Question about 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix

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What happens when the oil sending unit goes bad?

Will the car still run?

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The car will still run, but you may not have any indication of oil pressure, which is risky in itself, as if the pump would fail, you would have no means of knowing.

Posted on Oct 30, 2012

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1 Answer

Oil sensor on dash keeps fluctuating from empty to normal, warning lights come on when on 0, then go off when indicator returns to normal oil range


  • You have an oil pressure sending unit on your oil pan, just above the oil filter that could be going bad. Of course the oil pump could be going bad also but you can check the sending unit at home.
  1. First check your oil level to make sure enough oil is circulating.
  2. Now look at the oil sending unit and inspect to make sure the wires and connector look good.
  3. Note that in the next step when you remove the connector, turn the car to on NOT START JUST ON and have a quick look at the gauge inside the cabin. It should be all the way up. If not you could have a connector problem.
  4. To remove the oil sending unit by removing the connector and putting the proper deep socket on and twisting it out.
  5. Now put an oil pressure gauge in where the sending unit was and start the car. Make sure there are NO leaks and now watch the gauge.
  6. Now start the car and wait two minutes (roughly). If the pressure goes up to 50lbs (roughly) and stays then the sending unit itself is bad and needs replaced. Only let the car run lon enough to get a good reading then turn it off.
  7. If the pressure is low and won't come up after a couple minutes of running then your oil pump could be failing.

  • Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa.

Regards, Tony

Jul 19, 2011 | 2001 Pontiac Bonneville

2 Answers

Oil light comes on when stopping & goes off when accelerating.


Low on oil or bad conection at sending unit. Maybe even a bad sending unit. Make sure the engine is off when checking oil.Not trying to be rude.

Jan 11, 2011 | 2003 Dodge Durango

1 Answer

Severe oil leak happen while driving. Engine still runs but can't locate where leak is coming from. Any Ideas or solutions beside paying 100s of dollars.


Common area for oil leaks would be from the oil filter, oil line to the cooler attached to the radiator and the other place that is most common would be a faulty oil pressure sending unit.
When the oil pressure sending unit goes bad, oil will leak from the unit. It's made of a metal fitting and plastic top and the plastic will tend to crack after a few long years from the heat making them brittle.
Inspect your oil pressure sending unit and replace if any sign of oil, You can pick up the unit at Auto Zone and can give you the step by step instructions to get the job done with common tools. They would also be glad to help you find where the leak is coming from free of charge.
Thank you for using fixya and if it's your transmission that is leaking, don't drive it if the level is low and take note transmission fluid is flammable and will catch fire from the heat of the exhaust.

Jun 29, 2010 | 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

1999 dodge durango "check guages" keeps coming on and oil monitor goes to zero when standing still. I checked the oil yesterday when it first happened and needed to add 2 qts. Oil guage still going to...


You could have either a bad gauge or bad oil pressure sending unit. I would start with the sending unit, it is cheaper and easier to replace.

May 13, 2010 | 1999 Dodge Durango

1 Answer

2000 Toyota 4runner oil light was blinking but now stays on. Oil is clean and full??? could it be a senor or the pump. The truck seems to be running good.


Oil sending unit. You can check this yourself with an oil pressure gauge. or send the job out to a repair shop. The thing you want to know is that your oil pump is putting out the correct pressure. The sending unit has a little filter in it that gets clogged or the unit itself goes bad. Have it checked out no biggie.

Mar 30, 2010 | 2000 Toyota 4Runner

1 Answer

1998 Malibu 2.4 Litre 4cyl. oil leak under exhaust manifold.Are there any sending units attached to the engine block?


Yes you have an oil pressure sending unit (switch) located under the manifold. They are known for going bad and leaking. Eventually it will prevent truck from running. When it stops sensing oil pressure due to the leak the vehicles fuel system will shut off. Its a saftey featur to keep you from blowing the motoe if a pump goes bad or you run outta oil

Mar 08, 2010 | 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

2 Answers

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L oil pressure gauge reading too high


if the gauge starts a 0 - goes to 1/2 , than full - sounds like gauge is OK - seems to me like the sending unit is bad - you could try removing the sender and trying to clean out the port with "brake clean", letting it dry than re-installing it. the pressure switch is still the least expensive place to start

Oct 27, 2009 | 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

Low oil pressure light goes on until car warms up. Oil level is good


The oil pressure sending unit has gone bad. I sending unit is just above the oil filter and you can get to it from the top. When you face the Engine look down towards the oil filter, the oil pressure sending unit is just above that and it looks like a cylinder with two wires coming from it. If you don't see it, it's right between the exhaust manifold and oil filter.
If you go to Auto Zone or Parts Source, they'll have the oil pressure sending unit and the step by step instructions, When installing the new sensor. Do not use teflon tape or any sealant, the sensor is tapered and need's the good ground from the engine to give you right readings.
Good luck and hope this helps.

May 11, 2009 | 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora

2 Answers

Oil light when idling


Have an oil pressure test done.
One of 4 things could possibly cause that.
Bad oil pressure sending unit.
just the oil sending unit.
weak oil pump.
low oil---check oil, see if it needs any.

Mar 12, 2009 | 2005 Chrysler 300

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