I've never seen an oil pressure sender mounted to the oil pan. I would guess that's an oil level indicator. The oil pressure sender has to be mounted somewhere on the discharge side of the pump. search 'oil galley' on wikipedia, that may help you understand. It's usually directly screwed into the block, and near the top. it you do find it, it will have one wire. short that wire to ground. If the Gage goes all the way up, the Gage is OK. Good luck! Bob T.
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You're vehicle has two sensors for the oil,an oil pressure sensor switch & oil pressure sensor.If oil pressure gets below 6psi,the oil pressure sensor switch will turn a dash light on to let you know the pressure is at a dangerously low amount.So if you've got a dash light on,the pressure sensor switch needs to be replaced.Its located to the right of the oil filter housing,on a 2.0 liter.Its located to the left of the oil filter housing,on the 3.0 liter.
If your oil pressure gauge is reading inaccurately,you need to replace the oil pressure sensor instead.Its located near the ac compressor.
I know this this is awful old, but seriously It was hard to find and now having replaced the Oil pressure sensor in my 2007 Malibu Maxx Hatchback (3.5 L Engine). I can assuredly tell you where it is.
It's right above the Oil Filter on the front bottom side of the engine. I accessed it from under the car. It's cramped, You'll find removing the starter motor useful. There is a heat shield over it, but I couldn't get to the nuts easily, but found I didn't need to remove the heat shield. The sensor took a 22mm deep socket (mine was 1/2" drive). to get it out, and back in.
It's number 1 in the figure below that was a screenshot from the Ebsco Automanual website - the only source that actually knew where thing thing was located. You can see the filter below and the starter motor.
all car well have a oil pressure sensor, the oil pressure sensor is what lets you know, you have good oil pressure, if light comes on low oil pressure, need to turn off engine before major engine damage occurs, the oil pressure switch will be next to the oil filter, screw into the engine block, your car also has a oil pan sensor, called oil level sensor, that one screw into the side of the oil pan, it let you know when your some what low on oil.
Hi before you do an oil change try seafoam in the engine oil. this can sometimes fix the problems you are having, I used seafoam in engine oil and fuel and breather line and ran engine for 100 miles, but don't run hard, and its cleaned all the sump and oil veins in the engine, as checked with a scope looking though the oil sump plug. it did a really good job, my engine is a bit older than yours 1994. oil sensor is at the bottom of the engine on the sump. pressure sensor is above the oil filter it has a single wire conection
1 yes the pump could be bad, but it is not likely.
2 yes it is in the oil pan.
3 yes you can change it without pulling the engine, though it is not easy.
Most common problem for your oil pressure reading to be going away, is the oil pressure sending unit(sensor) it is located next to the oil filter, check and replace if neccessary this sensor first and see if your oil pressure returns to normal. If not then you may have a pump problem. Hope this helps, let me know.