Troubleshooting a Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor

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Having problems with your car's oil pressure sensor? Have you noticed something different or weird going on lately? Do you think you have a faulty oil pressure sensor and it's not reading correctly? Find the answers to your questions and learn to troubleshoot a faulty oil pressure sensor with this helpful guide below.

What Is an Oil Pressure Sensor?

An oil pressure sensor is a device that monitors the oil pressure in your car's engine. It's a fairly small piece of your system, but is one of the most important sensors in your vehicle. It will alert you if the oil pressure in your engine is running low, which will mean it is running out of oil. Running an engine with low oil pressure can cause significant damage and may total your engine and cost thousands of dollars in auto repair. But how will you know when an oil pressure sensor is just faulty and not reading accurately? Take a look at the symptoms of a faulty oil pressure sensor.

On and Off Oil Pressure Sensor Light

If you have an oil pressure sensor light that keeps coming on even if you have just filled up your oil to the optimal level, then there's a good chance that it's the oil pressure sensor itself that’s the problem. Or, if the light is coming on and off while you are driving, it's most likely a faulty sensor. But just to make sure, always check your oil whenever the light comes on again. If the oil level is still up to the desired level, then you know it’s time for an oil pressure sensor replacement, which is far better than engine repairs. It will only cost a few dollars to replace a sensor instead of an engine.

Oil Pressure Sensor Light On When Engine Is Idle

When an engine is idle, it is normal that the oil pressure will be low too, so your sensor will have a low reading. This means that your oil pressure sensor light should not be coming on at this time, and if it does, there is definitely something wrong with it. But again, as mentioned above, it's best to make sure. Park your car some place safely out of the way and check your oil level immediately. Make sure it's within the minimum and maximum levels of your dip stick; anything below or over the limit is bad for your engine.

Oil Pressure Sensor On with Ticking Noise

If your oil pressure sensor light comes on and is accompanied by a strange ticking noise coming from the engine, it would be best to stop your car as soon as possible. This case is usually not indicative of a bad sensor; rather, your sensor might be telling you that you really are running low on oil. You may have just filled up your oil before leaving the house, but there might be a leak in your oil line causing the levels to drop. First, check under the car and the road your car just passed. If your car is still parked, look beneath it and see if there are any oil marks. Also, pop your hood and check the oil and see if the oil level has significantly decreased since you last filled it. If any of this is the case, it means your oil pressure sensor is working just right and instead, you have an oil leak that needs repair.