The worst thing about driving with a bad oil pressure sensor is that if you are not careful enough, you won’t realize you have the problem until it starts affecting your engine and you start experiencing all sorts of issues.
The oil pressure sensor is essential in keeping track of the oil pressure in your vehicle and sending the data to the instrument panel or combination meter.
If your car has a computer module, the oil pressure sensor sends data to the module for calculation, after which the data is transmitted to the instrument panel to activate the engine oil pressure gauge and the signal lights.
A bad oil pressure sensor is dangerous, like driving with a bad speed sensor and a faulty temperature gauge.
Is driving with a bad oil pressure sensor safe? Let’s find out in this article.
Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor
If there is an issue with the oil pressure sensor, it will activate the pressure light, and it also causes inaccurate readings on the oil pressure gauge.
Below are the symptoms of a bad oil pressure sensor.
1. The Oil Pressure Light Blinks Constantly
Sometimes when there is a fault with the oil pressure sensor, the low oil light will be blinking on the dashboard.
The blinking on and off can be alarming since it might indicate oil being lower than normal, and it can damage the engine.
Therefore, check your car manually to know if the warning indeed indicates your oil levels. If your oil level is okay, then it means that you have a bad oil pressure sensor.
To avoid the stress of checking your oil levels constantly, replace the faulty oil pressure sensor immediately.
2. Wrong Readings on the Oil Pressure Gauge
Most old vehicles use an actual mechanical gauge to calculate the oil pressure. If the gauge reads zero and yet the oil levels are normal, there is probably a fault in the oil pressure sensor.
If you have a modern car, it is definite that your vehicle’s oil pressure gauge is electronic, so to get the reading, it sends an electronic signal. Thus, when the oil pressure sensor has a problem, it reads zero or causes the gauge to show strange readings.
You should therefore check your sensor wirings and replace them immediately.
Please note that you should not assume the engine oil level is okay without checking the dipstick physically because you might be having excess oil in the engine, which means another issue like having very high oil pressure.
3. The Oil Pressure Light Is On
Checking the lights on the pressure gauge is an excellent option to test your oil pressure sensor fault. A bad oil pressure sensor will give you false readings.
For instance, if the oil pressure lights are on and upon checking the oil levels on the engine are normal, it is an indication that there is a fault on the pressure sensor.
A faulty oil pressure sensor gives incorrect readings. Therefore, if the oil level is normal and you keep receiving signals from the engine, it is an indication that there is a problem with the oil pressure, and the sensor is just giving a warning. The readings will eventually go beyond normal and turn on the oil pressure lights.
To avoid this problem, replace the sensor to get the right oil pressure levels.
4. Overheating Engine
If you experience overheating, you should turn off your car and check the engine for any leakages and coolant flow.
Dropping of oil levels can cause your car to overheat. Ensure your oil pressure sensor is checked for any defects.
5. Bad Smell
If you smell burning plastics or electronics, it might be something is overheating and has caused damage to the engine. Therefore, you should check if the wire connecting your oil pressure sensor has melted.
If the wire has melted, it is a sign that your oil pressure sensor is bad.
Can a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor Cause Reduced Engine Power
A bad oil pressure sensor does not cause a decrease in engine power.
However, if you notice that your oil pressure sensor has a fault, you should replace it immediately and earliest possible. Optimum oil pressure is crucial in ensuring your engine performs optimally.
In addition, low oil pressure can damage some engine components, and you end up replacing them.
How Long Can I Drive With a Bad Oil Pressure Sensor?
In the first place, it is a good idea to drive your car with a bad oil sensor.
Driving a car with a bad sensor will prevent you from understanding when your oil pressure has a problem, and it can badly damage your engine hence putting you and your car in danger.
However, you can drive with a bad oil pressure sensor if you do not have an option. But ensure that you get it fixed soonest possible because the longer you drive, the worse it gets.
What to Do If Your Oil Pressure Sensor Is Bad
Replace the Sensor
If your oil pressure sensor has an issue, take it to the auto parts store for checking. Some people will check it for free while others will charge you.
You can also buy a new sensor and have a mechanic replace it for you immediately.
When on a drive and you feel like your car is running low on oil, pull over immediately and check the engine for leakages.
Henceforth, drive safely; avoid driving at high speed and revving your engine.
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On Driving With Bad Oil Pressure Sensor
Driving with a bad oil pressure sensor is not one of the great ideas. It prevents you from knowing when there is an issue with your oil pressure. It can damage the engine and put yourself and your car at risk.
Having good oil pressure is crucial for your car’s engine. It is essential to measure the internal pressure and send warning signals to the pressure gauge if it detects a problem.
In addition, it helps reduce any damages that might occur to the engine and other components. It will prevent the engine from overheating and friction from the metal surfaces.
However, if you do not have an option, you can still drive your car with a bad oil pressure sensor, but ensure you drive carefully and replace it immediately since the longer you stay with it, the worse it will get.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.