Oil pressure sensors – what are they for and how do they work?

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Despite its inconspicuous size, the oil pressure sensor is an extremely important element of the engine lubrication system, which translates into correct functioning of combustion engine units

The oil pressure sensor is an extremely treacherous element of the engine lubrication system. Failure of this sensor may confuse not only an occasional driver, but also an experienced mechanic – an expert in his profession. The oil pressure sensor is usually mounted above the oil sump. Its task is to monitor oil pressure. Similarly, if the system detects irregularities, you will see a light on the dashboard resembling an oiler

Oil pressure warning light

In the context of everyday car use, the oil pressure light comes on when the ignition is turned on for system diagnostics. When the test is successful, the light goes out. If the oil pressure light comes on while maintaining a low RPM, it will prove crucial to have the engine component lubrication system checked. Even worse, if the light comes on while maintaining high RPMs, the situation is alarming and the potential problem should be addressed immediately. More often than not, this means an extremely low oil level, a serious leak, or damage to the oil pressure sensor itself

It is important to check that the oil pressure sensor is functioning properly. Not infrequently it turns out that the sensor does not inform about irregularities due to damage or broken wire between it and the indicator. In this case, we should use an ohmmeter, after disconnecting the wire from the sensor, to check the resistance between its tip and the vehicle ground. If the meter indicates only a few ohms, it means that the sensor is defective. If more, the circuit has been broken. Subsequent verification will help find the exact cause of the failure.

Finally, under some conditions, the pressure light may alternately go off and come on. However, this does not mean that it is a cause for concern. If the situation occurs during changes in direction or speed (cornering, sudden braking and acceleration), it may be that the oil level in the oil pan is too low. It is important to top up the oil immediately. The forces acting on the car and the fluids in it cause the intake tube and oil pump to draw in air

Pay close attention to the oil pressure light and don’t ignore early warning signs. This is one of the reasons that can negatively affect the condition of the drive unit.

Main Photo: cottonbro/pexels.com

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