Bad Oil Pump Replacement Cost – Is It Really That Expensive?

Bad Oil Pump Replacement Cost – Is It Really That Expensive?

August 20, 2021 0 By CarGuy

So, you have been experiencing some symptoms like low oil pressure, increased engine temperature, noise coming from the engine head? I can tell you that the oil pump that you are running probably has seen better days and it needs to be replaced soon. That’s why you should look for bad oil pump replacement cost. And we are going to help you out with that problem.

The oil pump is an internal part of every internal combustion engine. The oil pump is part of the lubrication system in the engine possible and makes all the magic of delivering a proper amount of oil on each component in your vehicle’s engine.

Although the oil pump is extremely durable. Oil pumps know to fail every once in a while and cause some major headaches to car owners. These headaches can drive you crazy if you cannot diagnose this problem. Diagnosing a bad oil pump is a bit tricky because the pump is inside of the engine and you cannot check it out. That’s why we are going to focus on the symptoms that this problem creates.

In this article, we are going to cover the basics of oil pumps and how they work. Then we are going to discuss the bad oil pump symptoms. We also going to see how you can diagnose this issue by yourself and then we are going to make a small tutorial on how you can replace an oil pump DIY. And lastly, we are going to cover the bad oil pump replacement cost. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the article.

What Is An Oil Pump?

The oil pump is an engine component that’s the main role is to collect the oil that is located inside of the oil pan and then to disburse this oil around the engine where is needed.

The oil pump is a simple device. That’s why it is very durable and can withstand a huge amount of load and stress.

This oil pump is mandating the oil pressure inside of the engine. The role of the oil pump is to maintain good pressure. Everything between 20 and 55 psi is considered to be a good pressure that will not cause damage your engine.

The oil pump as it turns it starts to move the engine oil around the engine and fill all the crevices with cool oil.

In most vehicles, the oil pump is usually mounted at the bottom front side of the engine and is connected with the pickup tube.

This simple design makes the bad oil pump replacement cost very affordable.

How The Wet Sump Lubrication System Works?

The wet sump system is the simplest oiling system created. That’s why it is so popular in the auto industry. This system works extremely well and always delivers a good performance.

In the wet sump system, the oil is located at the bottom of the engine in the oil pan. When the engine is turned over, the oil pump starts to work. And then the oil pump by using the pickup tube is collecting the oil that is in the oil pan.

This oil also goes through the oil filter before it goes inside of the engine components. Good filtration is necessary if you want to have a properly working engine that has no issues.

That’s why frequent oil changes are a must and they are required if you want to keep your engine in working order.

Nevertheless, after the oil passes the oil filter then it goes up in the engine. Namely in the cylinders and on the heads. Engine oil has to climb on the top of the engine to lube the rockers, springs, and lifters. If they are not lubed well, you may start to experience a symptom that is called a lifter tick. And that is something that we are going to cover later in this article. But what about bad oil pump replacement cost? We are also going to discuss bad oil pump replacement cost as well. But first, let’s see which are the symptoms of a bad oil pump.

Symptoms Of A Bad Oil Pump?

The oil pump, like every other component, starts to develop symptoms when it starts to fail. Knowing these symptoms is essential when you are dealing with a failing oil pump issue in your car.

Knowing some of these symptoms will possibly make you notice this problem and save your car from a possible engine failure. And before discussing the bad oil pump replacement cost, let’s first cover these symptoms.

  1. Poor Engine Work
  2. Increased Engine Temperature
  3. Noises
  4. Low Oil Pressure
  5. Oil Gauge On
  6. Burnt Oil Smell
  7. Bad Oil Pump Sound

Poor Engine Work

If the engine does not have enough oil around all the components, logically, there will be some poor engine work as well.

This poor engine work will be visible and you are going to feel how the engine simply doesn’t work well. You are probably going to lose a third of the engine power or even more in some situations.

And if this problem stays without solving, the engine damage is going to be enormous that you will scrap the engine. I’m saying this because imagine if the engine is not lubed and there is created a lot of friction between the components. Rubbing metal to metal is not good news, to be honest. This will wear down the engine in few thousand miles instead of 150,000, which is the regular life of an engine.

Increased Temperature Inside Of The Engine

When the oil pump stops working, you can expect increased engine temperature. The temperature of the engine is going to climb fast because the oil doesn’t circulate around the engine but stays on the bottom. More precisely in the crankshaft. And as the crankshaft spins is heating up the oil which later increases the temperatures in the engine. When this overheating happens, you can expect some increased temperature on the temperature gauge.

This type of work will also start to burn your oil too quickly and the oil soon is going to turn into sludge. This sludge does not have lubricant characteristics and will cause the engine bearings to fail too quickly. As well as the other components like the O-rings and pistons.

The amount of friction will be very big and the problems will gonna damage the engine in the long run. That’s why noticing this issue on time will save your engine from destruction.

Noise Coming From The Head Of The Engine

Another symptom when you have a bad oil pump is the lifter noise. The lifters that are located on the head of the engine do not get the right amount of oil. And this lack of oil will cause them to make friction with the other components around them.

Also, the rocker arms and valves have to be lubricated. If they do not get the right amount of oil they will fail too soon. The friction will basically gonna eat through the metal and the components will not gonna like it.

If you get noise coming from the head of the engine, it is a good idea to remove the head covers and turn on your engine. By doing this you will get information if your components are properly oiled.

After you turn on the engine, you are going to notice how the oil flows and lubes the components. If there is no oil, then you probably had a bad oil pump. In this case, you may start looking for bad oil pump replacement cost.

