The oil pump inside any vehicle is an important part of the engine's mechanical system and operational health. The oil pump lubricates the bearings in the engine and is probably one of the sturdiest components in a vehicle. As such, the pump does not often need repairs or servicing, but when it does eventually begin to fail, it can negatively impact your car's performance.
A failing oil pump can create several kinds of mechanical issues that can greatly harm your vehicle. The following is a list of the five most common signs that can indicate a failing oil pump.
1. Decreased Oil Pressure
Your oil pump is what regulates oil pressure. It is responsible for pressurizing the oil in the engine and using that pressure to move the oil through the engine of the vehicle. This oil is responsible for keeping all of the engine components greased, so that they easily move inside the engine. Improper oiling will cause these components to potentially rub together. A bad oil pump will cause the oil pressure to decrease. The car's oil light will usually come on when this is the case. You will also notice decreased power, increased engine heat, and increased frequency of stalling out.
2. Higher Engine Operational Temperature
As the oil is pushed through the engine it helps the engine remain cooler by decreasing the friction of the moving components. When the oil pump is bad or failing, the temperature while you are operating the vehicle will increase. This happens because the normal flow of oil has been restricted and friction is occurring. When friction occurs, the heat inside the engine is increased. The heat light on your dashboard will normally light up to alert you to high temperatures in the engine.
3. Unusually Noisy Hydraulic Lifters
Hydraulic lifters are very important components in the valve-train mechanism of your vehicle. The hydraulic lifters need adequate oil lubrication to function correctly and quietly. A reduction in oil flow and pressure from the oil pump can cause oil to not make it to the engine's hydraulic lifters. When this happens, you will hear a lot of noise, and over time a lot of wear will occur, which will decrease the life of the hydraulic lifters.
4. Noise in the Valve-Train
The valve-train system includes important components that keep your engine running. Besides hydraulic lifters; the valve-train also includes pushrods, valve guides, and seals. All of these components need proper oil flow for lubrication. Without adequate oil, these parts will stop functioning correctly or quietly. A faulty oil pump can cause the valve-train to become quite noisy as the oil flow is decreased.
5. Noisy Oil Pump
Unlike other symptoms, this may be the most rare. Oil pumps will not usually make a noise, but when it begins to go bad and fail, it can make a noise. Listen closely for anything that sounds like whining or whirring. You will be able to hear these sounds when the car is idling. This usually will indicate that the internal gears of the oil pump are wearing out and deteriorating.