads. When you apply the brakes, the caliper clamps down on the rotor, creating friction that slows down the car.

Drum brakes, on the other hand, work by pushing the brake shoes against the inside of the drum. This creates friction that slows down the car. While not as common as disc brakes, drum brakes are still used in some cars.

RECOMMENDED POST Ultimate Guide: How Many Brake Pads per Wheel?

Reasons Why Oil Light Comes on When Braking

Modern vehicles are fitted with a range of sensors that work in unison to ensure that the engine is running smoothly and that any potential issues are identified and rectified promptly.

One of these sensors is the low oil level sensor, which alerts the driver when the oil level is low.

One of the most common reasons why the low oil level light may come on while braking is due to a low oil level.

If there’s an oil leak in the engine, it can result in low oil levels. When the brakes are applied, the oil pressure drops and if there isn’t enough oil in the pan to lubricate the engine components, the oil light may turn on. Therefore, oil light on when braking can be a sign of inadequate oil levels due to oil leakage.

It is essential to check the oil level regularly to avoid any potential issues. When checking the level, it is crucial to do so when the engine is cold to get an accurate reading.


Aside from a low oil level, there are other reasons why the low oil level light may come on while braking.

  • One reason is if there is too much oil in the engine. This can cause the oil pressure to increase and lead to engine damage.
  • A defective sensor is another reason why the light may come on, and this can be rectified by replacing the sensor.
  • A faulty or defective oil pump is another reason why the low oil level light may come on. The pump is responsible for circulating the oil throughout the engine, and if it is not working correctly, the engine may not receive the required amount of oil.
  • Lastly, if the service interval has been exceeded, the low oil level light may come on. This is a reminder to the driver that it is time to service the vehicle and replace the oil.

How To Check Oil Level

Regularly checking your car’s oil level is an essential maintenance task that can help keep your engine running smoothly. Proper oil levels ensure that all the moving parts in the engine are lubricated, reducing friction and preventing excessive wear and tear.

Here’s how you can check your car’s oil level.

The first step is to locate the dipstick, which is usually located in the engine bay. You can refer to your car’s owner’s manual if you’re not sure where to find it. Once you have located the dipstick, pull it out and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.

Next, reinsert the dipstick fully and pull it out again. The dipstick will have two marks on it, indicating the minimum and maximum oil levels. The oil level should be between these two marks. If the oil level is below the minimum mark, you need to add more oil.

It’s important to use the correct type of oil for your car. Refer to your owner’s manual or consult a professional mechanic if you’re unsure. Once you have added the oil, recheck the oil level to ensure it is within the recommended range.

If you have a newer car, you may be able to check the oil level from inside the car. This is typically done through the infotainment system. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to access this feature.

It’s important to check your car’s oil level regularly, especially before long trips or if you notice any unusual noises or performance issues.

By following these simple steps, you can help ensure that your car runs smoothly and avoid costly repairs down the road.

Signs Your Oil Pump Is Bad

A faulty oil pump can lead to serious engine problems, which is why it’s essential to be aware of the signs that your oil pump may be bad.

One of the most common signs of a bad oil pump is low oil pressure. The oil pump regulates oil pressure, so when it fails, oil pressure will decrease. This can cause your engine to overheat, reduce engine power, or stall frequently.

Increased engine temperature is another sign of a bad oil pump. When the pump fails, it can’t deliver enough oil to lubricate engine components, which can result in increased friction and heat. Overheating can cause significant damage to your engine, so it’s important to have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.

Unusually noisy hydraulic lifters are also an indication of a bad oil pump. Low oil pressure and flow can cause the oil to not reach the hydraulic lifters in the engine, leading to increased noise and wear over time.

If you notice noise coming from the oil pump, such as an unusual whirring or whining sound, this could also be a sign that your oil pump is failing.

If your oil pressure warning light is on all the time, even when you’re not braking, it could be a sign of a bad oil pump. However, decreased oil pressure when RPMs lower could also trigger the oil light when braking in a vehicle with a faulty oil pump.

Replacing an oil pump is a complicated repair that should be carried out by a professional mechanic. The cost of a professional oil pump repair can range from $350 to $500 for most vehicles.

How Can I Stop My Oil Light From Coming On While Braking?

If your oil light is coming on when you brake, it could be a sign of a problem with your oil pump, which regulates oil pressure in your engine.

However, there are some steps you can take to potentially stop the oil light comes on when braking.

First, make sure that your vehicle’s oil level is adequate. Low oil levels can cause decreased oil pressure and trigger the oil light to come on. If your oil level is low, add more oil to bring it up to the recommended level.

If your oil level is adequate, the problem could be related to a worn or damaged oil pump. In this case, the pump may need to be replaced by a professional mechanic.

Another possible cause of the oil light coming on while braking could be a faulty oil pressure sensor. This sensor is responsible for monitoring oil pressure and sending a signal to the dashboard when it’s too low. A faulty sensor could be triggering the oil light unnecessarily.

In this case, the sensor may need to be replaced. A professional mechanic can diagnose the problem and provide the necessary repairs.


In the above article, we have discussed the possible reasons why the oil light comes on when braking, and how to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Low oil pressure due to a faulty oil pump, low oil level, or a damaged oil pressure sensor are some of the common reasons for this issue. If you experience this problem, it’s important to check your oil level and consider having a professional mechanic inspect your oil pump and pressure sensor.

Remember that driving with low oil pressure can cause serious engine damage or failure, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.