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The oil level sensor measures oil levels in the oil tank, much like how the fuel level sensor monitors fuel levels in the fuel tank.
This device protects the car’s engine by notifying the driver of rapid oil loss or an oil leak. It also indicates when the engine needs an oil change and monitors the oil pressure and the oil level.
Knowing when you have a faulty oil level sensor helps prevent unnecessary damage to your engine. Here are the most common signs:
A faulty oil level sensor may trigger incorrect ECU (Engine Control Unit) readings. This results in the oil level or low level warning light illuminating even when oil levels are normal.
So how do you tell when your engine oil level sensor is not working?
Here’s what you can do if your oil level warning light comes on:
If your oil sensor light continues to light up despite everything being normal, it could mean your oil level sensor is malfunctioning.
The oil sensor’s function is to detect the oil level in the oil tank when the engine is off.
If the oil light blinks sporadically or comes on after you’ve been driving for a while, it could point to a failing engine oil level sensor. This is usually caused by a faulty engine oil management system, which incorrectly triggers low oil levels or oil pressure warnings.
Incorrect readings from the oil level sensor can sometimes trigger the check engine light on your dashboard.
When the check engine warning light is illuminated, first, ensure that your oil pressure, engine temperature, and oil levels are normal. You should also make sure the oil is clean, and there is no obvious oil leak in the engine (like a little oil puddle under your car).
Nonetheless, an illuminated check engine light can signify many things, so it’s best to have the oil sensor and the oil pump checked by a reputable mechanic.
The oil level sensor is responsible for sending warning signals to the ECU (Engine Control Unit.)
However, a faulty oil level sensor or oil pressure sensor may detect incorrect oil readings.
Sometimes, when the oil level sensor is not working, it might send incorrect codes to the ECU. This causes the ECU to cut off the ignition and fuel, preventing your engine from starting up.
In this situation, your mechanic will need to download the error code, pinpoint the actual problem, and perhaps replace the oil level sensor.
The cost for an oil level sensor replacement varies according to the make and model of your vehicle.
Typically, the total cost ranges between $121 to $160, which can be broken down into:
Motor oil plays an extremely important role in keeping your engine running smoothly.
However, a faulty oil level sensor makes it difficult to determine any oil issues, resulting in an undetected low oil level and increased engine temperature.
When your oil level is low, critical engine components won’t receive sufficient lubrication, causing friction between them. If left unresolved, you could end up severely damaging your engine with potentially costly repairs.
So it’s best to get a new oil level sensor as soon as you can.
Let’s look at three common questions around the oil level sensor and their answers:
The oil level sensor is a device that monitors the liquid level in the engine oil tank, ensuring your engine has enough oil and runs smoothly. Its job is to alert you if there’s a low oil level or even little oil leaks.
The sensor measures motor oil levels in a dynamic range (when the engine is running) and a static range (when the engine is off).
Now, let’s take a look at the four different types of oil level sensors:
The following are the most common reasons why an oil level sensor might not function properly:
Apart from this, factors like climate, or driving habits, can also affect the overall health of your engine’s oil system in general.
Replacing a bad oil level sensor with a new sensor is complicated and time-consuming. So, if you’re unfamiliar with DIY repairs, you should contact a reputable mechanic.
That being said, here’s a brief guide on replacing the oil level sensor:
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