Toyota RAV4 oil light

Asked by May 07, 2019 at 11:38 AM about the 2010 Toyota RAV4 Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

At what point is the oil light supposed to come on?  
I've been told numerous times that my engine is low/empty of oil but the light
has never come on.  
Also, when I check the dipstick where should the oil level be and how much oil
is actually indicating?  Thanks for the assistance.

4 Answers


If the low pressure oil light ever turns on your in deep trouble, usually means a engine replacement. Your rig may or may not have an oil level light indicating low oil level when it turns and this requires immediate attention or risk burning up the engine. The oil level should be in the hash marks on the dip stick, but some vehicles only have a full or low mark or notch on the dip stick, in that case it should be on the full mark. Never run it low on oil as that is the life blood of your engine, service it regularly, if you do a lot of in town driving service it sooner.

1 people found this helpful.

Dipsticks are clearly marked for an oil range. The oil light isn't so much controlled by the amount of oil, as it is by oil pressure. You can run somewhat low, but as long as you have sufficient pressure, the light will not come on. You need someone who knows this to review your problem, or you'll risk damaging the engine.

2 people found this helpful.

Thank you both for your answers! I have 215K miles on the vehicle and over the past few months have been consuming increasing amounts of oil. The light has never come on but when I've had the vehicle serviced I've been told that the oil was extremely low. Last week they did an oil consumption test and put dye in the oil to test for a leak and yes my engine is leaking. The vehicle otherwise is running fine and they don't see any damage. I was told that as long as I monitor it and add oil as needed I should be ok. My other options are to replace the engine with a refurb that has 80K miles on it for $4,200 or of course look to replace the vehicle. Thoughts and recommendations are welcome :)


Where is oil leaking. If it's from gaskets, like the valve cover or the pan, it's easy to fix. If it's head or main seal, it's more difficult, if it's a cracked block, it's not good. If the vehicle is running fine and they see no damage, why would you consider an engine replacement. Fix simple leaks and check oil often. This RAV-4 could last another hundred-thousand miles..... I have a 1991 Toyota Previa that we bought new in 1990. Still looks & runs great, and I'm looking forward to it's thirtieth birthday next year.

1 people found this helpful.

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