Driving With Bad Oil Pressure Sensor – What To Know

Is driving with bad oil pressure sensor a good idea? What will happen with your car when driving with a bad oil pressure sensor?

If you are a long-time driver, there will not be any stranger to encountering problems like that with your motor oil.

So be ready and get packed with decent knowledge; you will thank yourself later for such deliberate preparation!

Now, wait no longer but read on for further details!

How Does Oil Pressure Sensor Function?

driving with bad oil pressure sensor

The oil pressure sensor is a crucial automobile component directly connected to your car’s meter or oil pressure gauge.

Its duty is to keep an eye on the temperature and flow of this fluid.

Without it operating properly, you can find yourself in a very messy situation where the engine lacks lubrication and suffers severely from serious friction damage.

Little did you know, the sensor can also connect with vehicles equipped with electronic control modules.

So as soon as the device figures out anything wrong, such as a below-average oil level or else, it will immediately activate an indicator on your dashboard to warn you about changes.

You shall get two different sorts of alerts. One is an actual oil pressure warning light demonstrating a loss in oil pressure, while the other is a notice of an oil pressure sensor problem itself.

So what happens when oil pressure switch goes bad? Can I drive with a bad oil pressure sensor? Scroll down!

Driving With Bad Oil Pressure Sensor – Is It safe?

No, running an automobile with a defective oil pressure sensor is never a good idea. Your malfunctioning sensor might be the result of a number of factors.

One might be less harmful than the other, but they all pose extreme risks at your least expected moment.

Thus, until you determine the true cause of the alert, we advise you to set aside the driving and take action with the checkup rather than neglecting such defects.

When you have identified the source of the oil pressure sensor issue, you will be able to weigh your alternatives before operating the vehicle again to be sure it won’t endanger the powerhouse.

Let us tell you something: Unlike a ruined engine, it is not expensive to get a replacement or fix a bad sensor.

Not to mention, you can even be a mechanic and adjust the malfunction on your own with appropriate DIY instructions.

That is why once the false sense arrives, it would be rather wise for you to pull over and carry out the inspection needed or tow your automobile to the nearest garage.

Otherwise, you could end up spending a fortune to reconstruct your damaged engine.

Signs Of A Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor

How to know if your oil pressure sensor is bad

The Oil Pressure Light Blinks Frequently

How to know if your oil pressure sensor is bad? The frequent blinking intensity of the oil pressure light is the first and foremost bad oil pressure sensor symptoms you should lay eyes on.

Several drivers may mistake this warning as an indication of low oil level, which is frightening due to its destructiveness to the engine failure.

Yet, sometimes it merely shows that your oil pressure oil sensor is not operating properly.

To distinguish which is which, check the oil level single-handedly using a dipstick so you can know whether it is truly below the demanded restriction.

For an easier understanding, check out our tips to handle  a hard-to-read dipstick and follow accordingly!

If that’s not the case, the oil switch may be dysfunctional and requires immediate repair.

The Oil Pressure Gauge Displays the Wrong Reading

This mechanical gauge is the vehicle part that measures the oil pressure in most older car models.

Since it functions synchronously with the status of your oil level, a concrete message of a bad oil sensor will present itself if this device displays a reading discrepancy.

Let’s say the gauge demonstrates a rounded zero number, but the oil level you check shows a contrarily normal position.

This means there might be a great deal to handle with your sensor connection or some other related breakdowns.

In cases like that, you will want to inspect the wiring linked to the sensor and make sure it gets the urgent replacement as demanded.

The Oil Pressure Light Turns On

You’ve heard about the blinking oil pressure light as a typical clue of a bad oil pressure sensor.

Unbeknownst to many, the brightening of this light itself can also become another warning we shouldn’t miss out on, especially when it performs conflictingly with the calculating gauge.

Let us first remind you how this car component works in theory: When the oil pressure sensor detects low or high oil pressure, it transmits a signal to the electronic control unit (ECU), which subsequently sends another call to the dash cluster and illuminates the oil warning light.

So considering your mechanic gauge presents a standard oil pressure while the oil light showing the opposite, chances are your sensor is to blame for the malfunction (which can be leaks or faults pertaining to the ECU).

How To Check Engine Light Oil Pressure Sensor?

faulty oil pressure sensor

What if you are still uncertain whether or not the problem derives from a faulty oil pressure sensor? Here are some assessing steps to double-check this automobile component’s function.

Follow and rack up the best yourself!

Step 1: First, place your key into the ignition and activate the accessory setting while your automobile stays idle.

Step 2: The next step is to carefully observe the oil gauge’s level on your portable device’s dashboard.

You can also utilize a dipstick instead. Just be sure you know how to use it correctly to stay away from trouble such as no oil on the dipstick.

Step 3: Provided that nothing appears on the screen other than zero, remove the plug of the wire that connects to the transmitting unit. Once done, observe the level again and see if the number increases to three.

Step 4: Now, you will have two paths to drive along. If it reaches three, there is no doubt that your automobile is dealing with a bad oil pressure sensor in need of repair. But if not, move to the next step.

Step 5: Although you can now be fifty percent sure that there is nothing wrong with the sensor, an extra rest assurance would be no harm to carry out.

As such, set the disconnected wire on the negative side of your automobile battery or any other portion of your vehicle. Your sensor is now free of suspicion if the gauge’s zero-oil level stays the same.

Instructions For Replacing The Oil Pressure Sensor

Replacing your oil pressure sensor is not that difficult, granted that you can find a compatible one to substitute. With our detailed instructions below, even a beginner can complete the task!

Step 1: Spot your oil pressure sensor’s position.

Step 2: Detach the electrical connector.

Step 3: Take off the oil pressure sensor.

Step 4: Locate an identical one to replace the sensor taken out.

Step 5: Attach the component to the right place and replug the connector. VoilĂ , that’s how you succeed with oil pressure sensor replacement!


What’s The Difference Between an Oil Pressure Switch and a Sensor?

In contrast to sensors, which just transmit a pressure reading to a distant place, pressure switches’ responsibility is to assure the safety of the machine’s operators and itself.

Pressure sensors, transducers, and transmitters, however, may be in more flexible applications due to their adaptability. For that reason, the prices are also often higher than that of switches.

How Long Can I Drive With A Bad Oil Pressure Sensor?

Typically, you can drive 500 miles or in 2 weeks, whichever comes first, before the faulty oil pressure sensor really causes any damage.

A heads-up: Get your car serviced as soon as possible, as things can quickly deteriorate and have a toll on the engine.

Can A Bad Oil Pressure Sensor Shut Off The Engine?

Can a bad oil pressure sensor cause loss of power? No, the malfunctioning oil pressure sensor won’t turn the car off.

It is the low oil pressure you should be more cautious about since this may be the main culprit preventing your vehicle from starting.

Saying so means you should not kick off the automobile under any circumstance until you find out in-time solutions for the dilemma.

Either way, your engine’s condition can only worsen if it keeps running in drastic deterioration.


Now you should have had your answer to decide whether driving with bad oil pressure sensor is a good idea.

The result only has one, so make sure you diagnose the problem properly and do the right thing to never be haunted by a poorly-prepared decision.

Hopefully, our article can be of great use to the little DIY project with your auto buddy! See you then.

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