Low Oil Pressure In Engine

If there is low pressure in the engine then the oil pump is probably the culprit. Since the oil pump doesn’t spin, the oil will stay in the bottom end of the engine or in the oil pan.

This translates into low engine pressure. Low engine pressure can as well be caused by a loss of compression. We wrote an in-depth article on how to do a DIY compression test.

If your engine also has a loss of compression will going to start to have low oil pressure and will develop some bad oil pump symptoms as well. So, it’s worth noting this.

Generally, low oil pressure is bad news. When you have a low oil pressure in your engine you have to inspect the engine as soon as possible for these two things the low compression and bad oil pump.

You have to solve the problem before it destroys the engine.

Oil Gauge On

Another symptom when an oil pump fails is the oil gauge that is turned on. This gauge usually turns on when there is a lack of oil. But also, when the oil pump goes bad as well.

If your oil gauge is on this means that you have to check the oil. Inspect the oil for metal shavings or a white sludge on the oil cap.

This will make you sure that the oil level is good and the next thing you have to check is the oil pump and inspect if the oil goes up to the engine heads to lubricate the rocker arms and valves.

If they are not lubed. It means that you have to check the oil pump and see if it’s working. If it’s not working and does not lube the components you have to replace it and look for bad oil pump replacement cost.

Smell Of Burnt Oil

The oil pump when fails it will also gonna cause the oil to burn too quickly. And if you pull the dipstick and the oil has turned into a black sludge it means that your oil is not lubing the engine components anymore and has to be replaced with new oil.

This smell should alarm you if your oil has been recently replaced. Good oil should last for 5 to 7 thousand miles with no issues whatsoever. But if the oil is burned at let’s say 3 thousand miles it means that the oil pump is not working properly and this issue has to be addressed by the owner and that, is you.

Burnt oil is a red alert and it needs to act quickly before there appears a lot of friction between the engine components and they start to wear off prematurely.

Bad Oil Pump Sound

When the oil pump goes bad it starts to produce a whining noise. This sound is most pronounced when there is a lot of sludge in the oil. This is all caused by overdue oil changes.

The sludge starts to build upon the oil pump and reduces the flow of oil that is needed to lube the components.

This reduced flow and sludge put the oil pump exposed to a big stress that will eventually cause it to fail and stop working.

When the pump stops working, you will be greeted by a low oil pressure gauge and poor engine work. And then it’s time to diagnose the problem, that’s something that we are going to cover next and later we are going to discuss the bad oil pump replacement cost.

Bad Oil Pump Replacement Cost, How To Diagnose A Bad Oil Pump?

In order to diagnose a bad oil pump, you have to look at your oil pressure gauge. If the gauge is always low you either have low compression or a bad oil pump.

If you are thinking that you have a compression issue you can perform a DIY compression test. Or if you think that your engine has good compression you probably have a bad oil pump.

In order to be 100% sure that you are having a bad oil pump, you have to remove the pump from the engine. This will require some work and a lot of parts removed in order to access it. And that’s what we are going to cover next before we cover the bad oil pump replacement cost.

How To Replace An Oil Pump DIY?

Replacing an oil pump can be a hefty job. This is because a lot of parts have to be removed if you plan to access the oil pump. So, you have to be prepared for all this work and know what to expect.

The oil has to be drained as well as the coolant. All the front components on the engine have to be removed and these include the radiator, the hoses for the radiator, the pulleys, and the water pump.

Then you have to remove the crankshaft pulley and the oil pump cover. And then you can reach for the oil pump. But wait, you also have to remove the oil pan as well.

All this work has to be done for an oil pump change. We are also going to attach a video of how this pump is replaced for you to have a visual idea of how things are done.

This work is very demanding and if you do not have the skill and the time you should better leave it to someone that has more experience in replacing oil pumps. And that ramps up the cost, and what is the bad oil pump replacement cost? We, we are going to cover that next.

Bad Oil Pump Replacement Cost?

And finally, we came to the important bit, and that is the cost to do all this work. How much does a bad oil pump replacement cost? It’s not cheap.

As we said, this job is very demanding and requires many hours to be done properly. In the best-case scenario, you will be lucky if you pay below $1,000 for this work. Since it requires a lot of hours it is pricey as hell.

If you decide to go the DIY route and remove the oil pump and replace it by yourself you can expect to pay around $150 or less for the parts only. Which is a bargain. But it’s probably going to take you a weekend to get things done right.

How To Prevent This?

The best way to prevent an oil pump from failing is to do your maintenance regularly. The cars require flushing the oil every 5 to 7 thousand miles. Doing this practice is gonna guarantee you that the components inside of the engine are properly lubed and safe.

When there is sludge buildup in the engine, the oil pump is the first that suffers and develops symptoms, and these symptoms can lead to a high bad oil pump replacement cost. That’s why do your maintenance regularly and enjoy your car more.


In this article, we have covered everything you need to know when it comes to a bad oil pump. We learned where the oil pump is located and how the oil pump works.

Then we have covered the bad oil pump symptoms and we noted that these symptoms have to be noticed on time before the problem becomes bigger and the engine suffers more damage.

And lastly, we have covered the bad oil pump replacement cost. The cost to replace an oil pump is expensive and can cost you more than $1000 because of the labor that is involved in this work since everything has to come off from the front of the engine.

If you want to learn more on engine problems you might want to check our articles on rod knock symptoms and bent connecting rod symptoms. Or if you want to learn more about electrical problems you can check our article on bad alternator symptoms.