The movement of metal against metal in your engine can cause a great deal of friction and heat, which is tough on even the most durable metal parts. Metal-on-metal parts require a steady supply of high-quality motor oil to ensure that they stay in solid working condition and well-lubricated; this ensures that the parts will not deteriorate before their standard lifecycle.

The oil pump is located below the oil pan and utilizes a range of different pressures in order to deliver the oil to the different parts of the engine that cannot operate without it. This process lowers the temperature in the cabin interior and keeps heat from damaging the parts and allows them to operate smoothly by reducing overall friction. The pump is a heavy-duty workhorse, but still requires a bit of maintenance to keep it in top condition.

The most common types of oil pumps are rotary pumps and gear pumps. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a reliable oil pump:

  • Rotary oil pumps: Rotary oil pumps are made up of two different rotors that mesh together: an inner rotor and an outer rotor. Oil is squeezed between the two rotors and forced back into the engine under pressure.

  • Gear oil pumps: Gear oil pumps work by utilizing two different gears; when these gears mesh together, the action of the teeth coming together forces the oil up and out, again under pressure, to the engine where it keeps everything well-lubricated.

  • New oil pumps: New oil pumps offer the best warranty from the manufacturer, but will set you back a pretty penny. These OEM parts cost up to several hundred dollars out of the box.

  • Remanufactured oil pumps: Remanufactured oil pumps are also available, and are generally of high quality. This option allows you to save a bit of money upfront, but you will need to be cautious and review the warranty to be sure the lower upfront cost isn’t offset by a short life-cycle for the part.

Keeping a highly-functioning oil pump on your car may be expensive, but it is the first line of defense for keeping your even-more-expensive engine running as expected.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Oil Pump and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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