The importance of your Oil warning light
Oil pressure is important to any car. Volkswagen family vehicles have an Oil Warning Light which warns you about Oil Pressure problems. Normally due to low engine Oil. There are two Oil warning lights on the VW Golf Oil and most other car systems. Generally speaking, the warning lights are:
- Yellow (low oil level, it’s at the absolute minimum) – Fill urgently, ideally stop. This normally appears when the fluid is at the minimum amount (I believe this is around 1 Litre)
- Red (low oil pressure, this is dangerous) – Stop immediately, your engine will seize. If you get this light come on when driving, or immediately after hitting something like a pot hole. Pull over as fast as you can and switch off the engine. It’s important to switch off the engine too, Oil Circulates when the engine is running. You need to make sure it’s not circulating
I neglected to check my oil since the last change, because my cars have never used a drop of them. It always pays to do maintenance and regularly check your car fluids. When was the last time you changed your Oil or topped it up?
If your car comes up with any kind of Oil Warning Light, whether that is a orange oil warning light, or a red oil stop light, or a pressure warning light. Try and pull over immediately, Oil is the life blood for your engine. You need to investigate it asap
Today whilst driving to work I received the VW Golf Oil Warning Light (Yellow one), needless to say my arse was looser than someone who’d just been buggered by an elephant. I was crapping myself. If the light was flashing, it would mean sensor. Given that I don’t check my oil often, I was confident it was the level anyway
For information, here’s a quote directly from the above source:
Red warning lights mean you should stop the car as soon as it’s safe.
Yellow warning lights mean that action is required.
Green warning lights are for information only.
I knew I’d get to work and I’d just top it up at work, there are two warning lights on the VW Golf Oil and most other car systems. Generally speaking, the warning lights are:
- Yellow (low oil level, it’s at the absolute minimum) – Fill urgently, ideally stop
- Red (low oil pressure, this is dangerous) – Stop immediately, your engine will seize
Both situations are dangerous, I drove about 10 miles with the yellow light on, OK, I shouldn’t have, but I need to get to work, and knew I still had some oil in the car and driving that many miles wouldn’t cause it to fail.
I did however do some remedial actions, my car has never used oil. I do however drive my car really hard at times. I’ve always used the FULL rev range on my car so it gets the good old Italian tune up regularly to keep it healthy. The downside is it burns oil faster. That and I think I have a leaking intercooler which won’t help
Anyway, generally, the harder you drive your car, the faster the oil gets burnt. Basically hotter engine, faster spinning engine means more lubrication. So I took the safer option, I drove to work in 6th gear @ 50mph. Revs were around 1500rpm, which was really low, so didn’t put the engine under load much
Once I arrived at work, I went to top up Oil…… open boot, ermmm, hang on, didn’t I put the oil in the Garage at home one day?…. Oh, shit
I did check my oil when I got to work, and the dipstick wasn’t even reading at minimum…. by the way. Volkswagens dipsticks are REALLY badly designed on the VW Golf MK5. You get this crappy BLACK plastic with two balls on (for minimum and maximum). Yeah, it’s good in theory. You can read the oil level at any temp, however you have two problems here
- Oil is BLACK, dipstick is BLACK….. go figure
- Those little balls, yeah they stick out. Which means they SCRAP the oil tube coming up. So screws up your reading
If you are reading this VW, go back to the OLD style dipsticks. A metal based ones with little dotted ends, they’re SOOO much easier to read (I’m even thinking of modding my old Passat one). Even making the balls smaller would help
Anyway, long story short. I got my car home safely. Although I was expecting to receive the low oil warning light when coming home I didn’t… I didn’t want to chance it though. So repeated my driving conditions to keep the pressures low and reduce the chance of my engine committing a suicidial Harikari – if you’re reading this my little VW, I wubs you. Don’t break on me :O(
So, I filled up my car with about 3 litres of Mobil1 5w/30 ESP when I got home since it’s my preferred choice of Oil. Will do me until I buy some new drums, and chucked an old Castol Edge 5w/30 oil in the boot. I don’t like it, but it meets VW 505.00 standard (although the MK5 Golf is 505.01, or even 505.02 – I can’t remember) and end of the day, some oil is better than no oil. A car will still drive with shitty oil, it’s just not the optimum design for the engine
So as a future note, it always pays attention to those 2 mins. Avoid getting the VW Golf Oil Warning Light like I did, and save yourself some money in the long run from a potential rebuild