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How to Fix Low Oil Pressure Gauge in Your Car (Oil Pressure Sending Unit)


one, two, three, four! Rev up your engines! It’s time for the Scotty Kilmer Channel,
your gauge warning light is on and you find that your oil pressure is low, then
stay tuned because I’m going to show you what to do when your oil pressure gauge
shows low, now the first thing to check is the engine oil level, now in this case
the oil is full, so it’s not low on oil and since the engine isn’t making any
horrible rattling noises, odds are it really doesn’t have lower oil pressure,
because if the oil pressure really was low, the engine would be rattling like
mad because there wouldn’t be enough oil pressure and metal would be hitting
metal, so in this case I’d suspect a bad oil pressure sending unit, the sending
unit tells the engine what the all pressure is there’s a spring inside and
they often wear out and leak over time and give a false reading, okay but where
are they hiding the thing, they hide them all over the place, they’re always on the
engine so let’s look and of course that’s a reason why it’s a good idea to
get the sending unit first, so you know exactly what you’re looking for, I’ve
been working on these trucks long enough to know, I need a stool so I can get
inside and get some working room, because in the Chevy truck they hide it behind a
distributor behind the air filter, you pull the air filter out of the way and the switch is
hiding way back here behind the distributor, now it’s pretty much
impossible to get this oil switch off without removing the distributor, so
we’ll take the cap off, then we’ll get some white paint and we’ll mark it so we
can take the distributor out and put it back in the same place, I put paint marks
on so I’ll take the distributor out and put it back in the same exact position,
then we remove the 15 millimeter nut that holds the distributor in place and then
pull the distributor out of the way, and there’s the switch, as you can see it’s
covered with oil which means it’s leaking, then you get a big wrench that
fits the oil filter socket, that’s why you want a new one first, then you know
which wrench to use to fit on the old one and out it comes, as you can see the electrical part here is all covered with
oil, that means the switch is leaking inside and that’s the problem, now since
this is a tapered thread sender, get some of this teflon tape and just wrap it
around, so it doesn’t leak oil when you’re done, then tighten it up and make sure
it’s snug so the oil doesn’t leak, then pick up your distributor and put it back
in with the markings in the same place climb back in and put it in and make sure
that your white paint lines mark up with the hole you made, with the two lines in one
line here, then screw the distributor cap back on tight, then start her up, and as
you can see the check gauge is light is off and the oil pressure is nice and
high, so we fixed the oil pressure problem with a little 35 dollar switch
not bad and remember if you’ve got any car questions just visit scotty kilmer.com

Glenn Chapman

100 Comments

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  2. Hey Scotty got a 2012 Sierra 5.3 with AFM. My problem is my gauge fluctuates between about 38 and 41 psi while under load around 2000 rpm on the highway never had this issue before would stay at a constant 40 psi . I just changed the oil and filter. Truck runs good sounds good. Sensor reads pressure and goes up and down with rpms. Could this be a bad sensor or do you think it could be an electrical issue. Not looking for a diagnosis just curious as to what you think could be causing it.

  3. hi scotty… i have a weird question—
    i recently had my fuel pump start to go out on me (sputtering under load), so i put a new one in… before that my oil and temp gauges read normal-
    now, the temp and oil gauges go high 2/3 up the gauge— and it was right after putting the new fuel pump that i noticed this.
    also, nothing appears to be wrong in the engine—
    no excessive heat and it seems to run fine—
    why would replacing the fuel pump make my other gauges read weird?
    also— it’s an in-tank electric fuel pump on a
    regular-carbureted 1987
    ford e350/460. 7.5L
    4-barrel
    any advice/info?
    oil sender and temp sender are relatively new..
    no leaks!
    ok THANKS!!!😄

  4. Just wanted to get an idea. how much did you charge the customer scotty? If you dont mind….

  5. Good evening ! My tachometer don't work , stay ever to 0 ( zero ) after the engine ia running . What could be ? The car in Mercedes . Thanks !

  6. Hey scotty i have a question i have 2003 ford f-150 v6 4.2 and my truck keeps on blowing up my oil filter gasket on start up and all the oil drips all out in seconds and i already replace the oil pressure switch and the oil pump adapter aswell i already put a new filter and check there wasent a gasket stuck and boom again the oil gasket blows out and drips the oil ,,!! PlZ help and info

  7. What if it does make the knocking rattling noise. I have a 01 dodge Durango. I'm lost what it is

  8. Magic marker the color of needle in gauge and draw oil pressure where you'd like it
    Thanx from the left coast near the Crapitol of California

  9. hello Scotty I have a 2000 ford expedition with 4.6L when I turn the engine on my pressure gage goes up n down. what could be the problem

  10. Question for you sir. I was having oil fluctuation issues on a 94 chevy 1500 and switched out the sensor but now the oil pressure gauge is maxing out. Could i have hooked it up wrong or some other issue?

