Do you have the oil pressure light on your vehicle, causing you to suspect something is wrong with the oil pressure sensor? Do you want to know where the oil pressure sensor is on your Chevy 350 engine? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
The location of the oil pressure can be different from vehicle to vehicle. You can find the Chevy 350 engine in GM vehicles from the 50s all the way to 2003. The two common locations of the oil pressure sensor in a Chevy 350 vehicle are close to the firewall or the oil filter.
Let’s talk more about the oil pressure sensor on your Chevy 350 vehicle in the succeeding sections. Learn how to replace the oil pressure sensor in two Chevy vehicles in the sections below.
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The Chevy Small-Block engine
The Chevy 350 engine is one of the different models of Chevrolet’s small-block V8 engines. The Chevrolet division of General Motors produced small-block V8 engines from 1954 to 2003.
Although it is known as a small-block V8, it is far from being diminutive. This family of engines has displacements that range from 262 cubic inches (4.3 liters) to 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters). Their name came from being smaller than the big-block V8 engines of Chevrolet.
Production began in 1954 of the 265 cubic inches (4.3 liters) model. Engine displacements grew fast in subsequent versions of the engine. The displacement eventually went up to 283 cubic inches (4.6 liters), then to 327 cubic inches (5.4 liters).
Then by 1970, the small-block V8 had an engine displacement of 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters).
The Chevy 350 Engine
The 350-cubic-inch (5.7 liters) version quickly became the most popular. It had the greatest number of different versions to accommodate different applications. It also had the longest run of all the members of the small-block V8 family, starting from 1967 to 2003.
The 350 even reached Australia.
The 350 small-block V8 was the original engine of the rare Italian car Iso Lele. They were able to make 125 Lele before switching to a Ford Cleveland V8 engine.
The first version of the Chevrolet 350 small-block V8 was the L48. The Super Sport trim of the 1967 Camaro exclusively used the L48 engine when it came out. Then in 1968, the Chevy II/Nova started to use the L48 engine too.
And by 1969, the 350 small-block V8 became so popular that it can be found in Camaros, El Caminos, Caprices, Chevelles, Impalas, and even Novas. From 1975 to 1980, the 350-L48 became the standard engine in the Chevrolet Corvette.
Before the L48, the Corvette was the only car that used the L46 variant of the 350 small-block V8 until 1970.
What does the oil pressure sensor do?
Everyone knows that oil is important to any engine. Whether you have a V8, a V6, or an inline 4 engine, it needs oil to reduce the wear and tear of the engine components.
The engine oil reduces friction between the moving parts of the engine. Less friction means that the energy that your engine produces goes to moving the vehicle instead of overcoming friction. Reducing friction is important because it is a force that resists motion between two objects in contact with each other.
And you have a lot of moving parts inside the engine.
To get oil to every part of the engine, you need an oil pump that will transport the oil to where it should be. The right oil pressure will bring the oil to the different parts of the engine that it needs to reach.
Thus, it is important to monitor the oil pressure inside the engine, and this is the job of the oil pressure sensor. Too much oil pressure is an indication that the oil is having a hard time getting to the areas where it needs to go. There could be a blockage in the passages that the oil needs to pass through.
Therefore, high oil pressure means that there are areas in the engine that are not getting oil. These areas will generate high amounts of friction, and this will cause premature wear.
The result is the same if the oil pressure is too low. The oil will not reach all the areas of the engine if the pressure is not enough to get oil there.
This is why the oil pressure sensor is important because it notifies you if there is a problem with the oil inside the engine. Thus, you shouldn’t ignore a high or low oil pressure reading on your gauge or the oil pressure light indicator.
How to replace the oil pressure sensor?
The oil pressure sensor—also known as the oil pressure sender—in a Chevy 350 engine can be in different locations depending on the vehicle that uses the engine.
Here are the steps on how to locate and replace the oil pressure sensor of a fourth-generation Chevrolet C/K truck, also known as the Chevrolet OBS, that has a 350 (5.7L) engine.
Preparing The Vehicle
- Park your Chevy on level ground and turn off the engine.
- Engage the parking brake.
- Set the gear shifter to Park (P) for automatic transmission or to the first gear for standard transmission.
- Let the engine cool.
Getting Access To The Oil Pressure Sensor
- Disconnect the battery by loosening the bolts that hold the wire harness to the battery terminals.
- Uninstall the bolts that hold the air filter in place.
- Pull out the air filter.
- Carefully remove the tray.
- Check the air filter tray for dust and debris. Vacuum those out if you see any.
- Getting rid of the dirt on the tray reduces the chance that they will fall into the engine.
- Pull the connecting tube out.
- Get a clean rubber glove and install it into the carburetor to cover it.
- Label the wires coming from the distributor, then take a picture of them. The distributor is the silver cylinder behind the carburetor that has a lot of thick black hoses with rubber connectors coming out of the top. Labeling the wires will allow you to reinstall them in the correct location later.
- Remove the bolts that hold the distributor in place.
- Carefully remove the distributor cap.
- Unlock the locking tabs of the wire connectors and remove them. Normally, there will be two of them at the back, close to the firewall.
- Finally, remove the wire harness that goes to the oil pressure sensor. It should be below the first two connectors that you took off.
- The oil pressure sensor will look like a black cylinder. The opposite of the wire harness is a threaded metal end that connects to a metal block.
Removing The Oil Pressure Sensor
- Use groove joint pliers to grip the metal end of the oil pressure sensor and uninstall it.
- Make a quick check of the new and the old oil pressure sensor, making sure that all the connectors are the same, especially the threaded area.
- You will notice that the threaded area is not completely inserted into the metal block. Take note of this position because you will need to install the new oil pressure sensor at the same depth too.
- If it’s a really old oil pressure sensor, the part of the threaded area that is not inside the metal block will have corrosion, while the part inside the metal block will be clean.
- Insert the new oil pressure sensor and thread it into the metal block by hand.
- When it becomes too tight for tightening by hand or when you get close to the target depth, get your groove joint pliers to tighten the oil pressure sensor to the correct depth.
- Some oil pressure sensors have a mark on the thread. This indicates the suggested depth when installing it.
- Reverse the uninstallation process to reinstall everything back.
- Start your Chevy C/K and check the oil pressure gauge.
How to replace the oil pressure sensor on a 1995 Chevy Tahoe?
The Chevy Tahoe from 1991 to 1995 also had a variant of the 350 small-block V8. The location is roughly the same as the Chevy C/K truck.
- Follow all the steps from the section “Preparing The Vehicle.”
- Remove the bolt that keeps the air filter in place.
- Loosen the bolt on the clamp.
- Remove the air filter housing.
- Remove the cap that covers the distributor.
- Unlike in the Chevy C/K, the distributor, this time isn’t filled with rubber hoses on top.
- Reach down behind the distributor and disconnect the wiring harness that goes to the oil pressure sensor.
- It is important to note here that in some car or truck models that have the 350 engine, you will need a special oil pressure sensor socket or an oil pressure switch socket.
- You cannot remove the old oil pressure sensor nor install the new one without this special socket.
- Remove the old oil pressure sensor.
- Follow Steps 2 and 3 from the section “Removing The Oil Pressure Sensor.”
- Use the special socket to tighten the new oil pressure sensor to the correct depth.
- Reverse the uninstallation to reinstall everything.
- Start your Chevy Tahoe and check the oil pressure gauge.
The location of the oil pressure sensor in vehicles with the Chevy 350 can be different from one model to another. The method to remove the oil pressure sensor can also be different between various vehicle models.
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