Without the proper amount of oil, your engine will sustain major damage. Multiple systems in your car are designed to maintain the correct engine oil level and pressure. In order for the engine computer to regulate the flow of oil, the oil pressure sensor needs to work correctly. The oil pressure sensor is hooked directly to the oil pressure gauge on your instrument cluster. When lower than normal oil pressure is detected, the pressure sensor will make the gauge in the car reflect this change. An Oil Pressure Warning Light will often accompany oil pressure sensor faults.
Like any other sensor or switch in your engine, eventually the oil pressure sensor will have repair issues that need to be addressed. Failing to recognize the symptoms of a bad oil pressure sensor can lead to low oil levels, which can be very problematic for your engine. These symptoms include:
1. The Oil Pressure Light is on
The oil pressure gauge inside your car will give you a good indication as to the condition of the engine’s oil levels. If the Low Oil Light comes on, but you check the oil in the engine and it's at a good level, then a faulty oil pressure sensor may be to blame. When this sensor goes bad, it will start to give inaccurate readings. After the readings fall out of specification, a warning light is set. The faster this sensor can be replaced, the less stress you will have regarding the oil levels in your vehicle.
2. The Oil Pressure Light blinks constantly
In some instances, the Low Oil Light will blink on and off when the oil pressure sensor is going out. This can be quite alarming to a driver because the damage that lower than normal oil levels can cause to an engine. Constantly checking can become very time consuming and stressful but is needed to maintain proper oil levels. Rather than having to deal with this, you should get the oil pressure sensor replaced as soon as possible.
3. Oil pressure gauge is at zero
Most older cars have an actual mechanical gauge that gives the driver a readout on the oil pressure. If this gauge is reading zero even when oil levels are where they need to be, then the oil pressure sensor is probably to blame. Modern cars that have a oil pressure gauge use an electronic signal. The gauge may sit at zero, full, or have erratic readings when the oil pressure sensor is failing.
YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your oil pressure sensor easy by coming to your location to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified Technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Oil Pressure Sensor and was authored by Spencer Clayton.