Why Does My Oil Pressure Go Down When I Accelerate?

Any car we drive, its engine needs a sufficient supply of oil to lubricate its parts. It prevents overheating and further car damage. Usually, the oil pressure rises within the normal range when you accelerate the car. It happens as the increased motor rotation (higher RPM) spins the oil pump faster and creates higher oil pressure. But if the oil gauge drops during acceleration, something is wrong with the vehicle.

Well, you may ask, “Why does my oil pressure go down when I accelerate?” Let me give you a brief idea. The most common reason is usually low oil-level volume. However, other reasons include using incorrect viscosity oil, worn-out bearings, damaged oil pump, and dirty or clogged oil filters. Even the gauge may itself be a reason to get wrong readings during acceleration.

I know you are looking for solutions to restore the oil pressure to normal when accelerating the car. So, without wasting your time, I invite you to read this article on low oil pressure during vehicle acceleration. If you spend some moments here, I promise you will eliminate the issue.

Reasons of Low Oil Pressure During Acceleration

What do you mean by oil pressure? In easy words, it is a force measurement with which oil is pushed through a car’s engine. Well, this pressure in a vehicle’s engine falls within a specific range, considered “normal” oil pressure level. Normal oil pressure ranges between 20 and 65 PSI, depending on the vehicle’s make and model (1).

When you see the oil pressure is too high or too low via a gauge, it may refer to improper oil circulation throughout the engine.

As I said, the pressure rises above “normal” when you press the gas pedal for boosted speed of a car. But often, the problem appears when the pressure goes down instead of rising while accelerating. Thus, these are some reasons why your car has low oil pressure when you accelerate it:

Low Oil Volume

The most possible reason for reduced oil pressure is the low oil-level volume. When you accelerate, the oil is pushed to the back of the oil pan. It allows the oil pump to draw in air. As a result, the oil pressure drops.

For sure, if your engine is not getting enough oil from the pump, the parts cannot get lubricated properly. It increases the friction between the rapidly moving parts. Moreover, if your engine turns lubricant-starved, it will overheat quickly. It may lead to a car breakdown (2).

Oil Quality

Oil is the food for the engine, isn’t it? If you feed it quality food (in this case, motor oil), it will stay strong and perform better. For instance, high-quality oil ensures efficient lubrication. It can prevent friction between the parts of the engine. If you use low-quality oil, it may not reach the engine parts properly. When you accelerate, the pump may not push this oil and show low pressure on the meter.

Oil Viscosity

Viscosity refers to the thickness of oil at a specified temperature. If the oil is thicker, it faces more resistance when passing through the engine’s passages. Consequently, it will cause higher oil pressure(1).

On the other hand, too-thin engine oil can seep into crevices where it should not be. Over time, it will drip out the car. As a result, oil-level volume will decrease, which may cause low oil pressure during speeding up (3).

Oil Filter Condition

Often, we ignore using quality oil filters. But these are useful to remove impurities from the engine oil. When the filter becomes clogged, it fails to remove those contaminants effectively. So you will get reduced oil pressure inside the engine (4). And your vehicle engine may get damaged if you do not take care of it soon.

Engine Temperature

Engine temperature can influence oil pressure, particularly during acceleration. When you accelerate the engine, it generates more heat. Likewise, it causes oil to thin out. However, the faster-spinning oil pump typically compensates for this decrease in viscosity by increasing the flow rate. It can cause higher oil pressure (5).

When the thin-out is too high, the pump will not get enough oil to maintain the pressure. Then, the engine will start drawing air inside. As a result, you may get low oil pressure during acceleration.

Oil Pump Condition

A worn-out or defective oil pump may fail to generate the required pressure. So, you will experience oil pressure going down when you accelerate. You can identify a faulty oil pump if you get low oil pressure, high engine temperature, and noises from the engine (6). Moreover, a faulty oil pump can cause reduced lubrication of the engine.

Faulty Oil Gauge

Suppose you have checked everything including the engine and other parts. But still, you get low oil pressure on the gauge of your vehicle. Then, what can be the reason behind it? In such a case, a faulty gauge is the culprit. It will provide incorrect or fluctuating readings even during the acceleration (7).

Indeed, the oil gauge monitors the oil pressure always entering the engine. However, some reasons behind the defective gauge are factors like faulty sensors, corroded wiring, and pump damage. Mechanical issues, like engine vibrations and road-induced jarring, can also cause problems with mechanical oil gauges (8).

Worn-Out Bearings

When bearings of the crankshaft, connecting rod, and camshaft wear out, they increase their clearance. Therefore, it will reduce the oil flow restriction and cause a drop in oil pressure (2). The worn-out bearings cannot maintain the necessary separation between the shaft and bearing surfaces. Besides, oil may leak from the sides of the bearings.

How to Fix Low Oil Pressure During Acceleration

It’s not just about low pressure on the gauge during speeding up. If your car has low oil pressure, it may negatively impact vehicle performance. For instance, there will be increased friction between engine parts. Also, your vehicle may become hungrier for fuel, the engine may not produce sufficient power, and it may stall while you are on the road (9). I guess these are enough to seek solutions to low oil pressure.

These are some ways to fix low oil pressure during acceleration:

Regular Oil Changes

Oil loses its quality and efficiency over time due to contamination. So, you should change it regularly. It will ensure that the engine is always lubricated with clean, high-quality oil (10). If the oil is sufficient in the pump, you will not get low oil pressure during an increase in speed.

Let me help you more. Take a dipstick to check the oil level which is very simple task. And one more thing, you can change oil by paying $20-$100 on average (11).

Using the Correct Oil Viscosity

Avoid using too thick or too thin to maintain the necessary oil pressure. In this case, I suggest you use recommended oil by your car’s brand. Thus, you can get this information in the owner’s manual. Many stores are even out there to sell high-quality motor oil.

Regularly Replacing the Oil Filter

Most car brands suggest changing the oil filter every second time of replacing oil (12). Suppose you replace the oil after 3000 miles. You can change the oil filter at 6000 miles.

Replacing the oil filters will ensure the proper flow of oil. It will not cause oil pressure to go down during acceleration. Typically, oil filter changes cost around $35-$75 or $65-$125 for conventional and synthetic motor oil, respectively (13).

Replace Faulty Parts

You must change them quickly if you identify defective engine parts. It can be bearings, gauges, pumps, etc. Replacing them will return the optimal oil pressure even if you speed up the car. Also, the pump will flow sufficient oil to the engine to produce the required power. As a result, you will get better performance while driving a vehicle.


Do you still have the question, “Why does my oil pressure go down when I accelerate? I am confident you can identify the cause and take necessary measures accordingly.

Well, you can start by examining the oil level. If the oil level is sufficient, ensure you use the correct oil with recommended viscosity. Then, avoid using too thick or too thin oil. You can check the viscosity grade number on the oil’s container.

Replace the oil, oil filter, and damaged parts soon. It will avoid further damage to the engine. You can contact a professional if you have tried everything I mentioned in this article.

That’s all for today. Leave feedback in the comment section, please!

Leave a Comment