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What could cause my engine to starting running loud and then make the red oil pressure light turn on?

I have a 2003 jetta. A couple days ago out of nowhere my engine started running VERY loud when it’s idling and accelerating. It sounds like I have a boat motor for an engine or something.

Then yesterday the red oil pressure warning light turned on and it turns on and stays on everytime I use my car.

And now just an hour ago, I drove my car for about 5 miles and by the 5th mile the engine temp gauge was up about 3/4’s of the way to the red zone.

This all started after I brought my car in to get a headlight replaced and an oil change. I’m not sure if that’s relevant or not because I don’t know much at all about cars.

At first I thought the engine was just running poorly because of how cold it’s been here in MA, but clearly I was wrong because this problem has gone from bad to terrible, extremely fast lol.

Does anyone know what could be causing all of this to happen? Again I don’t know much about cars but at this point I’m assuming there’s most likely something horribly wrong with my car


The first–and most important question-- is…
When you first heard those ominous noises and saw that “red oil pressure warning light”, did you check the level of the oil in the crankcase?

Did anyone check the oil level after that oil change?
Also…when–in terms of both odometer mileage and elapsed time–was the engine’s oil last changed?

I have to say that I am not overly optimistic about the health of your engine at this point, but I will withhold final opinion until you respond to my questions.

Has anyone EVER checked the oil level I this car?

I’m with VDC. I too have little confidence that this engine has a future. You should NEVER drive an engine making horrible noises with the oil pressure light on. That’s the best way to quickly destroy and engine that I know of.

Sorry, but I suspect that neglect has tortured your engine to death from loss of lubricant.

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I’m not feeling too optimistic either but the only thing i checked was the oil level because I don’t know anyyhing about cars and the oil was changed about a week ago, and that was also about 70 miles ago.

I get the oil chaanged regularly and on time, the oil pressure light used to come on all the time because of a sensor issue, that’s what I was told by the people at the vw dealership anyways. So until earlier today i thought the sensor was acting up again

I’ve also only owned this car for one year exactly though so it’s definitely possible the previous owner(s) didn’t take good care of the car. I bought it from a family friend that bought it and fixed it up. He’s a master mechanic and works at the vw dealership I take my car to for maintenence so I assumed I wouldn’t run into many problems with the car, it must have been in worse condition than he thought it was when he bought it to fix up and sell

Have you checked the oil level since the oil change? You said it started after the oil change. First thing you should do is look at the dipstick, make sure it’s not leaking. If the level is normal then you’ve got other problems not caused by the last service.

Yeah I checked today when I got home after I stupidly trying to drive it, it was at a normal level

I can’t say what’s wrong with it but the oil pressure light was probably not malfunctioning and you weren’t getting oil pressure. Could be from sludge, clogged or faulty pump. Better have someone look at it and hope for the best and don’t keep driving it. They should have investigated the warning light earlier.

Sorry but if the oil light came on and the temp gauge went up along with the loud engine noise, I suspect the engine is toast at this point. I would have first suspected no oil due to the oil change but if it has oil, then either a bad oil pump or a restriction due to sludge.

You could have a defective oil filter. You can’t ignore the oil pressure light and you don’t drive it with that light on.

I apologize for my earlier assumption. It sounds like you did a lot right in trying to take car of it.

It sounds like you’ve learned the hard way about warning lights.

I would, if I were you, have the current mechanic check out the oil filter to see if it’s the incorrect filter or has a problem. There’s a small chance that whoever last changed the oil used the wrong filter or somehow misinstalled it, and if that can be documented they might justifiably be held responsible for the damages. It’s worth checking.

After an oil and filter change, lots of engine noise and the oil warning light comes on, but the dipstick shows the oil level is normal? Couple of ideas

  • The place that changed the oil may have put something else besides engine oil into the crankcase. It’s not unheard of for a shop to accidentally fill the crankcase with transmission fluid or gear oil.
  • The oil may not be circulating b/c there’s an obstruction, most likely something to do w/ the filter.
  • The noise isn’t from the engine, it’s b/c they put the engine oil into the transmission fill tube. Check the transmission fill. If it is way over, that’s probably what happened. No theory why that would cause the oil warning light to come on though.