How Does Oil Flow Through an Engine: Engine Oil Flow Diagram

How Does Oil Flow Through an Engine Engine Oil Flow Diagram

As the engine oil flows through the engine, it lubricates three critical regions: the main bearings, pistons, and the valve train.

You can observe this passing of engine oil through the engine via this oil flow diagram. 

Engine oil flow diagram
Image source: Machinery Lubrication

This oil flow diagram, or oil flow circuit, of an engine comprises nine components. While their names vary depending on the name and type of engine, the functioning and positioning in the diagram remain the same for every car.

Let’s explore those nine essential components of the engine flow diagram below. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

1. Oil Filler Port

The oil filler port is located at the top of your engine, where you usually add oil. After adding, the oil passes down to the bottom of the engine.

2. Oil Pan

The oil pan is located at the bottom of the engine, where oil is collected and transformed into an oil sump.

Always use a dipstick to check your engine oil’s level in this oil pan.

3. Sump Strainer

The sump strainer is a floating strainer plate on the oil surface of the sump. It acts as an inlet port for the oil pump to suck up the oil from the sump. The filter also removes debris while preventing the entry of larger particles into the oil pump.

4. Oil Pump

An oil pump is used to pump the clogged oil for easy flow, pressuring the liquid to reach small spaces and travel till the end of the cycle.

5. Oil Filter

The oil filter is responsible for separating the microscopic particles from the pumped oil.

Make sure to replace the oil filter when changing the engine oil.

6. Oil Galleries

The filtered oil goes to the main oil gallery from the oil filter. The primary tube absorbs oil, feeding on other engine regions through smaller tubes.

7. Feed to Crankshaft, Connecting Rod, Camshaft, and Big-End Main Bearings

A tube from the main gallery takes out the oil to feed the crankshaft and connecting rods. Another tube carries the oil to the camshaft assemblies, where the main oil gallery lubricates the big-end main bearings.

8. Feed to Cams, Valve Lifters, Rocker Arms, Push Rod, Tappet, and Cylinder

A tube from the main gallery takes the oil up to the assemblies in the cylinder head. These assemblies include cams, valve lifters, rocker’s arms, push rods, tappets, and cylinders.

Small holes are drilled in the cylinders for oil to flow through these small holes and cool down the cylinder and engine block. On the other hand, small holes around the piston rings and splashes of oil from the crankshaft lubricate the piston.

9. Oil Pressure Gauge

A tube goes from the main galleries into the pressure gauge, where oil enters and presses against a diaphragm. The oil pressure gauge is necessary to monitor your engine’s health and working conditions.

It also indicates the viscosity and composition of the working fluid, i.e., engine oil. Maintain good oil pressure for proper lubrication.

Final Thoughts: 9 Main Components of the Engine Oil Flow Diagram

Your oil flow diagram has nine components for completion and proper lubrication. These are oil filters to separate microscopic foreign particles and oil pumps for building the necessary pressure, fed to the main galleries and the other engine regions.

For more engine-oil-related queries, explore our blog today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

4 thoughts on “How Does Oil Flow Through an Engine: Engine Oil Flow Diagram”

  1. The oil isn’t circulating through the engine. What would be the cause? I have a 2010 Chevy Aveo. Thank you. Mindy C.

    1. Hi Mindy C.

      Thank you so much for your query.

      First of all, you’ve to establish if you’ve low engine oil pressure or if the oil isn’t circulating at all. Nonetheless, I suggest starting with the basics.

      Ensure that your engine oil is clean. Look for any signs of deposits inside the engine. If there isn’t any such issue, replace the oil filter to ensure it isn’t clogged.

      After taking all these measures, if the oil still isn’t circulating, most probably your oil pump has gone bad.

      While if oil is circulating, but the pressure isn’t good then 2010 Chevy Aveo is prone to an issue with the oil pressure switch as well. Try replacing it.

      I hope it helps.

      Zakki S.

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