Oil Pressure Switch
It's important that you keep a sharp eye on the oil level of your engine as lack of such can cause premature wear on the major engine components. This is the reason your engine is equipped with a device that monitors engine oil level.the oil pressure switch.
What functions does the oil pressure switch do?
This switch keeps tabs on the engine oil's PSI or pounds per inch by which the oil flows inside the engine. Since it is necessary for a running engine to stay lubricated to ensure smooth operations, the oil pressure inside it must be high. After gauging the oil's PSI, the oil pressure switch transmits the information into the engine computer. Once the computer receives a signal that the engine is running low on oil, it automatically shuts the engine down to avoid damage.
Most vehicle dashboards are equipped with meters or gauges where the reading from the switch is reflected. As soon as low oil pressure is detected, you'll notice a signal light on the gauge to warn you about the situation.
But much like other vehicle components, the oil pressure sensor will wear out over time, and this can result to inaccurate readings or, sometimes, no reading at all. When this happens and you're now in need of a replacement, you can do the task by yourself to save money.
How to Change an Oil Pressure Switch
Replacing an oil pressure sensor or switch just takes a little bit of mechanical knowledge and a few tools. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you out:
What you'll need:
- Clean rag
- Automotive thread sealant
- New oil pressure switch
Preparing the vehicle
Step 1: Park your vehicle in a garage or in an area where you can move comfortably to carry out your DIY task. Turn the engine off and let it cool down completely.
Locating the switch
Step 2: Open the hood and find the oil pressure switch. The exact location may vary from one vehicle model to another, but it is usually installed along one side of the engine block. With a rag, clean the area around the switch. If there are parts that may block your access to the switch, remove them properly and set them aside.
Unplugging the wiring harness
Step 3: The wiring harness of the switch is usually protected by a dust boot, which is installed to prevent dust from getting in between shafts and joints. You need to remove this rubber dust boot.
Step 4: Once the dust boot is out, push the tab that secures the connector in its place and disconnect the wiring harness. Get a clean rag and clean all the contacts.
Removing the old oil pressure switch
Step 5: This switch is bolted into the engine block via screws. Use an open-ended wrench and loosen the old sensor by turning it counterclockwise all the way until the part is released.
Step 6: Remove the old switch. Keep a rag handy and use it to plug the socket, just in case oil flows out.
Installing the new oil pressure switch
Step 7: Get the new switch. Find out if it already has thread sealant on its threads. If it has none, get your automotive thread sealant and apply some to the threads.
Step 8: Screw the switch into the threaded hole in the engine block. Tighten it according to the manufacturer's specifications. Be careful when tightening the threads as they are tapered and of National Pipe Thread standard, so they can easily be over-tightened. How tight should oil pressure switch be? Well, it's wise to consult your owner's manual to know the correct specifications.
Reconnecting the wiring harness
Step 9: Reattach the wiring harness plug into the new switch. To be sure that the plug seats all the way into its proper position, push it with just enough force until you hear a clicking sound.
Testing the new oil pressure switch
Step 10: To test if the new switch is working properly, start your engine and check if the warning light is still on. If it still comes on, check and fix any irregularity in the connections and wires. If the warning light is gone, that means you've installed the switch properly and it's now working well, so you can now reinstall all the parts that you've removed during sensor installation.