Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Oil Temperature Sensor

Oil Temperature Sensor

The oil temperature is a vital part to keeping your engine running smoothly. The oil temperature should be a few degrees warmer than the coolant. If the oil temperature is too high, problems can arise. When you first start your vehicle on cold mornings, let the car idle for about five minutes until the oil gets a chance to warm up. This way, your engine will run more efficiently and live much longer. The oil temperature sensor is an important piece to know when your oil is warmed up when working properly. There are a few symptoms to watch out for when your oil temperature sensor starts to go bad.

False readings

One way to know your oil temperature sensor is failing is if you get false readings due to the electrical signal output by the temperature sensor. These are indicated by the temperature gauge going from cool to hot in one minute. It takes a couple of minutes for the oil to heat up, so the temperature sensor should reflect that. Furthermore, if the oil temperature sensor spikes and the coolant temperature remains constant, this is another sign the oil temperature sensor is going bad. The oil temperature gauge can also have erratic readings that jump around, indicating a failing sensor.

Gauge does not move

If the oil temperature sensor does not move at all, it has most likely failed and needs to be replaced by a professional. The mechanics at YourMechanic provide an oil temperature sensor replacement service that is affordable, and will have your gauge back to normal.

Causes of failure

There are a few things that can cause the oil temperature sensor to fail, one of them is wiring damage. Over time, if the wires become worn or are shorted out, the sensor will fail and will need to be replaced along with the wiring. In addition, corrosion can cause oil temperature sensor to fail or read incorrectly. In some cases, a mechanic can remove this corrosion and save the part, but in other cases the entire sensor will need to be replaced.

Complicated electrical systems

Replacing an oil temperature sensor is best left to the professionals at YourMechanic because of the wiring and electricity involved. If the sensor is installed incorrectly and your engine runs hot without you knowing it, this can cause major damage to your engine and can eventually ruin it.

If your oil temperature sensor gauge does not move or you are getting false readings, the oil temperature sensor in your vehicle may need to be replaced. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your oil pressure sensor easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...

Related questions

Q: I have a trouble code that states my fuel pressure rail sensor is inappropriately high.

Hello there, a few common faults will cause your 2010 Volkswagen CC to have a high fuel pressure code. There are two paths for this, either your car has high fuel pressure, or the car is reading the fuel pressure...

Q: Engine smokes after an oil change

Yes, on a lot of vehicles it is normal. When you change your oil, a lot of times oil will drip off the oil filter when you take it off and get on the exhaust manifold and on the engine....

Q: Why does my temp gauge read high before car is even started been sittin for bout 3 weeks without a battery

On some vehicles, the instrument cluster may do a sweep on start-up as a way for the computer to check operation. If the temperature gauge goes to the high mark and stays there, you may have a malfunctioning engine coolant...