  11. What does it mean if your oil pressure slowly goes up after you drive it more over time
    We have a 1994 chevy van with a 454 BBC and we had to drive it to work and the oil pressure went up to about 3/4 way up the Gage when before it was a quarter way
    What causes this

  12. I replaced mine on a Ford Ranger 4.0 with 300 k mi. The oil pressure gauge on the dashboard reads just like the day I bought it.

  13. Just replaced one in a 2009 toyota corolla.. pretty easy fix.. No more leak BUT.. becuase the connector got covered in oil. it's shot. I don't go by "idiot lights" anyhow.

  14. I have the opposite problem…. my oil pressure is up over the 80 mark and not resetting… '95 Silverado c1500

  15. 2004 Chevy 2500HD
    Low oil pressure at the cluster. I replaced the oil sending unit. Also did a manual read at the sending unit location. They both read the same. 17psi cold and it drops down below 4psi when it warms up.
    I purchased an adapter to check the pressure at the oil gallery (oil filter). It reads 17psi at idle when at operating temp 11psi. The cluster will say 2psi.
    My question.. is it possible for the orfice feeding oil to the sending unit to have any obstructions or maybe a bad gauge on the cluster?

  16. Is the sending unit and a presure unit the same thing? There is no tapping noise.

  17. Good morning Mr. Kilmer, I'm having problems with my low oil pressure gauge also. It goes low when I slow down and goes up when I accelerate. I just recently changed the oil high mileage oil before this problem. I plan to replace the sending unit but my question is: Can I still drive the car even if the oil is full and no noise is coming from the engine? Thanks

  18. What are the chances of the oil pump doing the same thing.. erratic gauge reading, sending unit has been replaced and still have erratic reading. The truck once blew head gaskets, all that has been fixed. But their is still alittle tan milkshake sludge in it. Think it might clogged the filter. And the pump is haveing a hard time pumping the oil. ???

  19. I didn't have such luck. A 67 F-100 352 was running great but was showing lousy oil pressure. This monstrosity requires a rebuild. Since this truck survived it's last three owners (Geniuses in their own right) I reckoned it deserved to live.

  20. Dam that's alot of work. Looks like a 300 job for a mechanic

  21. I have had an issue with my truck the oil pressure was down past 25 so everyone said change the oil. So I changed the oil. Now when I push the gas the oil pressure rises and when I let off the gas it goes down. However there is a cord hanging down but can find out where the hell it goes. I have 93 for f150 5.8 I can't figure out where this cord goes

  22. Where is it on Ford truck 5.8 I see a bell shaped thing but unsure if it's the sensor it doesn't look like the ones they show on youtube

  23. My 07 Yukon xl has gone through 4 oil pressure switches in 6 months. Any ideas?

  24. I have a 1996 Ford TBird and now my oil pressure gauge is going low and it has oil in it
    So what would the problem be
    It's only been doing this for 3 days now

  25. Hey scotty. I recently bought a used 04 Dodge Durango. Seemed like I was getting a great deal on it, drove great during test drive.
    However, I noticed that once I drove it around for an hour and got it nice and warm, the oil pressure light blinks on and off like a pinball machine and there is a horrible stench coming from the engine and through the AC vents. Could that just be an oil sensor leak? I stopped driving it right away and have it scheduled to visit the mechanic.

  26. Ok Scotty, I’ve got a 98 Isuzu hombre, the oil gauge was fluctuating so I had the switch changed out at the Chevy dealer, it has a 4 cylinder gm engine, well now the damn thing won’t get above 25 psi and when you stop it goes to zero. There’s no rattling, no noise, so I know it actually has pressure, so what do you recommend now

  27. Get a Ford and the distributor will be upfront like it should be.

  28. I had a 1979 Ford 4×4 & the oil pressure went to zero. I was in Orlando, Fl & stopped by a big Ford dealership to have the sending unit replaced. As I suspected they came back about 2 hours later with some bad news. Yep, I needed a new engine. I told them to put the old sending unit back if they even bothered to remove it. CROOKS!!! I checked the oil before I left fearing they had sabotaged my engine & drove that old truck for a decade before I sold it. I wrote FORD MOTRO CO. a letter naming the dealershlip & sent a copy to the dealer & never heard from anyone!!! Did I say they were crooks?

  29. I got a 90 Chevy S10 Tahoe. I can't get to the bolt that holds the distributor. My oil switch is to the right of the distributor at an angle….

