Can low oil cause a car to shut off?

So, I've been driving for a while with the engine oil light on. I know that's not a great idea, but I'm pretty far out in the country and just noticed a nasty oil leak. I was trying to make it home when my engine just shut off. Could that be caused by the oil getting low? Or is it something else?

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Answer provided by
Patrick Price
Answered on Jul 14, 2022
Yes—low oil can cause a car to shut off. Without examining the vehicle, it’s difficult to say for certain what caused your engine to shut off—but it certainly sounds like your oil leak is to blame.
Low oil levels can cause your engine to shut off in one of two ways. The first, and less problematic scenario, is that your car has a failsafe system which shuts the engine off because the heat/friction levels rose too high.
The other possibility is that your car does not have a failsafe system, and the heat/friction continued to rise until your engine seized. If that happened, you might need a new engine.
Now would be a good time to check your car insurance policy for towing and labor coverage. If you opted for this coverage, you can be towed to a repair facility free of charge.
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