Engine Lubrication Problems – Lack Of Oil, Resulting In Engine Wear.

Engine Lubrication Problems - Lack Of Oil, Resulting In Engine Wear.
Engine Lubrication Problems - Lack Of Oil, Resulting In Engine Wear.

Firstly, a poor maintenance routine, is the biggest cause, of engine lubrication problems.

Secondly, extended oil change intervals, are partly responsible for low engine oil levels and subsequent, engine lubrication problems.

Consequently, excessive engine oil sludge develops and will eventually clog the engine’s; oil pump pickup screen, oil filter and oil galleries.

So, broken timing belts are also, symptomatic of engine lubrication problems, on overhead camshaft engines.

Above all, every engine needs oil between its moving parts; not only to reduce friction, but also to carry away heat. To clarify, oil is the primary means; by which the rod and main bearings as well as the pistons, are cooled.

Engine Lubrication Problems
Engine Oil

So, any reduction in oil flow, may cause these parts to run hot, gall and seize. Furthermore, detergents contained in fresh oil; will accelerate the clogging of oil pump screens and oil filters, by loosening accumulated sludge. As a result, volumes of engine sludge and dirty engine oil; can easily clog today’s compact oil filters.

Quite often the oil filter bypass valve, will open during cold engine starts. As a result, more sludge and dirt, will pass into the engine bearings and reciprocating parts. In addition, engine life is drastically shortened, when operated at, extreme temperatures and loads.

The Initial Symptoms, Of Engine Lubrication Problems Are:

  • Noisy engine during, cold start-up
  • Oil pressure gauges that rise, very slowly

Low Oil Pressure Causing, Engine Lubrication Problems

So, low oil pressure, is often a contributing factor in, engine failures. The underlying cause may be, a worn oil pump and/or excessive clearances in the main and rod bearings. Most of the time, as a result, of high mileage wear or neglect.

Oil Starvation Causing, Engine Lubrication Problems

Oil starvation, is almost always fatal to any engine and is usually the result of:

  • A failed, oil pump
  • A clogged, oil pickup screen
  • Low engine, oil level
Engine Lubrication Problems
Damaged Engine Bearings

Bearings that have been damaged, as a result of engine lubrication problems; will be shiny and worn, where the crankshaft journal wiped away, the bearing material. Overhead cam engines, are even more vulnerable, to oil starvation and low oil pressure problems. Due to, the cam and valve train being, farther away from the oil pump. Also, when an (OHC) engine is first started; it takes awhile for oil pressure to reach, the cam bearings or journals.

Engine Lubrication Problems
Wrong Engine Oil Viscosity

If the oil viscosity is too heavy, it may delay the arrival of oil long enough; to starve and seize the camshaft. For this reason, most vehicle manufacturers recommend using; a 5W-30 oil in late model (OHC) engines year round. So, refilling the crankcase, with the recommended viscosity oil; can prevent engine lubrication problems. A low oil level, can also be the result of, neglect, oil leakage and/or oil burning.

Engine Oil, Burning

Your engine may be burning oil, if you have:

  • Oil-fouled spark plugs
  • A heavy buildup of black wet deposits, on the backs of the intake valves

Oil usually enters the combustion chamber past, worn:

  • Valve guides
  • Valve seals
  • Past worn or broken piston rings
  • Worn cylinder walls

If the oil burning is due to, worn or broken rings or wear in the cylinders; the engine will have low compression. The only cure here, is to bore or hone the cylinders and replace, the worn or broken piston rings. Most often it requires, installing new guides, guide liners or valves with oversize valve stems. Consequently, installing new valve stem seals, can often reduce oil burning dramatically, helping reduce engine lubrication problems.

Engine Oil, Leaks

Any evidence of oil leakage, would tell you new gaskets and seals, need to be installed.

Engine Oil, Leaks
Engine Oil, Leaks

Common places to leak include:

  • Front or rear crankshaft seals
  • Oil pan gasket
  • Valve cover gaskets
  • Intake manifold gaskets

Gaskets and oil seals should be replaced, if worn or leaking or whenever removed, during servicing.

Replacement is simple, but some engine dismantling, may be necessary to reach them. Check for a, plugged oil filter and/or a missing air filter or oil filler or breather cap. But, the underlying cause here, may be just not changing the oil often enough.


So, regular maintenance might seem pricey, but it’s also critical to keeping your car, in good working condition. Finally, be sure to keep up; with routine oil changes and other maintenance, to avoid engine lubrication problems.

Thank You !