3 Common Causes Of Low Oil Pressure On 18-Wheelers

Low oil pressure can become one of the most costly situations you'll face as a truck owner-operator. Just as low coolant can cause your engine to overheat and wear internally, low oil pressure can quickly result in costly internal engine damage or even force an overhaul. If your rig is experiencing low oil pressure issues, it's critical to get to the bottom of the problem and address it quickly.

Remember that low oil pressure can rapidly cause your engine to seize, so it's a problem that you should never ignore. If you notice a warning light on your truck's dash, it's time to schedule an appointment with a diesel mechanic as soon as you can. While low oil pressure may have numerous causes, this article will discuss three of the most common.

1. Oil Suction Tube Issues

The oil suction tube pulls oil from the oil pan back into the lubrication system. These tubes vary in design, but they typically include a screen on the bottom that helps prevent contaminants from entering the system and damaging the engine. However, these screens can become damaged or contaminated by sludge or debris, preventing the pump from drawing oil out of the pan.

Depending on the severity of the problem, it may be possible to clean or replace only the screen. In other cases, you may need an entirely new suction tube. An experienced diesel mechanic can usually find this problem quickly after dropping the oil pan, allowing them to determine the best course of action to repair it.

2. Oil Line O-Ring Failures

Another potential failure point is the o-rings for the oil lines connecting the suction tube to the main oil pump. These rings can plasticize over time, allowing oil to drip from the connecting lines back into the pan. These drips reduce the amount of oil the pump can pull from the suction tube and may create air pockets or cavitation in the oil flow.

Failed o-rings may only create an intermittent problem. In some cases, pressure may return to normal when revving the engine since the added suction from the pump can overcome the problem. Unfortunately, this won't solve the issue, and it's possible to cause damage to your engine if the issue worsens.

3. Failing Oil Pump

A failing oil pump is a critical issue that requires prompt attention. Although your pump may still be capable of supplying enough oil pressure to prevent immediate engine failure, a complete failure can quickly seize the engine and cause substantial internal damage. If you notice your oil pressure dropping, it's crucial to schedule a diagnostic visit as soon as possible to rule out a failing pump.

While delaying a job to check on oil pressure issues can be inconvenient and frustrating, the cost of repairing a seized engine is far worse. No matter how tight your schedule might be, it's critical always to address any loss of oil pressure as soon as you can.

For more information on diesel truck repair, contact a company like Tagesen Trucking.