Good oil pressure is critical to the engine to minimize damage to individual components and the engine as a whole. This is because fast-moving metal surfaces generate a lot of heat and friction and require continuous lubrication.
Driving with a faulty oil pressure sensor is not always a good idea, as it can damage the engine and endanger you and your vehicle by not knowing if there is a problem with the oil pressure. However, if it is absolutely necessary, you can drive away. However, the longer you wait, the worse it could get, so get it fixed as soon as possible.
This is why we have oil pressure sensors. It measures the internal pressure and sends a signal to the oil pressure gauge when it detects an abnormality.
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Signs of an oil pressure sensor malfunction
When the oil pressure light comes on, you know there is a reason, but what if the light comes on at random times that make no sense? How do you determine if there really is a problem with the oil pressure sensor? To answer this question, we have compiled some signs.
1. Warning light
Always check the oil pressure light when it comes on, even if you know there is something wrong with the sensor.
- If the oil level is good and the engine is running smoothly and quietly, but the dipstick indicates otherwise, the sensor is probably defective.
- If the oil level is normal but the engine makes a ticking or grinding noise, the oil pump may not be working or functioning properly. If this is the case, do not start the engine until the problem is corrected.
- If the oil level is low, the oil may be burning in the combustion chamber due to insufficient pressure from a pipe or seal leak or simply not enough oil. In this case, the engine can only run for about 30 minutes without oil before it fails completely and must be stopped, but even 5 minutes of operation can be damaging and very expensive.
- If the oil level is high, the pressure relief valve near the pump and filter may be blocked. The engine must be stopped as the oil filter may be damaged.
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2. Oil light
Oil pressure problems in a car should not be intermittent, and sporadic flashing of the oil light is the clearest evidence that the sensor itself is broken.
Very old cars may have a “check engine” light without a dedicated oil pressure light.
However, just because the check engine light comes on in all these cars does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with the oil pressure. It does not hurt to check yourself to see if the oil level is sufficient and if there are any unusual noises.
If the oil pressure sensor seems to be working, another reason for the oil light to come on could be low oil pressure. This is obvious but important.
Low pressure means that the pump is not circulating enough oil (due to worn parts, leaks, etc.) or that there is simply not enough oil.
Oil is important for lubricating parts, so if oil pressure is low, stop the engine to check it or consult a mechanic.
3. Oil pressure gauge
Like the oil sight glass, the dipstick is not intermittent. If the dipstick reading is constant, very high, or completely blank, there may be a problem with the sensor.
Although it could also be an internal short in the sensor that is constantly showing high/zero, damaged wiring, corroded plugs, broken connections, etc.
Before drawing conclusions, test the oil with an oil gauge and listen to the engine. If there is too much oil, it will foam and reduce pressure, which is not good for the car, so remove it as soon as you notice it.
If the sensor fails, you will never know its true condition, so it is important to check it regularly and replace it if necessary. You will find an explanation at the bottom of this article.
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How To Replace The Oil Pressure Sensor
We hope you now understand the importance of oil pressure sensors and why they should not be operated with a failed sensor. It is time to replace them.
Replacing the oil pressure sensor is one of the easiest DIY tasks and can save you a lot of money. This will repair the oil pressure light on the dashboard. The oil pressure sensor is sometimes referred to as an oil pressure sending unit. The oil pressure sensor used in this video was available at a local auto store for about $10. It can be purchased online for as little as $5.
Step 1: Locate the oil pressure sensor.
Oil pressure sensors are often mounted on the engine block or cylinder head. However, since there is no industry standard, sensors can be mounted anywhere; a quick Google search will help you find them.
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Step 2: Disconnect the electrical connector from the oil pressure sensor.
Release the securing tabs on the electrical connector and gently pull the connector off the sensor.
Over time, debris will accumulate around the oil pressure sensor. Therefore, it may be necessary to push in and unplug the connector several times when removing it.
If this is not sufficient, it may be necessary to spray the electrical connector with lubricant to make it easier to remove. The connector can also be freed by gently prying it open with a small screwdriver. Be careful not to damage the electrical connector when removing it.
Step 3: Remove the oil pressure sensor.
Loosen the oil pressure sensor with an appropriate wrench or socket. Once loose, you should be able to unscrew it all the way out by hand.
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Step 4: Compare the old and new pressure sensors.
Identify the replacement oil pressure sensor.
- It is the same size as the one removed. This is determined by the internal construction, but the physical dimensions should be the same.
- It is threaded with the same diameter.
- Have the same thread pitch.
Because the oil pressure sensor is installed in a position where the oil is under pressure, some type of thread sealant is usually required. Thread sealant comes in many forms, but be sure to select one that is compatible with petroleum-based products.
Step 5: Installing the new oil pressure sensor
Screw in the replacement until it cannot be turned by hand.
Complete tightening with an appropriate wrench or socket.
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Step 6: Replace the electrical connector
Ensure that the connectors are properly installed and the securing tabs are in place.
Step 7: Operation check
- Start the engine.
- Check to see if the dipstick is pressurized or if the oil pressure light is off.
- When the oil pressure sensor is removed, it may take 5-10 seconds for the oil pressure to increase again due to the small amount of air entering the system. If the oil pressure light still does not go out, stop the engine immediately, especially if you hear unusual noises.
How To Replace The Oil Pressure Sensor | Video Explanation
Causes of low oil pressure | Infographics
Hi, I am David Bailey a dedicated writer from Linden Bridge School with a degree in mechanical engineering and a degree in marketing. I strive to simplify complex subjects and like to explain complex and technical matters in an easy-to-understand manner. Read More Here