Your Oil Pressure Gauge and You
For the Average Joe or Jane, such as myself, oil pressure gauges are things dads spend a lot of time checking and rechecking on their cars and yelling at you about if you happen to not do the same yourself. As a procrastinating and forgetful daughter, my father has made it his personal duty to maintain the oil pressure of the various cars I have driven over the years, but it wasn’t until I fully understood the probable and potential deterioration cars experience when their oil quantity isn’t properly maintained that I felt the appropriate amount of gratefulness towards him for doing so.
Oil pressure gauges are used to determine the amount of oil in tanks; faulty and inferior maintenance of oil quantity can lead to significant damage to the engine, consequently giving the car an early, otherwise preventable demise. When it comes to the lubrication system of a car’s engine, oil and proper oil measurement is vital to the car’s well-being. Once functioning, the engine’s pistons begin to move up and down, and oil is traveled, via channels, to the areas of the car that experience friction between the rotating parts and their surroundings—otherwise referred to as bearings. Having an appropriate amount of oil pressure prevents these parts from experiencing wear-and-tear during movement. This process is why a car’s engine is referred to as a forced lubricating system.
Gauging oil conditions in car engines is also important for cooling purposes. I am sure you’ve been there: stuck in traffic on some backed-up freeway on your way to Burning Man, when all of a sudden, in the midst of searching the radio dial for that area’s NPR station, you notice steam coming from the front hood. After cursing yourself for not properly listening to your old man for once in your life, you pull over, grab the container of antifreeze from your trunk and attempt to administer what you think will improve your circumstances, only to burn your hand while cranking open the hood; the engine, you realize, is extremely, painfully hot. Furthermore, the antifreeze you are assuming will properly solve the problem doesn’t actually access the internal engine— only its surroundings. This is why oil, in addition to being a lubricator, is an important part of the car’s cooling system.
And this is why oil pressure gauges are so important; in order for oil to be able to do its job adequately, it must be able to move quickly throughout the engine by being fully pressurized, which can only occur if the proper amount of it is consistently controlled. This can happen only if the oil is circulated through the engine’s oil pressure gauge, which sends a signal to the car’s dashboard if there is a problem with the pressure level or temperature. At that point, it is up to the procrastinating, forgetful driver to take the appropriate actions. Or call a dad to do it instead.