How to Unstick Oil Pressure Relief Valve

Is your car making funny noises? Are you unable to start it and drive? Well, seems like there is a serious problem that needs immediate attention. But what do you think can the problem be?

Seems like some serious problem with the engine! Since you’ve found the cause, dig deep into it to find the root cause of the problem. Have you checked the oil pressure relief valve? Looks like it turned bad.

How do I know if my oil pressure relief valve is bad? How to replace the oil pressure relief valve? Well, if you’re looking for some professional answers, you’ve landed at the right place.


What is Oil Pressure Relief Valve?

Remember how we used to learn about the heart and how it pumps blood throughout the body with the movement being controlled by valves inside the organ?

The valves of the engine work in a similar way! The oil pressure relief valves lubricate the engine by supplying just the right amount of oil to keep it going.

Remember when you heard weird noises coming from the engine? The lack of lubrication caused it and hence, the oil relief pressure valve helps avoid friction to enhance the performance and life of your vehicle.

But where is the valve located? At the oil pump outlet!

How Do I Know If My Oil Pressure Relief Valve is Bad?

If you’re not a car enthusiast or a professional, chances are you may not be able to identify a “bad” oil pressure relief valve. But honestly, it isn’t that difficult! Hence, all you need to do is look out for the following symptoms to catch the problem before it becomes too much to handle.

  1. The Oil Pressure Light

How does a doctor diagnose your illness? By looking at the symptoms of course! Thus, the same goes for cars too.

Most vehicles come with oil pressure lights that switch on when there is a disruption in the oil pressure. But do you know where the light is? Yes, correct, it is located at the dashboard where you can see it blinking clearly.

  1. Change in the Oil Pressure Gauge

Didn’t you pay attention to the illuminated oil pressure light sooner? No problem! Chance are you won’t the sudden visible on the oil pressure gauge.

The gauge needle usually sits between the lines of high and low, indicating the right balance and oil lubrication which keeps the engine healthy.

But once the valve is stuck and the pressure is disrupted, the needle may move from its place, heading down towards either low or high pressure indicating a serious problem with the engine that requires immediate attention.

Well, believe us, missing out on the changes in the gauge reading is a hard one!

  1. Engine Noises

This is probably the most common and visible symptom of all. Funny noises from the engine are difficult to ignore!

And when your engine is making those weird noises while driving or otherwise, know there is a problem you need to pay attention to. But what exactly causes these noises?

When the high-pressure valve fails to work, some parts of the engine are deprived of the oil and hence, increased friction leads to these weird noises you have to get checked.

A point to remember here is that it isn’t necessary you’ll come across all three symptoms simultaneously. It may take time for each symptom to unravel itself and sometimes, not all become evident.

Hence, even if you come across one of the three, make sure you get the engine checked to avoid long-term damage to your car.

What Causes an Oil Pressure Relief Valve to Clog?

Even after being taken care of, if you are wondering what caused the valves to clog, there isn’t any real answer to it.

When you drive your car around, the dust and debris tend to build up inside the engine, clogging the oil filters over time. Thus, when the oil isn’t able to lubricate the entire engine, it builds up high pressure which may lead to increased friction.

This ultimately to lead malfunctioning of the engine. So, what should you do in such a case? Is it reversible? Yes, most certainly! By getting regular oil changes, you can reduce the pressure and ensure the engine remains in a healthy working condition.

How to Replace Oil Pressure Relief Valve

Are you thinking of visiting a professional to get rid of the weird engine noises? You surely should! A clogged oil pressure relief valve needs to be replaced immediately or else it’ll affect the performance of the engine.

You certainly wouldn’t want to spend a fortune on getting the whole engine saved, right? Hence, visit a car mechanic in time to get the valves changed! But just in case you are looking for a way to deal with the problem on your own here is how to replace the oil pressure valve on your own:

  1. First of all, gather all the tools needs to reach the oil pressure valve and replace it. What do you need? A 10mm socket, ratchet socket ranch, 17mm or 24mm socket, long socket ranch, torque wrench, 2 axle stands, a water pressure washer, gunk spray engine degreaser, trolley jack, and some gloves if you do not want to get your hands dirty.
  2. Next, use the axle and the jack to lift the car so that the engine is in easy reach.
  3. Now grab the 10mm socket to remove the bolts under the aluminum tray to remove the tray and expose the oil pressure relief valve.
  4. What do you do next? Spray the gunk engine degreaser all over the dirty area. Make sure you are careful in not spraying it over the belts and bearings.
  5. Cover the blackened area with a generous amount of degreaser and let it sit for a good 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Now get hold of the water pressure washer and use it to clean the area thoroughly. Where the greaser helps dissolve most of the debris, the pressure washer aids in getting rid of it completely.
  7. If your valve has gone completely bad, replace it with a new one of a similar size and model.
  8. Check for any leakages and if there aren’t any, put the tray back and hold it in place with the bolts.

If you are new at it, we’d suggest taking your car to a professional to avoid unnecessary damage to the car caused during the replacement of the valve.

Can a Bad Oil Pressure Relief Valve Damage the Engine?

Yes, it can! If you know that the valve has gone bad and trying to avoid a replacement because of a limited budget, know that with time, the clogged valves can damage the engine completely.

And once the engine is ruined, there is no other option but to get it changed with is even more expensive. So, if you’ve witnessed “bad” valve symptoms over the past few days, it is suggested to visit a professional for valve replacement or do it on your own.


When your organs fail to function as normal, you visit a doctor to get the illness treated and stand back up on your feet. Similarly, a bad oil pressure relief valve can damage the engine, putting your car out of performance in no time at all.

This is why, you need to pay special heed to the ongoing “bad” valve symptoms, know how to identify a bad valve and when to get it replaced. But is there a way to avoid clogging the oil pressure relief valve?

Just make sure you get the oil and the filters changed regularly so that no debris is built up to clog the valves, leading to malfunctioning of the engine.


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