Bad Oil Pressure Sensor Symptoms And How Check it

The oil pressure sensor receives a substandard signal when you see the low fuel warning light. What does this mean in practice? How to deal with this? Check how the oil pressure sensor works and how to identify a failure. Read on!

Bad oil pressure sensor symptoms

A sudden drop in oil pressure can only be a sign of one thing – breaking the tightness of the oil pan. However, this is not the only situation where the oil pressure sensor is felt.

Sometimes the failure is not so drastic, but still requires intervention. Ignoring it can cause permanent engine damage. How to check if the oil pressure sensor is working properly? We will answer these questions and more in our article. Find out more!

Operation principle and structure of the oil pressure sensor

What exactly is that little diagnostic device? The oil pressure sensor usually consists of a thread that is screwed into the appropriate socket in the engine block. It can be found near the oil pan or near the oil filter. At the top there is a plug or a place for attaching a cable with a metal plate.

How does the oil pressure sensor work?

The simplicity of this element results from its functionality. Its role is to read the engine oil pressure. When ignition is initiated, an electrical impulse is generated. This impulse measures the pressure value.

Signals are sent continuously to the control unit and displayed on the dashboard. Very often the oil pressure sensor makes itself felt when it does not work or when it reads an alarming value.

Why is it important to know how the oil pressure sensor works?

You already know how this little device works. So you can guess at what time the equipment should turn on. When you turn the ignition, you will see the oil level light first. This is normal and is part of the diagnostic procedure.

After a while, the icon goes out. However, when the oil pressure is low, it will be felt by itself. If this happens, there is very little lubricant which has a major impact on the correct operation of the engine.

Symptoms of oil pressure sensor malfunction

What happens if the sensor itself is damaged? The sensor light will not appear on the console during ignition. This means that the diagnostic process was not performed correctly. In practice, it is usually a symptom of a malfunction in the device itself. When the oil pressure sensor badge appears on the dashboard, it can signal two problems:

  • Oil level is too low
  • Extreme oil loss

What to do to make sure what problem you are having.

What does the oil pressure warning light mean?

When the oil level is too low, the oil indicator light will only come on when the idle speed is low and in the low range. When you start the engine at high RPM, the oil pressure will increase due to the operation of the piston-crank system and the indicator light will go out. This usually means a low level of lubricant.

If you experience this in your car, stop the car and check the engine. You may find that you have a small leak. Also, after waiting about a dozen minutes, check the oil level and refill if necessary.

How does the oil pressure sensor report a major failure?

However, if the oil pressure sensor continues to detect and regardless of engine speed, there is a serious leak. Often, in such situations, additional messages appear about the need to immediately stop the car and turn off the drive unit. Don’t take this recommendation lightly.

How to check if the oil pressure sensor is working?

The problem is very simple – the lack of an indicator light on the dashboard during ignition will alert you. This is the first sign that something is wrong with the sensor.

If you have the opportunity to observe the pressure through for example diagnostic equipment, then a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor will send very strange values.

By default, they should be in the 2 to 4 bar range on engines operating within the 2000 RPM limit. The recommended pressure range is listed on the sensor itself.

The mechanic can check the pressure using a special pressure gauge which is screwed in instead of the sensor.

What are the risks of driving with the wrong oil level?

The consequences of a malfunction in the lubrication system can be catastrophic. An oil level that is too high can cause it to burn in the combustion chamber. On the other hand, too low a value indicated by the oil pressure sensor can cause the engine to stop. In some cases, the cylinder liner or connecting rod skin may be damaged. Complete removal of the unit usually ends with its replacement.


As you can see, the oil pressure sensor gives a clear signal of a problem and you should not underestimate it. Alarming pressure values ​​should prompt you to visit a specialist. Ignoring the problem can have dire consequences for your engine.

5/5 - (20 votes)

Leave a Comment