Oil Pressure Sensor Location (How to Locate the Oil Pressure Sensor)

Are you having issues with your oil pressure sensor? Do you want to know your car engine’s oil pressure sensor location?

If you are, then you are on the right page.

An oil pressure sensor is one of the delicate sensors in your car engine system. It helps to monitor and maintain a good oil pressure level.

As you read further in this article, you will learn all you need to know about oil pressure sensor and learn where it is located in your car.

How to Locate the Oil Pressure Sensor on Your Vehicle

Step 1: Understand Your Car’s essential Parts.

You will need to clearly understand your car’s essential parts; some of these include a battery, oil cap, radiator, dipstick, etc. These vital parts can be located by lifting the car hood.

Step 2: Learn about your particular engine

Different cars come with varying engine designs; some are covered with the intake manifold, while some have some unique aesthetic procedures that help improve the engine’s functionality.

Therefore, you will need to familiarize yourself with your engine types to understand the parts and their functions.

Step 3: Locate Your Engine’s Oil Pressure Sensor

Depending on your engine’s design, the oil pressure sensor is located at the top of the engine bay, bolted into the engine block, and linked with electrical connections. However, some cars have their oil pressure sensor installed in a hidden place like behind the intake manifold.

Also Read: Transmission Speed Sensor Location

What Is an Oil Pressure Sensor, and How Does It Work?

Oil Pressure Sensor Location

One of the critical components of a car engine is the oil pressure sensor. The oil that lubricates your car’s engine runs out after some time, and the oil pressure sensor must send a signal that the oil is low and needs to be refilled. Now you may ask, how does this work?

Oil is needed to lubricate the moving parts of the rotating engine system so that friction is reduced and engine heat is minimized.

The lubrication system will transfer oil to these moving parts at a given pressure. The oil pan houses the oil, and the oil pump will pump the oil into the moving parts through the oil filter.

Moving parts like camshafts, bearing, and engine moving systems receive adequate lubrication through this medium.

The oil pressure sensor location is often at the cylinder block near the oil filter.

Oil pressure sensors are of two types; the oil pressure sensor in most cars is just a switch; whenever there’s a minimum oil pressure requirement, the electrical circuit opens up with the help of the switch.

However, the oil pressure sensor measures the oil pressure in some cars.

When you switch on your car’s ignition and the engine has not started running, the oil pressure switch remains closed since there is no oil pressure.

However, as the engine starts running, the oil pressure starts building up with the help of the oil pump; as the right amount of oil pressure is reached, the closed oil pressure switch will open, and the warning oil pressure light on the dashboard will go off.

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor

Since we have discussed what an oil pressure is, we now want to dive into the symptoms and how to determine a bad oil pressure sensor.

The first sign of a bad oil pressure sensor is the illumination of the dashboard warning light. This is the most common sign you will notice when the oil pressure sensor is bad.

The check engine light could also come up because the control valve malfunctioning, leading to an engine’s loud, noisy sound.

While dashboard warning lights and check engine light illumination are the most frequent and first signs of a bad oil pressure sensor, there are also more symptoms we will talk about in detail. There are:

1. Oil Pressure Light on the Dashboard

Your car has a unique light on the dashboard when something is wrong with the oil pressure sensor or the oil pressure level is down.

This light is more often the first sign that signals the driver that something is wrong in the engine oil system. This light comes on when the ECU receives a high oil pressure or low oil pressure signal.

The ECU forwards the call to the dash cluster, and then the warning light will be illuminated.

However, regardless of how it is designed to work, the light will also come on when the sensor gets bad, not minding whether the oil pressure is okay.

The oil pressure gauge becomes very useful when you can’t wait for sure if the fault is due to low or high oil pressure or a bad oil sensor.

The oil pressure gauge will help you annually determine the problem. When the gauge reading shows a good oil level, the problem is a bad oil pressure sensor.

The code reader method can also help determine the actual fault; this is done by diagnosing the ECU codes to see if there is a fault that has to do with the oil pressure sensor.

2. Noisy Timing Chain and Engine

You will need the right amount of oil pressure if your timing chain has to be oil-fed; this is paramount in such an engine.

This is so because the chain won’t be able to move freely and adequately if there is no proper lubrication.

Also, the tensioners could hold the tension in place because they got the right amount of lubrication; when this lubrication is less than expected, issues will arise.

When there’s a drop in oil pressure, there will be slack on the chain tensioners, and that will cause a loose chain that will get thrown out of its place into various housings and pulleys.

The sound that accompanies this chain loss is very audible; it will come from your engine block like a metallic rattling noise.

It is possible to hear this even without your dashboard not illuminating the oil light, and the sign is still a bad oil pressure sensor.

