When your car is low on oil, there is a sensor (sometimes called a switch, as well) that will light up an indicator inside the car to inform you of the low oil level. In some cases, checking the dipstick will show that there is actually oil present, which can be confusing and frustrating because it contradicts the sensor. If this happens to be the case, more than likely the oil pressure switch/sensor is malfunctioning and will need replacing. With a little bit of skill, you can learn to replace the sensor yourself.
Things You'll Need
- New oil pressure sensor
- Open wrench
Locate the oil pressure switch, which is either behind the distributor or on the driver side of the block in the lower right hand corner between the header and the oil filter. Look closely at what parts surround the sensor. Remove the parts that are in the way and look for the sensor. If you do not know how to remove these parts, consult your owner's manual for further information.
Locate the rubber dust boot on the connecting wires and pull it away. The dust boot is an accordion shaped cover that keeps dust from getting in between joints and shafts. Push in the tab that is holding the connector in place and unplug the wires or wire harness. Clean all the contacts if desired or necessary.
Remove the new sensor from the packaging and place it somewhere accessible. Loosen the old sensor using an open-ended wrench or extended handle, if space is limited. Pull out the old part, having a rag handy to plug the socket in case oil pours out.
Reverse the steps to install the new sensor and plug the wire or wire harness into place. Ensure that the part is snug but not too tight. Before putting other parts back, check to make sure the new sensor works properly by starting your engine and checking the light. If the light is still on, check the connections of the wires and ensure that they are properly secured. If the light does not come on, replace all parts that were removed during the sensor installation.
- Photo Credit car engine image by itsallgood from Fotolia.com
- Definition of a Pressure Switch
Will an Oil Pressure Switch Cause a Car to Not Start?
A vehicle's oil pressure switch keeps track of the oil pressure that the oil pump creates. This is important because low oil...
How to Change an Oil Pressure Sending Unit
Modern vehicles take in and relay a lot of information, mostly via electronic signals and sensors. Back in the old days, oil...
How to Replace a Dodge Caravan Oil Pressure Switch
The oil pressure switch on your Dodge Caravan is a critical component that allows you to monitor oil pressure and turn the...
How to Install the Oil Pressure Switch on a Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular sedans in the United States. The Camry has been produced since 1980 and...
How to Replace a Ford Oil Pressure Switch
The oil pressure switch in Ford vehicles is part of the computerized engine-management system. The powertrain control module (PCM) receives a continuous...
Location of the Oil Pressure Switch for 1997 Toyota Camry
The oil pressure switch in a 1997 Camry is used to detect oil pressure loss and warn the driver if the pressure...
How to Test an Oil Sending Unit
An oil sending unit, also called an oil pressure sensor or switch, controls the oil indicator light or gauge in a vehicle....
How to Check the VTEC Oil Pressure Switch
The oil pressure switch in your vehicle measures the integrity of the engine's lubrication system -- it warns you when it detects...
How to Test the Low Oil Pressure Switch on a Generator
Gasoline generators create an A/C current to create power that can be connected with a plug to a variety of different household...
1989 Chevy Truck Specs
The 1989 Chevrolet C/K 1500 is available in a variety of trims, including a regular and extended cab. Each one has either...
How to Change a Car Oil Pressure Sensor
Changing a car's oil pressure sensor involves locating the sender, removing the connector, backing out the hex, putting a new one in...