Oil Warning Lights In Your Vehicle - Hanson Subaru Service Information

You probably already know that the oil in your engine makes sure all the moving parts inside are properly lubricated and protected from friction and heat damage. But did you know there are many other components that have their own oils, too? And your car is smart enough to tell you with a dashboard warning light if there's a problem with any of them! On this page, learn what you should do when you see these four oil warning lights turn on in your Subaru.

This symbol indicates a low oil pressure in the engine, a dangerous situation

4. Low Oil Level Indicator Light

The oil system alert light is supposed to look like an oil can with a drop of oil coming from the spout. Though, to our eyes, it looks a lot more like a genie's magic lamp. No matter what this Rorschach test of a symbol looks like to you, an amber-colored oil system light indicates that your engine is running low on oil. Oil starvation can cause internal engine damage that can require extensive repairs down the road, so be sure to have oil added to the engine as soon as possible when this light comes on.

Driving very long with this light active is sure to cause you major problems, but topping off the engine with oil is cheap, fast and easy. Ask the technicians at Hanson Subaru for assistance, or just swing by our service center at your convenience.

This transmission has been cut in half so we can see all its complex gears and moving parts

3. AT Oil Temperature Warning Light

Instead of a symbol, this alert warning light uses text. If you see the "AT OIL TEMP" light come on in the dash, that's telling you your automatic transmission fluid temperature is too hot. Hanson Subaru recommends pulling over and parking the vehicle in a safe place immediately. Allow the engine to idle while the transmission cools down and let this light turn itself off. You can continue driving once it's off, but if the light returns, you'll want a professional diagnosis from one of our techs to find out why your transmission is overheating.

If the "AT OIL TEMP" light begins to flash immediately after starting the vehicle, it could indicate problems with the transmission control module. Your transmission may behave unusually until this problem is addressed at a certified Subaru service department.

Using gloves and a funnel, a technician tops off this engine with fresh oil so that it's protected from wear

2. R. Diff Temperature Warning Light

Exclusive to the Subaru WRX STI, the "R. DIFF TEMP" warning light indicates when the oil lubricating the rear differential is overheating. Once again, we recommend pulling over and letting the differential cool off until the warning light turns off. Driving with an overheating rear differential can not only lead to damage to the differential itself, it can put added strain on the powertrain, causing even more damage. When this light is on, the maximum amount of torque will automatically be directed to the front wheels, overriding any user settings.

Just like the engine oil, your rear differential oil keeps the meshing metal parts lubricated and protected from wear and friction. It also prevents excess heat build-up from friction. As the oil in the differential ages and breaks down, its lubricating properties will diminish. When this light comes on, it's likely time to have the rear differential fluid replaced.

1. Low Oil Pressure Warning Light

While the warning lights described above are amber in color, this one is red, indicating an even more severe issue. When the genie lamp-looking light comes on in your car, but it's red instead of yellow, stop driving the vehicle immediately and look into having it towed to our service center. Give us a call if you'd like a service writer to recommend a reliable towing service in your area.

A red oil system light indicates that the oil pressure in the engine is low. Or, it could be a failed sensor. It's not wise to leave this one to chance, as a low oil pressure in the engine means parts aren't getting the oil coverage they need to stay protected. The engine is likely to begin overheating, metal parts may grind against one another and severe damage may occur. To avoid a nasty repair bill for a complete engine rebuild, stop driving the car as soon as possible when this light comes on.

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  1. Hanson Subaru

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales : (888) 490-9863

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Hanson Subaru

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Call or Text Sales: 360 943 2120
  • Service: (360)943-8531
  • Parts: (360)943-2120