Nothing is more unpleasant than the dreaded “oil pressure engine off” message coming on your VW’s dashboard during a drive.
From my personal experience, whether you have Tiguan, Passat, Golf, or Touareg this is a very common problem with VWs and can be caused by a variety of things. Usually, it’s just a bad sensor that needs to be replaced, but sometimes it’s something much more serious.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what the oil pressure switch engine off message means, what causes it, and how to fix it on your Volkswagen, let’s jump to it.
What Does Oil Pressure Engine Off Mean on a VW?
The oil pressure switch engine off message means your VW is experiencing a problem achieving the required oil pressure in order to operate.
This could mean the oil pressure is too low or too high, or that there is no oil pressure at all.
When this happens, your VW will hesitate to start or lose power when accelerating and you’ll see “oil pressure switch engine off” displayed on the dash.
Let’s look at the main causes of oil pressure problems on a Volkswagen.
VW “Oil Pressure Engine Off” Causes
Bad Oil Pressure Switch
Based on my experience as a mechanic, the most common cause of the “oil pressure switch engine off” message on a VW is a bad oil pressure switch.
The Oil pressure switch/sensor is responsible for sensing the oil pressure in your engine and sending a signal to the ECU.
If it malfunctions, then your engine will not get enough oil pressure and you’ll see this warning on your dash. I recommended starting with a visual inspection of the oil pressure switch. If it looks like it’s been damaged or has signs of corrosion, then you should replace it.
Generally, the Oil pressure switch on most VW cars is located near the oil filter housing, the switch itself is relatively inexpensive and is prone to failure due to the harsh operating conditions on these cars.
If you have an older car and haven’t replaced the oil pressure switch yet, now is a great time to do it.
Other VW Oil Pressure Engine Off Causes
Although in most cases this fault is caused by a faulty oil pressure switch/sensor there are other things that can cause VW oil problems including:
1. Clogged Oil Filter:
If the oil filter is clogged it will restrict the flow of oil to your engine and cause oil pressure problems. This can be easily checked by removing the oil filter and inspecting it for signs of dirt, debris, metal shavings or other contamination.
2. Failing Engine Oil Pump:
The main purpose of an engine oil pump is to pump oil from the engine block, through the filter, and into the oil pan. If this part fails then your engine will not have enough oil pressure and can cause all sorts of oil pressure-related problems.
3. Wrong Oil Type
If you recently changed oil in your VW and then started to experience oil pressure problems, it could be that you used the wrong type of oil. Depending on your model VW recommends using full synthetic 5W-30 , 5w40 or 0w40 synthetic oil in all modern vehicles, and this is because non-synthetic oils have a higher viscosity than synthetic ones.
4. Low Engine Oil
Sometimes extremely low engine oil can cause your engine to lose pressure, however, this is a very rare issue as VW engines come with a warning light that tells you if there’s not enough oil in the engine. If you do experience this problem it may be due to either using the wrong type of oil or an engine leak.
How to Fix and Reset “Oil Pressure Engine Off” on a VW
The first thing I would advise you to do is replace the oil pressure sensor. This is a very inexpensive part and you can get one from a nearby Volkswagen dealer. If you don’t want to take it to a dealer, there are a number of places online where you can get them.
You can either have Vw replace it or you can do it yourself. I would recommend taking it to a mechanic, as they will be able to check the oil level and other things while they are replacing this part. If everything checks out fine then you should be good to go.
If the issue persists then I recommend that you get your car checked for faults using an obd 2 tool. This is a device that plugs into the diagnostic port of your car and allows you to read error codes, which can help you figure out what is causing your problem.