Why Is My Oil Pressure Gauge Not Working Properly? (7 Reasons)

Oil pressures have a very pivotal role in the stable driving of any vehicle. Even a slight change in the engine oil pressure can cause malfunctions. As such, pressure gauges are used to identify the pressure changes in the engine. But, sometimes they don’t show the accrual reading or may not show anything. That leads to the question- why do oil pressure gauges not work?

Well, faulty sensors are typically the main reason why oil gauges might malfunction. Another common cause can include blocked valves. Fixing these problems is very simple. All you need to do is clean out the components in question, and you are good to go. 

Aside from the two causes we have mentioned, there are other causes as well. If you are looking for more of these reasons, then you are in the right place to find out.  

Why Does Oil Pressure Gauge Not Working? 

While pressure gauges tend to show faults in older vehicles, that doesn’t mean that newer vehicles are safe either. Pressure gauges can be messed up in any vehicle, irrespective of the model.  

Several reasons can be attributed to causing the pressure gauge not to work. We have listed some of the most common causes below in bullet points. 

  • Faulty sensors
  • The same oil has been used for a very long time
  • Blockages in the valves
  • Defective Gauge
  • Blown fuses
  • Loose connectors or pins
  • Human error

7 Solutions For Oil Pressure Gauge Not Working:

If your pressure gauge is not working, you can take several measures to resolve the problem. Below, we have compiled seven solutions that you can follow depending on the scenario. 

Solution 1- Faulty Sensors: Clean The sensors

Faulty sensors are one of the most common problems in any vehicle. This is not only limited to pressure sensors and can happen to any sensor. 

Pressure sensors are located along the engine and gather data as the oil flows and pass by them. However, dust and other particles cause disruption in this process. As such, the gauge will not relay any readings. 

To resolve the issue, simply clean these sensors. You can make use of a microfiber cloth and any cleaning solvent for the job. If needed, you might also be needed to replace some of these sensors. 

Typical sensors can cost between 5 to 10 USD. This issue doesn’t require much technical knowledge. As such, there is no need to hire any mechanic to help you out. 

Solution 2- Same Oil Has Been Used For A Long Time: Change Oil

The thing about oil is that no matter what brand you are using is whatever engine, their viscosity changes over time. 

If a certain oil has been sitting down unused for a long time, the viscosity fluctuations can cause the gauge to not get a stable reading. 

While this will not have any negative effect on your gauge, it can still affect your engine in the long run. As such, we advise you to change the oil as soon as possible. 

You can keep using the same oil; however, make sure that the oil hasn’t expired. Even if you’re going to change to a different oil with a different carbon number, you are more than welcome to do so. 

However, do note that different oil with different carbon will have different prices. Ones with more carbon content tend to be more expensive.

Solution 3- Blockage In The Valves: Clear Out The Valves

Sometimes, you might notice that your car is not starting even though the engine is producing heat. This is usually accompanied by no readings in your pressure gauge. 

This fault is caused by valves that have some sort of blockage due to oil deposits or dust accumulation. Similar to patching sensor problems, you can simply clean the valves to get rid of the problem. 

Since you can resolve the problem on your own with the products you already have on your head, no labor cost is involved. If you need to buy a cleaning cloth and an agent, the total might be around 10 USD. 

Solution 4- Defective Gauge: Replace Gauge or Wires

Sometimes there might not be any external issues causing problems with the pressure gauge. In these cases, it is the gauge that is damaged and not showing any readings despite any other patches. 

There is no other option than to buy a new pressure gauge. However, before you can replace the gauge with a new one, make sure to test the voltage readings of the wires. 

If the voltage readings are unnatural, you might need to change the wires along it. Use screwdrivers and wire cutters to help you out in the task.

A commercial grade pressure gauge typically costs around 30 USD, along with the wires worth 5 to 10 USD USD. In total, expect a budget of around 40 USD.

Solution 5- Blown Fuses: Fix Wires And Replace Fuses

If your pressure gauge is facing electricity problems, there is a high chance that the fuses might have blown. With the fuses blown out, no electricity will pass through the circuit. 

You can make use of a voltmeter to diagnose whether there are broken fuses or not. With no electricity passing through the wires, the voltmeter will not show any voltage reading. 

