How Does an Oil Pressure Sensor Work?

An oil pressure sensor measures the oil pressure in a vehicle’s engine. It is usually located on the engine block or oil pan and is connected to a gauge or warning light on the dashboard. The oil pressure sensor measures the oil pressure in the engine. This pressure is then compared to a preset level, and if the pressure is too low, the sensor will trigger a warning light or sound an alarm. 

The oil pressure sensor works by using a mechanical pressure switch. The pressure switch is mounted in the oil line and is activated when the pressure drops below the preset level. The expert from ECU Remapping Dorset says that when this happens, the button closes a circuit that causes the warning light or alarm to be activated. The pressure switch is usually calibrated to the specific engine to be triggered at the correct pressure. 

The oil pressure sensor also contains a sender unit, which is a device that converts the pressure reading into an electrical signal that can be sent to the gauge or warning light. The sender unit is connected to a wire that runs to the dashboard, and when the pressure drops below the preset level, the electrical signal is sent to the dashboard, activating the warning light or alarm.

Oil pressure sensor operation in vehicles 

The oil pressure sensor is an essential component of a vehicle’s engine. It measures the oil pressure in the engine’s lubrication system and alerts the driver if the pressure drops too low. In some modern cars, the oil pressure sensor is replaced by an oil pressure gauge, which monitors the oil pressure more accurately.

This type of gauge is connected to the engine’s oil line and utilizes a pressure transducer to measure the pressure in the line. The pressure transducer converts this pressure into an electrical signal sent to a gauge in the dashboard. 

The oil pressure sensor is typically connected to the engine’s lubrication system and is designed to measure the amount of pressure in the oil line. This pressure is then sent to the vehicle’s computer, which uses this information to adjust the engine’s performance. The oil pressure sensor measures the pressure in the oil line and then sends this information to the vehicle’s computer. 

The computer then uses this information to determine the level of oil in the engine and adjust the engine’s performance accordingly. If the pressure is too low, the computer will adjust the engine’s settings to compensate for the lack of pressure.

 The computer will reduce the engine’s performance if the pressure is too high. The oil pressure sensor ensures that the engine runs at its optimal performance. Without the sensor, the engine could overheat or experience other issues due to the lack of pressure. 

Do oil pressure sensors come with filters?

The sensor also has a built-in filter to keep contaminants from entering the system and preventing accurate readings. This filter is typically located at the end of the pressure switch. The pressure switch is mounted on the engine and connected to the oil pressure line. As the engine’s oil pressure increases, the pressure switch opens, allowing a small amount of oil to flow through it. This causes the switch to close and turn on the warning light.

The switch is set to a specific pressure, and when the pressure drops below this point, the switch will open again, turning off the warning light. The pressure switch is adjustable so that it can be set to the optimum pressure for the engine.

How to test an oil pressure sensor 

1. Inspect the oil pressure sensor for any signs of physical damage or corrosion. 

2. Connect a multimeter to the two terminals of the oil pressure sensor.

 3. Set the multimeter to the appropriate scale and turn the ignition key to the “on” position. 

4. Start the engine and allow it to warm up to its normal operating temperature. 

5. Measure the voltage output of the oil pressure sensor at different oil pressure levels. 

6. Compare the readings to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

7. If the readings are outside the manufacturer’s specifications, replace the oil pressure sensor


In conclusion, an oil pressure sensor is an important device for monitoring the oil pressure in an engine. It works by sensing a change in pressure, which sends a signal to the engine’s computer. This signal can then activate warning lights or take other actions that help ensure the engine is running safely and efficiently. offers a wide range of pressure sensors that can be used in various applications, including oil pressure sensors. Investing in one of these sensors ensures your engine runs smoothly and safely.