Can a Bad Alternator Cause Low Oil Pressure & Can a Car Run With a Bad Alternator?

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It can be frustrating to start your vehicle early in the morning only for it not to come on. There are two main causes of why a vehicle will not start. It could be due to the failure of the alternator, or battery malfunctioning.

The battery and alternator are important components of a car and just like other parts, they can also get spoilt.

A faulty battery or alternator can affect proper functioning of the vehicle.

The battery is the part responsible for sending electricity to the starter. Once this happens, the engine of the vehicle will start.

Then the alternator will complete the process by charging the battery. The battery and the alternator work hand in hand which is why if either of them gets damaged, it affects the functioning of the other.

If your engine is not starting, there are ways to find which of the two parts is malfunctioning.

If you try to jumpstart the car and the engine starts but dies instantly, then the alternator is having problems.

This means it is not charging the battery as it should. However, if the car starts after jumpstarting and it is unable to start on its own, then you have a dead battery on your hands. Whatever the problem is, you will need to seek the services of a mechanic.

To Begin, here are some of the topics I will discuss in the article which includes, what does low oil pressure mean, can a car run with a bad alternator?, can a bad battery cause low oil pressure, can a clogged oil filter cause low oil pressure then we will look How to fix low oil pressure at idle and can bad spark plugs cause low oil pressure and finally will low oil pressure cause loss of power.

With those in mind let’s get started.

What does low oil pressure mean?

When a low oil pressure light comes on in your car dashboard, it simple means you vehicle oil level is below the recommended level your car model. This has made it impossible for enough oil to pass through to the engine for lubrication and smooth running of the engine. Low oil pressure situation is not issue to be taken lightly because it can damage your engine.

One of the worse issues that could affect a car is low oil pressure. When the oil pressure of a car engine gets too low, it can lead to overheating and in turn damages the engine.

Every car engine needs oil to function and survive. The oil serves as a lubricant to the engine and its components.

Without the oil, it will be unable to function well and would cause serious damages to the engine. A damaged engine is a serious problem and would cause lots of damage to you financially.

There are various signs to look out for if your car has low oil pressure. The major sign is that the low oil pressure light on the dashboard will come on.

Once you notice the light is on, you will have to stop driving immediately.

Low oil pressure stops oil from lubricating needed parts of the engine. This will cause the engine to shut off.

Causes of low oil pressure: Can a clogged oil filter cause low oil pressure

Can a clogged oil filter cause low oil pressure

Yes a clogged filter can cause your car to display the low oil pressure light on your dashboard the same thing goes if there is any form of barrier or obstacle within the oil filter.

There are various things that could cause or lead to a low oil pressure within your vehicle, but some of the common ones are below:

Causes of low oil pressure (what causes low oil pressure on diesel engine)

Clogged oil filer

The oil filter plays a major role in getting rid of every debris or contaminants in the oil before it enters the engine. As time goes on, the filter will become clogged and this will reduce the flow of oil to the engine.

Oil viscosity

Oil with a high viscosity will not flow freely as oil with low viscosity. You need to put the recommended type of oil in your vehicle. Do not use higher viscosity oil than your vehicle requires.

Faulty oil pressure gauge

The gauge is the technical component responsible for producing the reading of the oil. If there is problem with the oil pressure gauge, it will malfunction and produce a false reading.

Faulty internal components

Since the engine components contribute to the combustion process, if they fail, oil may not enter the combustion chamber. This will lead to a decrease in the oil pressure. If this is the case, you will see blue smoke coming out of your tail pipe.

Low oil level

An obvious cause of low oil pressure is if there is low oil in the tank. It could be that the oil is leaking or the maintenance is poor. If the oil is leaking, you will need to find the leak and get it sealed off. Then you will have to top up the oil.

Can a car run with a bad alternator?

The answer to this question is YES! However, it is not recommended.

The alternator is an important part of a cars electrical system and it is responsible for charging the battery.

The alternator can go bad as a result of overcharging or undercharging. The most common issue that affects the alternator is insufficient charging of the battery.

An alternator that provides poor charge to the battery will destroy the vehicles electrical components as time goes on.

Overcharging can also affect an alternator even though it is less common. It damages the battery and electrical system more if it is not fixed on time.

Some of the signs you should look out for to notice a bad alternator are:

  • Problems starting the engine of the car
  • Dimming of the interior and exterior lights.
  • Slow power windows
  • A growling sound
  • Smell of burning rubber.

If you notice symptoms that the alternator is faulty, you should take the car in for repair immediately. It is very dangerous to drive a car with a bad alternator. For those whose car has a complete electric power steering, driving the car can be dangerous to you and those around you. It will be better to tow the vehicle to the mechanic.

Can a bad battery cause low oil pressure

There are different causes of low oil pressure and a bad battery is not one of them. A bad battery will affect the overall function of the car and the engine will refuse to start on its own. Once the engine starts, the battery sends jolt of electricity to the starter.

After it does this, the engine will start. When a battery is bad, it will be unable to send electricity to the starter and this means that the engine will not start.

Can bad spark plugs cause low oil pressure

No! Bad spark plugs cannot cause low oil pressure. Just like the air filter, and motor oil, spark plugs are important components of the vehicle.

They require constant maintenance and services so that the engine of the car will continue running strong.

You need to replace the spark plugs every 30,000 to 50,000 miles or as required by the manufacturer of your vehicle.

A bad spark plug can lead to slow acceleration, loss of fuel economy, difficulty starting the car, and engine misfiring. Ensure you take proper care of your vehicles spark plug.

Will low oil pressure cause loss of power

Low oil pressure if ignored for too long will lead to overheating and cause serious damages to the vehicle.

Once you notice that, the oil pressure light on the dashboard is on, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. There is always a reason why the light is triggered. It could be a serious or minor issue.

How to fix low oil pressure at idle           

There are various things that could cause low oil pressure at idle. It could be that the level of oil is low or you are using the wrong type of oil.

A damaged oil pump and internal oil leak in the engine can also lead to this problem. Some of its symptoms include hearing noises from the engine and the pressure light on the dashboard is coming on.

Fixing this problem depends on the cause. If the oil level is low, you will have to fill it up. Then replace the oil if you are using the wrong type of oil.

If the oil pump is damages, it will needs urgent replacements. In case the problem is a faulty oil pressure sensor, it needs to be replaced. Before fixing the oil pressure at idle problem, the first step will be to diagnose the real cause.

Watch the video above on the replacing oil to help fix your car low oil problem.


If you notice that you have a bad alternator or battery, you need to get it fixed immediately. Postponing the issue could cause a great damage which may cause you unwanted expenses.

Also, don’t ignore the pressure light warning on your dashboard as the engine needs the right amount of oil pressure to function at its full capacity.

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