Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Oil sending unit

asked by on

Is the Oil sending unit the same thing as oil pressure switch? I've been told they are same thing but also have told they are 2 different parts. just a little confused.. On my 2000 taurus, the oil light flickers after parking or while idling. I dont see it come on while driving. Was told that was oil sending unit problem. But others said need to change oil pressure switch. So are those same or 2 different parts and which one would I need

Hey there. The two parts are different in their operation but performs the same function. The oil pressure sender is a variable resistor sensor that will increase and decrease resistance as the oil pressure goes up and down. This sensor will control a gauge to go up and down with the pressure. The oil pressure switch will be a closed or open circuit. The switch depending on calibration will close a circuit turning on the oil light on the dash when the oil pressure gets below a set amount or causing a gauge to go to a set reading when you have pressure and drop to nothing if it falls below set limit.

You may have one or the other type part on your engine but will not have both on your vehicle. You will need to have the oil pressure checked with a mechanical gauge to verify the pressures are within specifications and the replace the oil pressure sender or switch as necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Oil sending unit

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Oil light goes off and on.

This light will usually come on when one of two things are happening. Either the motor is in fact low on oil or the oil pressure sending unit is not working properly and may be producing a faulty reading. I...

Q: Heat does not work, what are possible causes?

Hi There, This may be due to a clogged heater core. As you may know, the heater core is a small radiator like unit that circulates the hot coolant from the engine through the heater core which then uses this...

Q: Valve cover/gasket replaced car is now shuddering I shop liable

The labor to replace the valve cover gaskets should only be 3.0 hours. The list dealer list price for gaskets are only $50. It sounds like you were charged double of what you should of been charged. You most likely...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.