Toyota Prius: 7 Reasons For Low Engine Oil Pressure

Toyota Prius: Reasons for low engine oil pressure.

If you own a Toyota Prius, it’s common to experience low engine oil pressure. It’s a serious issue that requires your attention. 

There can be multiple reasons behind low oil pressure in Toyota Prius, including a clogged oil filter, a faulty oil pump, and oil leaks. 

Read on to learn why low oil pressure is a concern, its common signs and causes, and how you can resolve low engine oil pressure issues.   

Here’s what’ll cover:

Why Is Engine Oil Pressure Important?

Oil pressure ensures that the oil present in the engine reaches all the contact surfaces and prevents collisions of internal parts from producing excessive heat. It protects the engine from premature wear.

Low Engine Oil Pressure in Toyota Prius: Symptoms

Symptoms of low oil pressure.

Common signs of having low oil pressure are as follows:

1. Low Oil Pressure Light

A warning light is the most common and reliable indication of low oil pressure. You should change your oil at the earliest after its appearance.

2. Burning Oil Smell

The collision of the car’s internal parts increases due to the inadequate engine oil pressure, which increases friction and causes oil burning and a bad smell. The burning oil smell of your Toyota Prius is a sign of low engine pressure.

3. Clunking Engine Noise

Decreased oil pressure results in an internal collision, producing clunking engine noise from your vehicle. The sound indicates low oil pressure and requires an oil change.

4. Overheated Engine

The absence of adequate oil pressure increases the engine temperature. Thus, if your engine overheats, this indicates low engine oil pressure.

Reasons for Low Engine Oil Pressure in Toyota Prius

Some of the common reasons for low engine oil pressure include:

1. Clogged Oil Filter

Constant cleaning of dirt and debris from the engine oil clogs the oil filter. A clogged filter loses the ability to filtrate the oil contaminants. The dirt in the oil gets stuck, leaving the valve open, which reduces the oil pressure.

Hence, a clogged filter produces low engine oil pressure due to inadequate oil pressure building.

Clogged oil filter.
Image source: PurePower!

2. Oil Pressure Sensor Malfunction

A malfunctioning oil pressure sensor can also lead to lower engine oil pressure. A faulty sensor shows the wrong reading, so you can’t know if the oil pressure is on the borderline. Incorrect reading leads to the oil level falling below the suitable level.

3. Weak Oil Pump

A weak oil pump doesn’t regulate the oil pressure in the engine accurately and reduces the oil pressure.

4. Engine Oil Leaks

Low oil pressure in the engine can be due to leakages in the oil passages of your vehicle. The continuous leakage reduces the oil level, and the engine oil pressure reduces when the oil pump does not have ample fluid to circulate.

Engine oil leaks.
Image source: PriusChat

5. Using the Wrong Oil

If you are using the wrong oil in your vehicle’s engine, it won’t match the oil’s recommended viscosity level. Different viscosity levels demand different pressure.

Using engine oils with a viscosity higher than recommended increases flow resistance and reduces oil pressure. Therefore, the wrong oil turns on the low oil pressure light.

6. Engine Burning Oil

Worn-out valves and seals burn the engine oil and affect the oil viscosity. Change in the viscosity varies the oil pressure.

7. Faulty Oil Sending Unit

A faulty oil-sending unit fails to sense the appropriate oil pressure demanded by your engine. Therefore, it fails to transmit the required oil level to the engine, creating a pressure drop in your engine.

How To Fix Low Engine Oil Pressure in Toyota Prius?

You may have experienced low oil pressure if you own a Toyota Prius. This can be a severe problem, leading to engine damage.

Here’s how you can try to fix it.

1. Oil Change

Oil breaks down over time, making it less effective for your engine’s lubrication. This can lead to decreased oil pressure, causing less engine efficiency and overheating.

Change or add more oil to fix it.

In other words, if you’re experiencing low oil pressure in your vehicle, change your oil as soon as possible.

Oil change.
Image source: AxleAddict

2. Replace Oil Filter

Oil filters are one of the essential parts of your car’s engine. They remove contaminants from the oil before its circulation through the engine and clean the oil.

Over time, clogged filters with dirt and debris cause low oil pressure and require maintenance.

Replace your Toyota Prius’ oil filter for a quick fix to low oil pressure in your vehicle.

3. Fix Oil Leaks

If your vehicle has low oil pressure, you can fix it by replacing the oil seals. The oil seals are located between the engine and the transmission to prevent oil from leaking. Worn-out seals can cause low oil pressure.

4. Replacing Oil Pressure Sensor

If you’re experiencing low oil pressure, one potential fix is changing the oil pressure sensor. This sensor monitors the engine’s oil pressure and sends a signal to the computer to indicate less pressure.

Replacing the sensor is a relatively simple process with just a few tools. Start with locating the sensor near the oil filter. Use a wrench to loosen and remove the old sensor.

Then, take the new sensor and screw it into place. After the sensor’s replacement, start your car and check the oil pressure gauge on the dashboard.

Replacing oil pressure sensor.
Image source: YouTube

5. Replacing the Oil Pump

If your vehicle is experiencing lower oil pressure, replacing the oil pump is one potential fix. It can be challenging, so consult a professional mechanic before attempting it.

Here’s when changing an oil pump can be a recommended solution:

  • Your engine is making noise
  • Your car’s oil is leaking
  • Your engine runs hot and stops working

Final Thoughts: Low Oil Pressure in Toyota Prius

Low oil pressure in your Prius is a severe issue. It causes the engine to lock up and fail. We recommend having a mechanic take a look at it.

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

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