Oil Pressure Switch

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Oil Pressure Switch

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What is an oil pressure switch and where is it located?

The oil pressure switch—also known as the oil pressure sensor, oil pressure sending unit, or oil pressure sender—is a sensor that connects to your oil pressure gauge to inform you of your oil pressure. Low oil pressure can indicate low oil level, or low oil pressure in your engine. The engine needs oil to stay lubricated to reduce wear, so the oil pressure switch plays an important role in helping you take care of your engine.

The oil pressure switch can be located in different places, depending on the model of your car truck, but it’s usually found in an oil gallery near the oil filter or in the cylinder head. The oil presses on a diaphragm in the switch. The diaphragm activates an electronic signal that is sent to a light or oil pressure gauge on your dashboard. On newer vehicles, they may also send an electrical signal to the vehicle’s computer. The computer might shut down the engine in response to low oil pressure in order to protect the engine. 

How do I know if my oil pressure switch needs to be replaced?

The oil pressure sending unit can fail for a number of different reasons. The diaphragm may become damaged or may get gummed up with oil residue. The electronic switch inside of it, or the wiring, could also fail. 

The most common reason oil pressure switches are replaced is because of an oil leak at the switch. A failed oil pressure switch will cause your oil pressure gauge to read low or not at all even when you have plenty of oil and good oil flow. It might also cause the engine to shut down at times, since the computer is reading the oil pressure as being lower than it actually is. One way to test a one wire oil pressure sensor is to disconnect the wire from the switch and ground it with the key on. If your vehicle is equipped with a light, this should turn the light on. If equipped with a gauge, this should cause your gauge to read at its highest level. If the gauge does this, but when re-connected, with the engine running, reads zero, then you either have a bad sending unit or no oil pressure.

Can I replace an oil pressure switch myself?

Replacing the oil pressure sender is relatively easy, but somewhat messy. Make sure to have a rag ready to catch any oil that leaks out. Simply disconnect the wiring from the oil pressure switch, unscrew the old switch, and screw in the replacement and connect it.

Need an oil pressure switch replacement?

Oil is vital to the proper operation of your vehicle. Oil is what keeps the engine’s parts lubricated, preventing premature wear. In order for it to be effective in doing this though, there needs to be an adequate amount of it in your engine. The oil pressure sender is what sends out readings on the level of oil in your engine so you can be informed on its current status. If the switch has failed, you won’t know if you have enough or not, which will lead to problems. If you have determined that you need an oil pressure switch replacement, don’t think twice about getting it as it is a vital part, as you probably realize by now! Here at 1A Auto, you will find a large selection of oil pressure sending units for many makes and models, and at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement oil pressure sensor for your car, truck, SUV or van easy—we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket oil pressures switches, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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