The part that appears in the pic I have attached to this post has been making a lot of noise lately - ping, bang, knock etc… but the car has driven fine for a few months like that. but today it seized up causing the belt to smoke and make a squealing noise - I was stuck in a parking lot so I just cut the belt off and drove home - now the car runs great - it no longer makes noise and I was watching the gauges and seems like no difference at all during my 5 mile trip home.
So my question to you car pros is - how important is that part? I’m low income in a ghetto apartment so money is tight and getting money for car repairs is hard right now - I assume that part is an oil pump and don’t oil pumps just circulate oil just to clean it through the filter or is there something I am missing? Can I safely run the car without that part? Thx for your help.