4 Symptoms Of A Faulty Engine Oil Level Sensor
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:
1. Inaccurate Oil Reading
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:
- Check oil levels using a dipstick
- Monitor the oil pressure via the oil pressure switch
- See if your engine needs an oil change
- Look out for signs of an oil loss
If your oil sensor light continues to light up despite everything being normal, it could mean your oil level sensor is malfunctioning.
2. Oil Light Blinking Sporadically
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.
3. Check Engine Warning Light Comes On
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.
4. Vehicle Not Starting
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.