High Oil Pressure: Causes, Symptoms & Fixes

It is crucial to ensure proper oil pressure in your engine. High oil pressure could indicate that the oil isn’t properly lubricating engine parts. 

A clogged filter or a faulty pressure relief valve are the most common causes for high oil pressure in an engine. This article will explain what can cause high oil pressure.

What is high oil pressure?

The resistance oil meets determines the oil pressure it experiences in its passages. When engine oil is pumped, it passes through narrow channels and passageways. Oil becomes compressed and loses its pressure as it travels between narrow bearings or channels. 

Any resistance to oil flow will cause pressure to be created. High oil pressure is caused by the volume of oil that isn’t effectively circulated due to resistance. How high the oil pressure will be is determined by the viscosity and travel of the oil.

A normal pressure reading It can vary between 25 and 65 psi. Oil pressure above 80 psi is considered too high. The high oil pressure may cause damage to engine parts or cause the engine to stop working.

High oil pressure can be caused by several factors

High oil pressure can indicate resistance to oil flowing through the passage. This causes engine parts to not receive adequate lubrication.  Let’s take a look at the symptoms of excessive oil pressure.

1. Oil filter clog

Oil filters are responsible for keeping oil clean by removing dirt and other debris. Over time, the oil filter can become clogged. oil filter might become clogged Stop and efficiently clean the engine oil.

This can cause engine oil to become clogged with external pollutants. This can cause a resistance increase in oil flow, which in turn raises engine oil pressure.

2. A faulty pressure relief valve

A pressure relief valve can be used to reduce system pressure. It releases fluid until oil pressure is at a safe level.

If the pressure relief valve is damaged, the oil pressure will only increase. This problem can easily be solved by removing the pressure relief valve and cleaning it.

3. Oil passage obstruction

Dirt and debris can build up in the passageways where engine oil circulates. This can cause increased oil pressure and block engine oil flow.

Blockages can cause oil to leak from the engine’s seals or gaskets. Flushing engine oil can remove dirt and debris that has accumulated in the passageways.

4. Oil from the past

Engine oil’s viscosity will change as it gets older. As oil ages, impurities build-up in the oil. Old oil can thicken. This can cause inefficient oil flow and raise engine oil pressure.

Incorrect viscosity can also cause an increase in oil pressure. Excessive pressure can be caused by thickening the oil in cold weather.

5. Faulty Sending Unit/Gauge

The oil pressure-sending device is responsible for monitoring the engine’s oil level. If the wiring harness is damaged, a faulty or unplugged connection, pressure-sending units may give an incorrect reading. 

Repairing the pressure-sending device is crucial as it can cause high-pressure readings on your pressure gauge.

High Oil Pressure Symptoms

High oil pressure is a sign of a high-powered engine.

1) High oil pressure reading

An oil gauge monitors engine pressure. The oil gauge looks like an indicator needle on a car’s dashboard. The gauge needle will move towards red or “H” when the engine’s oil pressure gets high.

2) Poor engine performance

As oil pressure increases, oil can be incorrectly circulated around engine components. This can cause friction to increase in the engine and lead to increased wear. High oil pressure can cause galley plug or oil filter to blow out, which could lead to the engine failing.

3) Overheating

An excessive oil pressure can cause the engine to heat up. Due to excessive oil pressure, the engine’s lubrication may be insufficient. Heat can also increase as a car speeds up.

4) Oil leaks

High oil pressure may be causing oil spots where your car was parked. Engine blockage can be increased by high oil pressure. This could lead to damage to the camshaft assembly and gaskets.

How do you reduce high oil pressure?

These are the steps to take in order to resolve high oil pressure issues

  1. A mechanic should inspect the pressure transmitter unit. The replacement of the pressure sender unit may cost $132 to $151 if it gives inaccurate readings.
  2. Make sure you check the pressure relief valve. If it is damaged, it is better to have it repaired. The cost of replacing a pressure relief valve, including labor, can be as high as $200.

Modern cars recommend changing the oil every 7,500 to 10,000 mi. Your engine oil may be old if both the pressure relief valve or pressure sender unit work properly. 

Oil flow may be limited by carbon and sludge buildup over time. Chemical flush additives are available to clean blocked oil passages. You should not increase your oil pressure.

  1. Turn off the engine. Add the flush ingredient to the engine. Famous engine flush additives are Liqui Moly (Amsoil), Seafoam (Seafoam), and Liqui Moly (Liqui Moly).
  2. Turn on the engine and allow it to warm for at least 10-15 minutes. This will allow the engine oil that contains the additive to circulate freely through the engine.
  3. Lift the vehicle using a jackstand.
  4. To take out the drain plug, turn it clockwise. Let the old oil drain into an empty bucket.
  5. Use a wrench to loosen the oil filter.
  6. Reinstall the drain plug after the engine oil has been drained. 
  7. Install the new oil filter. Add new engine oil.

FAQs about High Oil Pressure

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High oil pressure in an engine can cause wear and tear to the engine as well as oil leaking. High oil pressure can be caused by resistance to oil flow. A blocked oil passageway, old oil, or a faulty valve that releases pressure, can cause high oil pressure.

Ask a mechanic if it is possible to drain the old oil from the passageway and clean it. A mechanic should inspect the pressure-sending device and the relief valve. 

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