How to Check Oil Pressure: The Steps You Need to Learn

One of the critical parts of your car would be its fluids. You may not know this, but your engine doesn't only run on fuel, but on oil as well, which helps lubricate your engine. If your car's engine isn't lubricated right, despite there being oil, then it may be a sign of low oil pressure, where the oil isn't properly flowing into the vehicle's system. It may cause problems with your car, which is why it's important to know how to check oil pressure to prevent damage from happening.

But if you aren't sure exactly how to check oil pressure, then keep on reading as I show you the basics!


What is Oil Pressure?

The area that helps distribute oil pressure is found on the cast portion of your vehicle's engine block. The oil pressure helps distribute oil to your engine properly, keeping it well lubricated and running properly.

Oil Pressure Sensor

Oil Pressure Sensor

Many cars now have indicators of its oil pressure, with a gauge showing essential information. It also shows the levels through blinking lights to let you know it's suffering from low oil pressure.

This is a critical part of your vehicle, because if the oil pressure remains low, then your vehicle will suffer and incur even more damages. It's best to take preventive measures and constantly check the levels of your car, especially if it suffers from a couple of telltale signs of low oil pressure.

How to Know If Your Car's Oil Pressure is Low

While you must check your oil pressure regularly, some signs may indicate low pressure, meaning you will need to check its levels immediately and take action as soon as possible.

Here are the symptoms your car suffers from low oil pressure and needs to be corrected immediately:


If your low oil pressure light is on, or if the gauge starts to move erratically and show signs of very low oil pressure, then it's time to have it checked.

Low Oil

Oil Pressure is Low

Oil Pressure is Low

This is a visible sign and only needs replacement of oil, an easy solution.

Faulty Oil Pump

If your engine runs noisily and your oil levels are between the add and full lines, then it may be a broken oil pump. If the engine cannot start properly, then that's another indicator.

Erratic oil pressure may be caused by the wrong type of oil or faulty parts around your engine. You will need to have this checked at home, or from a mechanic.

What's Needed to Check Oil Pressure

Many car manufacturers and companies sell oil pressure gauges for you to know the exact levels while driving. But they cost a lot and will take some time to install! So if you only want to check the oil pressure level for diagnostic purposes, then you can do so through simply checking your vehicle's oil pressure sending unit.

Here are the things you'll need to prepare when checking the oil pressure of your car:

Repair manual for your car

Digital multimeter that has needle probes

How to Check Oil Pressure

Here are the steps to follow to successfully check the oil pressure levels of your car:

Check Oil Pressure

Check Oil Pressure

Locate the Oil Pressure Sending Unit

In most cars, this unit is hard to find. This is where your manual comes along. Check where the sending unit is with the help of the manual. Usually, it's located on the engine block.

Look for the Wires

Once you have found the oil pressure sending unit, unplug the harness plus. You can find the plug through following the wiring harness from the pressure sending unit.

Connect Multimeter

Using your digital multimeter, plug in the black needle to the darker sensor wires, and the red needle to the lighter wire of your pressure sending unit. Make sure that the multimeter is set to read resistance in ohms. It should read zero while the engine is not running.

Check the Oil Pressure

Use electrical tapes to hold the wires together. Don't touch the wires while the engine is running. Start the engine and check the multimeter, looking at the readings to see if it is at the recommended pressure level. After you have checked the oil pressure level, put everything back in place, and you're done!

In Conclusion

If your vehicle suffers from low oil pressure, then it may be time to have it checked or to find solutions yourself. That way, you'll be able to have a car that runs smooth each time you drive it.

I hope that through this article, you learned about how to check oil pressure and the other aspects related to this essential part of the car. Now, you can evaluate your car's oil pressure levels and know what you need to do about it.

If you have any queries or want to add something about how to check oil pressure, then post your thoughts down below. We would love to hear what you have to say regarding the topic.

Tom Nguyen

I’m Tom, and I’m avid fan of automobiles! I love cars and learning more about how to tweak and repair them to make them look and perform better. Through a lot of projects and research, I make it a point to share my knowledge to other car enthusiasts like me.

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