It is also important to replace the oil pressure sensor when you notice that the dashboard does not illuminate the oil pressure light when the chain has lost tension due to a lack of proper lubrication.

You should also remember that low oil pressure can cause noisy engine parts.

3. Oil Leak From Oil Pressure Sensor

The oil pressure sensor is installed in the car oil system to detect and monitor oil pressure; however,

in some cases, this installation can result in oil leakage either from the center of the oil pressure sensor itself or from the threads.

One car model that has this issue very often is the Vauxhalls. This car model is known for leaking oil from the center of the oil pressure sensor.

In this way, the oil will be sprayed throughout the engine bay, filling the block connector.

To diagnose and rectify this problem, look within the oil pressure sensor to check for a leak; you will also need to fit inside the sensor connector for possible oil buildup.

If you find oil in any of these places, you will have to get a new sensor for replacement. While the engine is running at idle, you can also inspect the sensor virtually to verify if there’s a leakage or not.

How to Test the Oil Pressure Sensor

Oil pressure sensors are tested differently based on the type. The engine oil condition and oil level are first observed because the oil pressure warning light will be illuminated in low oil level conditions.

A technician will be needed to examine the wiring around the oil pressure sensor and verify the actual oil pressure level in the engine’s lubrication system.

A good mechanic uses a unique adaptor to connect the oil pressure area and link it with the oil pressure gauge; they use this method to measure the actual oil pressure.

When the oil pressure is down as the engine is running, it is a sign of an internal engine issue. On the other hand, if the oil pressure is okay and the sensor’s wiring is good, it needs to be replaced.

Most mechanics won’t want to carry out this testing procedure because it consumes time. However, knowing that the oil pressure sensor is not that expensive, they will instead ask for an oil pressure sensor replacement and monitor it to see if it solves the problem.

There are many cases were replacing an old pressure sensor with a new one was the solution to the illumination of the oil pressure light.

If, after adequately examining the sensor wiring, oil pressure level, and everything looks okay, but the oil pressure light still gets illuminated when the engine is on, then it could be that something is wrong in the engine, particularly the lubrication system.

Issues such as a clogged engine and filter or bad filter could be the problem, but further examination will be needed to verify the actual situation.

Also Read: Where Is the Starter Located? (How to Locate the Starter in Any Car)

Oil Pressure Sensor Replacement Cost

Oil Pressure Sensor Replacement Cost

Oil pressure replacement cost varies based on car model and type. On average, it should be around $50 to $250.

Remember that car engines are designed differently based on the car company, and the oil pressure sensor is installed based on the manufacturer’s design preference.

Some car engines are designed to quickly locate the oil pressure while others are not; all will influence the number of hours it will take to install an oil pressure sensor, including the labor costs. However, the labor cost will be in the range of $20 to $150.

Frequently Asked Questions – Oil Pressure Sensor Location

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Oil Sensor?

Oil pressure replacement cost varies based on car model and type. However, it should be around $50 to $250.

Can an Oil Pressure Sensor Damage an Engine?

The job of an oil pressure sensor is to monitor the oil level and send a signal to ECU when the oil level is low. If, as a driver, you ignore the signs given by the oil pressure sensor, the engine may get damaged if the symptoms are true.

What Happens When the Oil Pressure Sensor Fails?

If your oil pressure sponsor fails, you will notice the blink of low oil light on your dashboard. The light will sometimes stay on, meaning there is insufficient oil in the system. However, you can be sure that something is wrong with your oil pressure sensor when you verify that there’s low gauge readings or the low oil light is on.

How Long Does It Take To Fix an Oil Pressure Sensor?

Replacing an oil pressure sensor is not a difficult task; though it can be a sensitive procedure, it won’t take more than two hours. It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.

How Do You Change an Oil Pressure Sensor?

To verify that something is wrong or all is well with your oil pressure sensor, follow these steps. 

Why Does My Oil Pressure Sensor Keep Going Out?

There are a couple of reasons this happens: corroded plug, bad plug connection, and wire damage. It is essential to verify that your car has low pressure by manually using a dipstick to know the oil level.

Conclusion – Oil Pressure Sensor Location

For most vehicles, the oil pressure sensor is located close to the cylinder head in the engine block. However, some cars have it installed on the cylinder head mounted with two tin wires and a block connector.

The oil pressure sensor is not a complex design engine component. Therefore, they are easily seen and replaced when need be.

However, you will need to apply great caution as you carry out the replacement so that you don’t create an oil leakage or tighten the new sensor so that it won’t get damaged. Avoid over-tightening the oil pressure sensor.

Always remember to put on protective gloves to avoid any harmful chemical contact. When you are done with the oil sensor replacement, verify that the oil level is okay.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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