  30. I've changed my oil sending unit in my 1995 Chevy Tahoe but it's still not registering like it should. Could it be the cluster gauge?

  31. I had same problem. Changed oil pressure switch with no fix. Added STP oil treatment and problem went away. Apparently 5W-30 is too thin. You need a thicker oil if you have high mileage in your vehicle.

  32. I have this 97 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with the LT1 engine, it showed the check engine light and it had oil and I changed the oil pressure sensor and it’s still says low oil when it’s full. Do you know what could be causing it?

  33. hey Scotty i hope you can answer me this question, i own a grand marquis 1997 – engine specs = 4.6l SFI OHC V8. The guy in the grease monkey shop changed me the oil and filter, also the fuel filter. He told me after to start up the engine but it stalled and rattled for 15 seconds (i assume due a lack of fuel pressure) , then after 20 , 21 seconds i hear some loud metal sound , then two ''ping'' and then a 3 ''ping sound'', (like a hammer hitting metal sound), then after 24 seconds the fuel pressure and oil restored to normal. But now i think that it was negligent that the guy at grease monkey shop let me have the engine on for that amount of time without fuel nor oil pressure rattling or shaking like crazy, i am so angry and i don't know if i make damage to the engine, what would you suggest?😧, My car has 155 800 km and i've never changed the timing chain by the way just the band, i assume i urgently need to do so right?, thank you! , i am such a noob in mechanical issues , i am starting to learn.

  34. My brother just changed the oil pressure sensor and the oil pressure gauge but the engine is now losing power and the gauge is reading low oil pressure. Can the oil pump be going bad?

  35. Hi Sr
    I have a ford taurus no noise
    Oil level normal
    But the oil light comes on when I brake
    I change the sensor but nothing happens
    Help

  36. On a Jeep Cherokee oil pressure drops when idleing. While going it goes up what causes that?

  37. I replaced my oil pressure sending unit and it reads lower than the old one. how do i fix this problem

  38. Hi Scotty question… nephew has 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and his oil pressure gauge kept going up and down so we replaced the oil pressure sending switch but now the gauge is at 0 and not moving and now the check gauges light is on what do we need to do please?? Thank you!!

  39. My Chevy van has had relatively low oil pressure for years. Over 200,000 miles on it, oil changed every 3000, but occasionally the pressure drops to almost 0. Engine will knock during this time. Have to turn it off and let it sit. After sitting for a few hours problem usually goes away. Happens maybe once a year, but today it seemed to last longer than normal, but ultimately it went back to “normal” no noise. Any suggest?

  40. My car oil light comes on while I'm decelerating and in idle and cuts off while I'm accelerating could it be the sensor too?

  41. Scotty I have 1999 gmc yukon denali was doing the same thing replaced the oil pressure switch and now for the most part the low oil light come on but when I come to a stop it same time comes on what do I do

  42. They make a socket for the oil pressure sensor ….you can use and you wont have to take off the distributor. Usually 1 and 1 16th

  43. i used to not like him now im finding everything he says is valuable, remid u of anyone?

  44. I just installed some Boush Mechanical gauges to my 283 Chevy Sm Block, it has 37 pounds of pressure at start up at 1500 Rpm, Book say should be 38 Pounds at 1500 Rpm. But after warm up, it drops to like 20 pounds?

  45. Scotty, you're the best! Whenever I have to do anything with mechanics, I also check out Scotty Kilmer. Thanks for all you do.

  46. WhAt if the switch was changed but that didn’t fix the problem on 08 Chevrolet Silverado 4.8. L 2 WD

  47. Where are those paint marks? It’s hard to tell from the video. Are you marking the rotor and distributor?

  48. What if your oil pressure gauge reads a little high ? Not close to the red line with the H though but a little past the halfway . Is that ok ? I have a 5.4L engine .

  49. Sometimes I wonder if have a bad gauge or if it's something else mine goes up but it takes awhile too go up .not sure what that is or means.

  50. Hi Scott. I got Ford e-150 1998 with 140k miles. The oil pressure drops down to zero at full stop. How to fix that.

  51. Dear frd, finally I saw your video related to my problem I hope may be very useful, now having problem in my car engine noise every three months once for reason may be oil pickup problem , after clean my oil pump having more sludge and something after then replace new engine oil working well only three months already I follow my car every 3000 km change oil and filter, so want to stop this problem anymore plz give me good idea

  52. Scotty, you are priceless! I watched 4 other videos with much frustration b/c they were blah blah blah and wouldn't get to the point–just to have waisted my time b/c they never answered my question. I watch your video, that was just on the topic, and your wealth of knowledge answered my question. THANKS! I can't imagine how many people you help.

