What Does an Oil Pressure Sending Unit Do?

An oil pressure-sending unit is an integral part of a car that requires frequent inspection. In this article, I’ll explain the role of a sending unit in your car.

The sending unit is built into vehicles to let the driver know whether or not a part is functioning properly. The sending unit communicates amongst specific car parts. You need a sound knowledge of your car’s properly functioning sending unit. Otherwise, you may run out of oil without seeing it coming.

Quick Answer: An oil pressure-sending unit is a computerized system that controls the oil flow in a car. Your car’s computer receives oil pressure information from the oil pressure sending unit to ensure everything runs well.

I will dig deeper into this guide below.

The Role of Oil Pressure Sending Unit in a Car’s Engine

The Oil pressure sending unit is close to the oil filter, as shown below:

One component of a car that many drivers are unaware of—and perhaps have never heard of—is the oil pressure sending unit.

You might be curious to learn more about this component and its function in your car if it comes up in conversation with another motorist or your mechanic. The name alone makes it clear that it has to do with oil pressure. Your car’s oil flow is controlled by the oil pressure sending unit.

Your car’s computer receives oil pressure information from the oil pressure sending unit to ensure everything runs well by letting you know if there is an issue with your oil pressure.

Low-Pressure Warning

man showing low-pressure warning on his car
Video | Car Inspected

A warning light will appear on your dashboard if you have low oil pressure (if the pressure sensor detects low oil pressure).

According to your vehicle’s make, model, and year, you may have a different oil pressure sending unit because there are several types of oil pressure sending units in cars.

Oil Pressure Sending Unit — Older Car Models

Older models of cars might have an oil pressure sending unit built into the oil pump’s output side that connects to the instrument clusters through a connecting line to provide a reading.

Oil Pressure Sending Unit — Other Models

Some vehicles include an oil pressure sending unit, a transducer connected to a mechanical switch that simply screws into place to check your oil pressure.

To alert you to an issue with your oil pressure, it is wired to the instrument panel lights on your vehicle.

A more sophisticated form of this transducer of sending unit notifies you of any pressure problems via electrical voltage output proportional to the oil pressure.

Regardless of the oil pressure sending unit, they should all do the same task efficiently to alert you to any problems by turning on a warning light.

An Oil Pressure Sending Unit, an Oil Pressure Sensor, and An Oil Pressure Switch

Any of these three words may have been used to describe the components of your car.

One of the least frequently used terms is the oil pressure sending unit; you’re more likely to hear an oil pressure switch or oil pressure sensor. All three perform essentially the same task.

An Oil Pressure Sensor (Diagram)

Your dashboard’s gauge should be moved by an oil pressure sending unit, and an oil pressure switch should turn the lights on.

An oil pressure sensor may do both of these tasks and others. But all of this is just terminology and semantics. The same thing is likely being discussed whether the terms “oil pressure sending unit,” “oil pressure switch,” or “oil pressure sensor” is used.

An oil pressure-sending unit typically refers to an older component on an older vehicle.

Many modern cars now employ electronic readouts rather than oil pressure gauges to tell us how the oil is doing. But it’s feasible that you have an oil pressure sending unit specifically if your dashboard has a gauge, which means that a needle moves up and down to indicate the pressure. (1, 2)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) modern cars – https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-technology/a25130393/innovations-modern-cars/
(2) feasible – https://www.asha.org/practice/feasibility/

Video References


Dave B sells Chevy

Car Inspected

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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