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Engine Oil Pump: What they are and how they work

Engine oil pump are a vital component to ensure vehicle engines function correctly, as they are responsible for providing engine lubrication. As such, it is important to ensure your engine oil pump is kept in good condition to extend the life of your engine and its components.

A key part of any vehicle, it is important to know what an engine oil pump is and how it works. To help you get a better understanding of the subject, we’ve put together this handy article. Keep reading!

Before talking about oil pumps, it is important to talk about how vehicle engine lubrication systems operate.


What is an engine lubrication system?

The main objective of the lubrication system is to preserve and extend the useful life of an engine’s moving components, such as pistons, bushings, drive shafts, gears, and connecting rods.

In addition, it preserves and extends the service life of other components within the lubrication system, such as:

  • The oil pan (where liquid is stored);
  • The oil pickup pipe (component that sucks oil up from the oil pan);
  • The oil filter (responsible for filtering system impurities);
  • The pressure relief valve, an important safety mechanism;
  • The oil pump, a part that sucks oil up from the oil pan and sends it to the engine.



How does an engine oil pump work?

The engine oil pump operates as the heart of the lubrication system, as it sucks oil up from the engine oil pan and forces it around the engine oil tracks before returning it to the oil pan so that it can be pumped around again. To allow the fluid to be pumped around again, the pump rotates gears – an action produced by the rotation of the engine itself.

Responsible for lubricating and refrigerating the engine’s moving parts, the engine oil pump is one of the most critical parts of an engine. In the event that a pump breaks down, this will certainly lead to the car engine failing to work.



What types of engine oil pumps are there?

There are two major types of engine oil pump:


Gear pump

Gear pumps are fitted with a pair of sprockets that engage with each other and rotate within a box. The oil flows in from one side and out of the opposite side;


Rotor-type pump

The rotor on the inside of the pump meshes to the outer rotor. As these rotors rotate on different axes, the space between them varies, causing the oil to be sucked in on one side and pushed out of the other.


What is a hydraulic pump, and how does it work?

Hydraulic oil pumps are crucial in hydraulic systems, as they are responsible for transferring the hydraulic fluid to the cylinders at a certain pressure, providing the force necessary to carry out the movements desired.

There are several types of hydraulic pumps, such as piston pumps, vane pumps, and external rotor pumps, which are selected according to the specifications of the system in which they will be used.

Although there are different types of hydraulic pumps, they all operate similarly: by converting mechanical energy, which is supplied by an external source – usually an electric motor or combustion engine – into fluid pressure.


How can you check for low oil pressure in your engine?

If there’s a problem with your oil pump, it won’t take long for your vehicle to show signs that are easily identifiable, such as:

  • A light coming on on your vehicle dashboard (indicating problems in the lubrication system);
  • Your car engine making noises (this may be a sign of bearing or bushing wear).

Given that the oil pressure is not produced by the oil pump but by restricting the flow of oil, it is important to check your car bearings.

When worn out – especially the main ones – they lead to a loss of oil pressure and, consequently, to problems arising in the remaining engine components.

It is key that vehicle owners perform regular preventive maintenance to prevent problems from arising in engine oil pumps.



Which oil pump alignment tool is available in the KROFtools catalogue?

You’ll find our BMW oil pump and shaft alignment kit in the KROFtools catalogue:


Balance Shaft & Oil Pump Alignment Kit BMW 1.6/2.0 P



The Balance Shaft & Oil Pump Alignment Kit BMW 1.6/2.0 P contains:

  • 1 Balance shaft locking tool;
  • 1 Tensioner retaining pin;
  • 1 Sprocket locking tool.

Click on the image to find out more about our Balance Shaft & Oil Pump Alignment Kit BMW 1.6/2.0 P (Ref.1636).


How much does an engine oil pump cost?

The price of engine oil pumps depends on several factors, including the type of pump, the manufacturer, and the vehicle model or equipment, among others. In general, the price of a pump can vary from tens to hundreds of euros.

In addition, it is important to remember that installing a new pump will often require engine parts to be removed, which may result in additional costs.

Some factors that may affect this component’s price include the pump’s complexity, the construction material, and the technology it employs, among others.

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