  53. Hey have a few questions bare with me please…… Have a 1999 Chevy Astro it starts when it wants. The fuel gauge going in circles have crank no start also check gage light is on please please help

  54. 🙋🏻‍♀️Woman here! I have a 2002 Mazda MPV minivan which had an oil change about 2 month ago, give or take? My oil lamp has been flickering very intermittently and sometimes steady on, but only for a few seconds. I drive locally but do take the parkway….seems to flicker when the car isn’t on level ground 🤔
    I’ll start with checking the oil, but after that, it’s beyond me and will need to take it to my mechanic. Hoping I didn’t wait too long and did damage.

  55. Love ya as always Scotty. You are great as Always 😀😀. Thank you.😀😀😀

  56. I have an 89 Silverado and the oil pressure always runs high and max at highway speeds, is this normal?

  57. Have an 04 Chevy Impala that I think my oil pump is out and has a knocking and it sounds like it's coming from the lifters I change the oil sending unit and the knock sensor and it's still knocking please help

  58. What if u swapped that and ur oil pressure still moves no over heat daily driver has 240k miles

  59. You did not fix it, like your title stated, you replaced it. Good at fixing, bad at making titles. Hire me, I'm also good at bitching.

  60. Thank god for you Scotty was driving my 94 Chevy and just like this one oil gauge is bottoming out but no noise I was trippin but I now know thanks to you what’s going you da man thanks so much kind sir for all the knowledge

  61. My 1988 Silverado does it randomly at idle engine is fine and oil level is fine

  62. Hi Scotty, thank you for all f the very helpful videos. I have just run into an issue with this same thing on an 05 Nissan Xterra. I already swapped out the oil pressure gauge with the one that the Nissan website recommended, but now instead of showing high oil pressure it only shows low oil pressure until I get to about 3,000 RPMs.
    I swapped out 2 gauges, the original one that was reading high oil pressure all the time, for another one that read low oil pressure, and now I've just dropped that one out with the third one and getting the same low oil pressure. Does it take time for the computer to calibrate the oil pressure for these sensors?

  63. My truck has low oil press at idle but when i press the gas it goes up do you think this is the problem

  64. My 86 ford oil pressure sensor gauge stopped working now my truck starts shuts off after 10 seconds there's oil got new oil pressure sensor gauge just got to put it on will his solve the problem

  65. The only problem wirh this is the use of Teflon tape.. Use a good pipe dope that is made for such things

  66. My 99 ram seems fine untill you run it wide open then my oil will drop to 0 and a light comes on and says check guages

  67. Very helpful video, I found my trucks sensor right above the oil filter (2006 Mitsubishi Raider), very funny that I searched "how to change oil pressure sensor" and ALL the results are on Chevy Silverados and Tahoes.

  68. Hi Scott I have a Chevy Z71 and the water pump keeps goin bad almos very week
    The fan comes off the water pump and ruin May radiator in a month I had to fix it 4 times it just came off where it attaches to pin in the water pump and I’m getting tore of it I don’t know what’s causing it can you give me an idea what could cause it please

  69. What if pressure shows higher than normal especially when accelerating

  70. Scotty, thanks so much for giving out good mechanical advice for free. You the man!

  71. I had to replace my oil pressure switch yesterday right after I got an oil change on my 02 Ford Explorer XLT. I left and within 5-10 mins the gauge started going crazy, so I went back to the shop. They diagnosed it and told me what it was. The part was $7 but the labor was $55! It took them every bit of 10-15 mins to replace and they charged me $55! If I would've known it was going to cost that much I would've done it my damn self! My oil change was $24, the sensor was $7 and the labor was $55. I spent all that within one hour. Smh. Wish u lived here in NC Scotty. 😟

  72. Man, you make your video's straight to the point on everything..I have learned so much from you!!!! Thank you man!!!!

  73. Quick question Scotty, if you don’t mind? Me and my wife both have 2001 Chevrolet’s. One is a suburban and one is a Tahoe. We’re having a strange problem with both oil pressure gauges where when the engine is shut off, the needle does not return to zero. I understand that with 2003 and up you can replace stepper motors. Any ideas with the 2001’s? Maybe replace the oil pressure sending unit? Can’t seem to find any information out there on this issue, after scouring the Internet. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  74. scotty you remind me of my dad when he was alive .i could tell him what my car was doing or acting like and he tell me what it was and how to fix it.thank you so much for all your shared knowledge and. advice .

  75. That was a good dam job first time here ! I guess the 162 dummies didnt catch on who hit dislike .

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