What is a Car Engine Oil Pump? Types & Functions

May 29, 2024 6 min read


The car engine oil pump is a critical subsystem that plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal engine performance. It functions by circulating engine oil under pressure to the rotating bearings, the sliding pistons, and the camshaft of the engine. This lubrication prevents friction-induced wear, enabling smooth operation and longevity of the engine components. 

It is essential to understand what it is and how it functions. We at Garima Global have put up this useful article to help you understand everything about car engine oil pumps. Enjoy reading!

What is a Car Engine Oil Pump?

A car engine oil pump is a  component of your  car engine that is in charge of lubricating the engine’s various parts like the camshaft, the bearings and the piston, and transporting oil throughout the engine. It is usually found inside the engine, either outside the oil pan, where it is driven by the crankshaft, or inside the pan where it is driven by the camshaft.

Before the oil reaches the pump, it is pulled out of the pan and passes through a filter, where the oil is purified of any contaminants. This fluid then flows through the engine’s channels by applying pressure.

The oil pump is an integral component of an engine  that is essential for your car’s engine to perform properly and last a long time.

Types & Varieties of Car Engine Oil Pumps

Gear Oil Pump

Gear oil pumps are one of the most easily available pumps in the market. It consists of two interconnected gears that help to draw out the oil from the pump’s suction side and then push it out at a much higher pressure through the discharge gear by rotating. Gear oil pumps are known for their simple design and reliability

Rotor Oil Pump

A rotor oil pump uses an inner and an outer rotor. The lobes of the rotor pump rotate to pull the oil through the inlet and push it through the outlet under pressure

Vane Oil Pump

A vane oil pump is a kind of a rotating pump which consists of paddle-like vanes placed radially on a cylinder rotor. The oil gets trapped in these compartments and is transported through the system.

Crescent Oil Pump

Crescent oil pumps are located on the control end of the crankshaft and are driven directly by it. These pumps therefore run at the same speed as the crankshaft which enables them to produce a much higher pressure and a higher delivery rate compared to a gear oil pump.

Trochoid Oil Pump

Trochoid oil pump is a kind of an internal gear oil pump which consists of inner and outer gear, located within the pump casting. When the inner gear runs, it also forces the outer gear to rotate in the same direction and the oil is produced under pressure. 

Functions of Car Engine Oil Pumps

The various functions of an oil pump are as follows:

  • Lubrication

The main purpose of a car engine oil pump is to supply engine oil to its various moving compartments. Lubrication helps to prevent direct metal-to-metal contact in turn reducing friction and wear and tear of the engine components.

  • Cooling

The circulation of the engine oil helps to absorb the heat generated by the friction of the moving parts. This oil further takes away the heat from the other components, thus regulating the overall temperature during engine operation and also prevents overheating.

  • Reduction of Friction

Through the creation of a thin oil film between moving parts, the oil pump helps to lower friction. It reduces  wear and tear of the engine’s parts, enhances longevity and helps to maintain efficiency.

  • Noise Reduction

Lubrication provided by the oil pump helps to reduce the noise generated by moving parts of the engine. The components which are adequately lubricated generally produce less noise due to reduced friction.

  • Protection against corrosion

The engine oil consists of certain elements that protects the metal surfaces from corrosion and oxidation, thus preventing rust and deterioration of the engine components.

  • Prevention of oil leakage

The engine block which is sealed to the oil pan using a gasket helps to prevent oil leakage

Importance of Engine Oil Pumps

The main purpose of a car engine oil pump is to supply oil under pressure to the various parts of an internal combustion engine, like the motor parts, which includes the camshaft, the bearings and the piston. The oil helps in lubricating these vital components, and therefore avoids the friction between the moving parts, and the motor from seizing. It also helps to maintain the optimal working conditions for an internal combustion engine by pumping oil to the various parts.


  • How does a gear oil pump operate, and where is it commonly used?

Gear pumps consist of two gears- the input and output gear.The input gear rotates and creates a vacuum that draws fluid into the pump while the fluid is trapped between the gear teeth and is forced out through the outlet port.

  • What are the advantages of using a rotor oil pump in an engine?

A rotor oil pump helps to extend the longevity of the engine and is able to pump against high pressure, contributing to the overall durability and reliability of your car.

  • How does a vane oil pump function, and what are its benefits?

The vanes of a vane oil pump helps to enclose the walls of the pumping chamber with a seal which prevents the leakage back into the pump.

  • What distinguishes a crescent oil pump from other types of oil pumps?

A crescent oil  pump is driven directly by the crankshaft at the same speed, and thus it produces a much higher pressure and faster delivery rate compared to the other pump types.


Engine oil pumps are an integral part of your engine. Not only does it help to pump oil to the various components of your car engine to run it smoothly, the oil helps in lubricating the surface which reduces friction between the parts thus protecting your car parts from damage and prolonging it’s life.

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