Question about 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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I have a 2003 silverado with 5.3 and the oil pressure gauge is up as far as it will go 550 kps with motor running then goes to 0 when shut off . Would be gauge or sending unit. Thanks Gary

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Most likely the sending unit.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011

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How do I check and replace engine oil sensor.


Knowing how these gauges work , I'd say you have an instrument cluster problem not oil sender unit. 2003 - 2006 GM had bad stepper motors in the instrument cluster . If there was a problem with the oil sender the gauge would default to zero .
Engine Oil Pressure Gage
The instrument panel cluster (IPC) displays the engine oil pressure as determined by the powertrain control module (PCM). The IPC receives a class 2 message from the PCM indicating the engine oil pressure. The engine oil pressure gage defaults to 0 kPa (0 psi) or below if:
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If you don't know what class 2 serial data communications are ,google it. How to repair GM Instrument Cluster Speedometer Gauge Stepper

Dec 23, 2015 | 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

1 Answer

My oil pressure gauge always reads as high as it can go when the truck is running. I actually think it is a bad stepper motor. Can anyone confirm my suspicion?


unplug the oil pressure sender and see if the gauge goes to zero. If it does than the old cluster was not working properly and the new one is. If the gauge continues to peg with the sender unplugged than your on the right track with a bad cluster.

Nov 06, 2015 | 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

1 Answer

2003 1500 silverado 5.3l engine oil pressure gauge reads high and wil not reset to 0lbs. when engine is shut off. i have replaced the oil sending unit


The 2003 gm vehicles have a common problem within the instrument cluster panel. Each gage has a "stepper motor" soldered to the back side of the circuit board; and a very small shaft protroding through the circuit board with a needle for the gage attached . The stepper motors are about the size of a quarter in diameter with four terminals. They are small gearmotors. They do not have a spring return; so when they fail their needles do not return to home (0 psi for example or 0 miles/hour). You can find reputable repair shops online. One I know of in Minnesota is www.speedometerrepairguy.com. I bought the parts from him (on ebay) and soldered them myself but beware you need advanced soldering skills here not to mention a very good magnifying glass to inspect the solder joints. I hope this helps.
In my case the speedometer was hanging up in cold weather.
Replacing the stepper motors cured my troubles.

Jan 26, 2011 | 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

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Oil Pressure gauge stuck at maximum, coolant gauge stuck at maximum, speedometer erratic (either not working or working after startup)


The oil pressure gauge on my 2003 Avalanche reads "0" and activates low oil pressure warning. Oil level is OK and engine does not sound like one with with no oil pressure; AKA no knocks or ticking. The mileage is 50,000 on this vehicle any ideas as I with no gauge I am leary of driving it? Please advise!

Jan 16, 2011 | 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche

2 Answers

Oil pressure guage has pegged on the high side. Would this be caused by a faulty Oil pressure sending unit? Engine is not overheating and seems to be running fine.


Bad sender is most likely, but could also be stuck oil pressure relief valve. You need to be sure, or the pump could break and destroy the engine.
Try a cheap mechanical gauge instead, screwed into the sender hole. If pressure good there, then check the sender with ohmmeter. If 0 or infinite ohms, replace sender. If not, see if gauge drops to 0 when sender disconnected. If not, then gauge bad.

Aug 10, 2010 | 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

4 Answers

Oil pressure drops to 0 if i turn off truck and restart it goes back up to 40


Do you have enough oil in it? If it's real low on oil the oil can't flow back into pan fast enough to keep the pump from cavitating. It might be the gauge try puting a mechanical gauge on it for test purposes. When the gauge drops to zero does the engine get louder, like it's not getting oil? Do you hear the lifters start to clatter, or rods starting to knock? If the engine sounds normal there's a good chance it's just the gauge. If it's making noise shut it off right away!!!

Dec 12, 2009 | 2005 Chevrolet Silverado

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Oil pressure gauge in 2003 Chev. Siverado


Most likely cause is a faulty oil pressure sending unit.

May 08, 2009 | 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab

1 Answer

OIL PRESSURE LIGHT COMES ON AND PRESSURE GOES TO 0 ON GAUGE


Any time the oil pressure is 0 you take a chance of locking up the motor. The only way to know for sure is to put a pressure gauge in the oil pressure sending unit port on the engine and see what the pressure really is. At that point you will either have the peace of mind in the knowledge that the sending unit is really bad and needs replacement or you can then contact a repair shop and tell them what your testing has revealed. I wouldn't drive or run your truck while the oil pressure is at zero.

Good luck

Nov 10, 2008 | 2003 GMC Sierra 1500

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