Like its name would suggest, your engine's oil pump works to move oil throughout your engine during the combustion process. An improper supply of oil to your engine while it is in operation can have serious consequences for your entire vehicle, and can make the risk of more complex and expensive to fix issues arising in your engine if it is not addressed immediately. Fortunately, there are a few key warning signs of a failing engine oil pump that you can keep watch for to determine when you need to head to an auto service mechanic.
Oil Warning Light
One of the first warning signs that a faulty engine oil pump will give off is the oil warning light going off on your dashboard. When this occurs, you should check your oil levels: if the oil level is low, then your pump is fine, and all you have to do is top off of your oil reservoir. However, if the oil level in the reservoir is at the recommended level, the pump is to blame: it is not operating quickly enough, causing oil pressure in the engine to fall, lighting up the warnings.
Noise of Operation
Another indication that your engine oil pump has an issue is if you notice that your engine is operating at a higher level of noise than usual. This is because oil is being supplied to your engine at a suboptimal rate, and therefore is not lubricating the various moving parts within your engine enough for smooth operation. These loud noises represent increased friction and wear to your engine's parts, which can cause significant damage and require expensive repairs or replacement if allowed to continue unchecked, so you should head to a mechanic straight away.
Reduced Vehicle Performance
In a similar vein to the above point, because oil is being provided to your engine at a rate that is less than optimal, your engine will produce less power. This will translate into slower speeds, acceleration, and reduced fuel efficiency. Further, since not enough oil is making it to the engine to lubricate it, the increased friction will cause your engine heat to increase significantly, which can make overheating an issue. If you notice any of these symptoms occurring with your vehicle, especially if they happen at the same time as the warning signs mentioned above, you can comfortably assume that your engine oil pump is to blame.