To resolve this problem, you will be required to replace the old fuses with new ones. Since fuses are typically not repairable, buying new ones is the only available option. 

You might also find these broken fuses being accompanied by torn wires. If that is the case for you, you can use a tape that is safe for electric usage to patch up the wires. 

The total cost involved in this problem and its solution is not much. At least expect to spend around 10 USD. However, if you are going to avail a mechanic, you might need to pay an extra 50 to 100 USD. This is charged on an hourly basis. 

Solution 6- Loose Connectors or Pins: Tighten The Components Using Power Tools

If you haven’t maintained your vehicle for a long time, the connectors can loosen up quite easily. In addition, time can also be a factor in causing the connectors to dislodge themselves. 

Loose connectors will act as a deterrent against the normal functioning of the circuits. Even the pressure gauge can be affected by this.

To fix disconnected or loose components like connectors and pins, you must have power tools like a screwdriver and spanner in your hand. Once you have acquired these tools, tighten the terminal points of the components. 

Since there are no external products used in this solution, no costs will be spent. However, if you are going to buy power tools, expect to pay around 50 to 200 USD depending on the quality. 

Solution 7- Human Error

The seventh problem in our list includes human errors or errors that are not technical. Instead, these faults are typically caused by the driver themselves.

Some of these problems involve using the wrong type of oil on an engine or getting the wrong reads out of the pressure gauge. While there are no fixing these types of problems, you can still avoid them. 

Instead, when reading the gauge, you can take readings to form a certain eye level at all times. In addition, you must always check whether the oil you are using is the right type or not. 

There are no components or cost of parts involved in this solution. As such, you are not expected to pay a single cent over resolving these types of human error problems. All you need to do is be careful.

How To Test Oil Pressure Gauge Not Working?

While visual inspection is the most basic way of identifying whether your gauge is active or not, you can also run tests on the sensors. If your sensors are working, then the pressure gauge should also be active. 

Step 1: Start Ignition

Input your ignition key into its place, then turn the key to the accessory settings. While turning the ignition on, make sure that the car itself doesn’t activate. 

Step 2: Unplug Sensor Unit

Unplug the wires connected to the sensor unit and then connect the sensor to an ohmmeter. If the ohmmeter reading is 0, the sensor is not working. If a certain reading is given, the sensor should work. 

Step 3: Plug the Sensor

Plug the sensor into the gauge and check whether the gauge is giving out any readings. If a certain reading, irrespective of results, is given out, there are no issues with the gauge or the sensor.

On the other hand, if the gauge shows no reading, prepare for the worst. This is because the gauge has stopped working even though the sensor is still good. 

FAQs.

By now, you might have several questions that you are dying to ask. While we can’t provide answers to all of them, we will try our best to give answers to a few.

How To Reset An Oil Pressure Gauge?

Resetting an oil pressure gauge is very easy and doesn’t require much work. All you need to do is insert the ignition key into the “on” position. Then depress your pedal slowly three times within 10 seconds. This should reset your oil gauge. 

What Does it Mean When The Oil Gauge Is Reading 0?

Zero reading on your oil gauge is a very common situation. It typically occurs when your car is idling. However, a zero reading could also indicate that there is something wrong with the gauge.

How Long Can I Drive With Low Oil Pressure?

Typically you can only ride for about two weeks or 500 miles, whichever comes first. However, that will still make your rude very uncomfortable and not worth all of this trouble. 

How Long Does It Take To Change The Pressure Sensors On Your Car?

A professional should not take a long time and might complete the job in less than an hour. However, if you are a rookie or an amateur, you will take a lot more time. The total time will depend on your car’s configuration and oil system.

Conclusion

Most modern-day vehicles have a very decent oil engine system. As such, they rarely need to face problems associated with faulty pressure gauges or sensors. However, that doesn’t mean that these problems are unheard of.  

If anything, you should always be prepared to face any of these problems. Hopefully, the solutions presented in this article will be able to help you out in case of potential pressure gauge failures. 

Of course, just to be on the safe side, you can always contact a professional to help you out. If you mess up in any patches, a professional will be able to help you out in the deed preventing any repercussions.

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