Have you ever experienced that sudden panic when your oil pressure sensor light comes on? It’s important not to freak out and take immediate action to understand and resolve the issue. In this article, we will guide you on how to reset the oil pressure sensor and turn off the warning light. So, let’s dive in and explore the causes of the oil light coming on and effective solutions to tackle the problem.
Why is My Oil Light Coming On?
The oil pressure sensor serves as a vital component, capturing any irregularities and sending signals to the OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) system. Several factors can contribute to the illumination of the oil check light, and here are the most common ones:
- Low Oil Level: Insufficient oil level can directly result in low oil pressure, regardless of when you last had your oil changed. As engines age, oil tends to burn more quickly, which can be caused by worn piston rings, leaking seals, or other issues.
- Malfunctions: While low oil levels are the primary cause of the oil light coming on, malfunctions can also play a role. A faulty oil pump, a broken pick-up tube, a blocked oil filter, or even leaks can contribute to this problem and trigger the oil pressure light. In some cases, a malfunctioning sensor can send false warnings and illuminate the light unnecessarily.
- Dirty/Old Oil: Over time, oil can become dirty and lose its viscosity, affecting its overall performance. Your oil sensor might detect these changes and prompt you to change the oil. Keep an eye on your mileage and visually inspect the oil’s appearance.
- Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor: If the warning light persists despite a normal oil level in the engine, a defective oil pressure sensor could be the culprit. Inaccurate measurements will occur if this sensor malfunctions, leading to the activation of the warning light.
What Should I Do if the Oil Light Comes On?
Before resetting the oil pressure sensor or turning off the oil light, it is crucial to address the underlying problems. Neglecting the warning light can potentially damage the engine beyond repair. Here are the steps you can take to resolve the issue:
- Correct the Oil Level and Viscosity: Check your engine oil level to ensure it is sufficient. The correct oil level will generate the appropriate pressure detected by the sensor. Additionally, using oil with the correct viscosity is essential.
- Fix Any Oil Leaks: If your oil level continues to decrease even after multiple refills, there may be leaks in the infrastructure. If you can’t identify the source of the leak, it’s advisable to take your car to a dealership or service center for professional assistance.
- Replace the Oil Pressure Sensor: If your oil pressure and level are adequate, but the oil light persists, you may have a faulty oil pressure sensor. If resetting the sensor doesn’t resolve the issue, it is likely that you need to replace the sensor unit.
- Replace the Oil Pump: Faulty oil pumps can also cause low oil pressure. It is recommended to replace the pump as advised by the dealership or service center to prevent recurring issues.
- Reset the Oil Pressure: After addressing the root causes of the illuminated oil light, you can proceed to reset it using a scan tool or manually.
How to Reset the Oil Pressure Sensor?
There are two primary methods for resetting oil pressure sensors: the manual method and using a scan tool. While using a scan tool provides convenience, the manual method is a viable option if you don’t have one. Here’s how you can reset the oil pressure sensor:
You don’t need any special connectors to reset the oil sensor manually. Follow these steps carefully:
- Start the ignition to the on position without starting the engine.
- Within ten seconds, gradually press the gas pedal three times in a row. Try to evenly space out each press within the given time frame.
- If successful, your oil pressure sensor has been reset. If the oil light still comes on, repeat the procedure.
Using a Scanner
Certain scan tools available on the market have the capability to reset oil sensors. You can research and refer to reviews for popular choices like Foxwell NT510 Elite or NT530. These scanners might provide specific codes related to the oil sensor, allowing you to understand the actual problems. After troubleshooting, you can simply press “Clear” or “Reset” on your scanner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What will a faulty oil pressure sensor do?
When the oil pressure sensor becomes faulty or malfunctions, inaccurate measurements can occur. The warning light may illuminate due to readings falling outside acceptable ranges, even if they are false.
Why won’t my oil check light go off?
After changing your engine oil, it is essential to check the oil pressure sensor, as a failing sensor can cause the oil light to remain on. This can lead to various engine problems, such as insufficient oil being pumped for proper lubrication of the engine’s moving parts.
Can you clean an oil pressure sensor?
In cases where the oil level is not the issue, oil pressure sensors are often the prime suspect. Luckily, you can easily clean the oil filter screen using air pressure or brake cleaner. However, most people opt to replace the sensor altogether since the filter is relatively inexpensive.
How long can you drive with a faulty oil pressure sensor?
It is crucial to stop driving immediately when the oil light illuminates. Your vehicle’s engine can only function properly for approximately thirty minutes without adequate lubrication. Even a short five-minute drive with low oil can cause significant and costly damage. Immediately check your oil level and filter.
The oil pressure sensor plays a critical role in detecting irregularities in your engine oil and triggering the oil light on your dashboard. However, the oil pressure sensor itself can become faulty and provide inaccurate measurements. In order to reset the sensor, you must address the actual problems first. Whether you choose the manual method or utilize a scanner, successfully resetting the oil pressure sensor will turn off the warning light. Remember to prioritize your car’s maintenance and promptly resolve any issues to keep your engine running smoothly.
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