Engine problems have their source in heat and friction caused between its moving parts. There are two main combating methods against their onslaught on engine performance―lubrication and cooling. Lubrication is achieved by a supply of oil that constantly lubricates the engine bearings and other moving parts. The oil pressure sending unit is a part of the oil supply mechanism which is used with a gauge to monitor engine's oil levels. A failure of this unit can impair the monitoring and feedback mechanism that controls engine oil levels. A low oil pressure indication from the sending unit along with a similar signal from the sensors, can lead to a shutting down of the engine instantly if your car's engine is monitored by a ECU (Engine Control Unit).
A unit leaking out can lead to a false indication of low pressure. That's why, it is best to get the oil level checked immediately if the dashboard light for pressure gauge lights up. In case the pressure level is normal and the sending unit is indicating a low level, it is in need of replacement. The replacement job is not that difficult to pull off on your own.
Replacing the Pressure Sending Unit
In case of sending unit failure, it is advisable that you replace it as soon as possible. Here I provide a generic procedure for the same. Specific details for your particular car model will vary. Refer to the appropriate Hayne's manual for specific details related to your car model.
No car repair job is possible without the right tools at hand. The things you will need for this job are the following:
- Wrench set
- ½ Inch Sockets and Ratchets
- Floor jack
- Teflon tape
- Jack stands
- A New unit (Appropriate for your car model)
- The location of the unit will be near the oil filter. Refer your car manual for the exact location. You will have to raise the vehicle on jack stands for the job. Make sure that the car is well supported and balanced before you go ahead.
- Before you do anything, disconnect the car battery's negative terminal. Look for the oil filter first which will lead you to the sending unit's location. It is a device shaped in the form of a cylinder with wires attached to it. This unit is usually threaded into the car assembly block. Located nearby, will be the inch long sensor for oil pressure light with the connected wire.
- First thing to do is to remove the electric connection made to the unit. You will have to squeeze the connector on the unit to unlock and remove the electrical connection. You will be able to remove it by pulling it off by hand. Since the sending unit is threaded in, you will have to remove it by turning it with an appropriate size wrench. Turn anticlockwise until you can loosen it by hand and remove it.
- Before you install the new unit in place of the old, we suggest you to wrap the threads with Teflon tape to prevent leakage. Warp about three revolutions around the tapered threads of the sending unit. Then, you can begin fixing the sending unit by carefully putting it in the slot and turn it carefully by hand first. Then using the wrench, you can tighten it clockwise until it fits snugly. Do not press hard while tightening, as the threads could get damaged that way. Then reconnect the electrical connector and the car battery. With that, your job is done and you can safely lower your car down.
As you cans see, replacing an oil pressure unit is one of simplest car repair jobs. Taking care of such minor car problems in time can prevent major car repairs in the future.