Thursday, 15 March 2012

Oil Pumps

The oil pump in an internal combustion engine circulates engine oil under pressure to the rotating bearings, the sliding pistons and the camshaft of the engine.

This lubricates the bearings, allows the use of higher-capacity fluid bearings and also assists in cooling the engine.



As well as its primary purpose for lubrication, pressurized oil is increasingly used as a hydraulic fluid to power small actuators. One of the first notable uses in this way was for hydraulic tappets in camshaft and valve actuation.

Low oil pressure, however, can cause engine damage. Low oil pressure can be caused by many things, such as a faulty oil pump, a clogged oil pickup screen, excessive wear on high mileage engines, or simply low oil volume.

Indications of low oil pressure may be that the warning light is on, a low pressure reading on the gauge, or clattering/clinking noises from the engine. Low oil pressure is a problem that must be addressed immediately to prevent serious damage.

See the training material from the Universal Technical Institute:



The oiling system addresses the need to properly lubricate an engine when it’s running. Properly lubricating an engine not only reduces friction between moving parts but is also the main method by which heat is removed from pistons, bearings, and shafts. Failing to properly lubricate an engine will result in engine failure. The oil pump forces the motor oil through the passages in the engine to properly distribute oil to different engine components.

In a common oiling system, oil is drawn out of the oil sump (oil pan, in US English) through a wire mesh strainer that removes some of the larger pieces of debris from the oil. The flow made by the oil pump allows the oil to be distributed around the engine. In this system, oil flows through an oil filter and sometimes an oil cooler, before going through the engine’s oil passages and being dispersed to lubricate pistons, rings, springs, valve stems, and more.