What Is the Oil Pressure Sending Unit?

Multiple systems in your car are designed to maintain the correct engine oil level and pressure. The oil pressure sending unit regulates the flow of oil. It sends the oil pressure information to the car’s computer, which then controls the related lights and gauges. For example, if lower than normal oil pressure is detected, the pressure sensor will make the gauge in the car reflect an Oil Pressure Warning Light. Every driver needs to know about the different types of sending units, what problems they can have, and some information about the repair and cost, to be ready when faced with an oil pressure sending unit issue.

Types

There are three types of oil pressure sending units. The oldest one is a part of the output side of the oil pump to which a connecting tube is attached. This links up to the gauge on the instrument panel to provide a reading.

The second one is a screw-in type which has a transducer attached to an electromechanical switch and is connected with a wire to a light on the instrument panel. The sending unit is set to turn the switch on when the oil pressure is below a safe level for use. Since the oil pressure is related to the engine revolutions per minute (RPM), this light will come on at low idle speeds and the oil pressure will gradually increase as the RPM increases.

And the third one has an electrical voltage output that is directly proportional to the actual oil pressure.

When the Gauge Fluctuates

Oil becomes thicker when it is cold, and it needs more pressure to pump the oil. As the oil heats up with use, the pressure will decline to a more normal level.

Troubleshooting the Oil Pressure Sending Unit

Over time, any car part needs to be maintained. If you have a problem with the oil pressure sending unit, first of all, disconnect the wire going to the unit and ground it with the key on. If the gauge rises to the highest point, then everything is good. You can also screw the gauge in its place and read the oil pressure.

How Much Does One Cost?

The oil pressure sending unit cost depends on your vehicle's make and model. The price range is from $30 to $100. You can get them online or at local auto shops. If your oil pressure sending unit is malfunctioning, then try to replace it as soon as possible for your vehicle’s safety!


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