The oil pressure sensor on a Chevy 350 engine is typically located at the back of the intake manifold, between the oil pan and filter.
Its exact position can vary depending on the Chevy model, but it is most often found mounted vertically at the lower right area when facing the front of the 350 engine block. Locating this sensor is important when an oil pressure issue surfaces and the sensor needs replacement.
This article provides detailed steps for accessing, removing, and installing a new oil pressure sensor on two common Chevy 350 models - the C/K pickup and the 1995 Tahoe. We'll help resolve oil pressure light problems, replace the faulty sensor, and keep your 350 protected.
What Does the Oil Pressure Sensor Do?
The oil pressure sensor, also called the sender, monitors the oil pressure in the engine. It sends signals to the driver if there are any problems.
Keeping proper oil pressure is crucial to protect the engine. Oil reduces friction between engine parts, but it only works if there's enough pressure to circulate the oil everywhere needed.
Low pressure allows too much wear between parts. High pressure means the flow is restricted, and oil can't reach some areas.
The sensor measures the pressure. It lights up the "check engine" or oil light on the dashboard if the pressure is too low or high. This warns the driver of issues like:
- Worn-out oil pump
- Blocked oil passages
- Low oil level
Catching these problems early prevents major engine damage.
The oil pressure sensor is a key maintenance tool. A faulty sensor can also give false pressure readings, so it may need replacement. Monitoring oil pressure helps maximize engine life, performance, and reliability in the Chevy 350 and other engines.
Where is the Oil Pressure Sensor on a Chevy 350 Engine?
The oil pressure sensor on most Chevy 350 engines is located at the back of the intake manifold. It mounts between the oil pan and the oil filter.
Facing the front of the 350 engine, the sensor is typically found on the lower right side of the engine block.
This manifold location allows the sensor to monitor oil pressure as the oil leaves the pump and circulates through the engine.
The exact sensor position can vary depending on the specific Chevy 350 model. It may be oriented horizontally instead of vertically in some vehicles. Always consult the repair manual for your particular 350 engine to confirm the location.
The intake manifold generally provides good access to the oil pressure sensor on most 350 Chevy engines when replacement is needed.
After locating the oil pressure sensor on your Chevy 350 engine, you might be curious about normal oil pressure levels. Learn about it in our detailed article: What Is Normal Oil Pressure For A Chevy 5.3 Vortec?
How To Replace The Oil Pressure Sensor on a Chevy 350 Engine
Replacing the oil pressure sensor in a Chevy 350 engine varies slightly depending on the vehicle. However, the general steps are similar. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you through the process.
1. Preparing the Vehicle:
- Park on level ground and turn off the engine.
- Engage the parking brake.
- For automatic transmission, set the gear shifter to Park (P); for manual, set it to the first gear.
- Allow the engine to cool.
2. Accessing the Oil Pressure Sensor:
- Disconnect the battery by loosening the bolts on the battery terminals.
- Remove the air filter by unfastening its bolts.
- Take out the air filter and its tray. Clean any dust or debris from the tray to prevent contamination.
- Detach the connecting tube.
- Cover the carburetor with a clean rubber glove to protect it.
- Label and photograph the wires connected to the distributor for easy reassembly later.
- Unbolt and remove the distributor cap.
- Disconnect wire connectors near the firewall and remove the wire harness leading to the oil pressure sensor located below these connectors.
3. Removing the Oil Pressure Sensor:
- Use groove joint pliers to unscrew the oil pressure sensor. It's a black cylinder with a threaded metal end.
- Before installing the new sensor, compare it with the old one to ensure compatibility, especially the threaded area.
- Hand-thread the new sensor into the engine block. When it becomes difficult to turn, use the pliers to screw it to the appropriate depth.
- Note: Some sensors have a depth mark on the thread for guidance.
- Reverse the steps taken to disassemble. Ensure all connections are secure.
- After reassembly, start your vehicle and check the oil pressure gauge for proper operation.
How to Replace the Oil Pressure Sensor on a 91-95 Chevy Tahoe
The 1991 to 1995 Chevy Tahoe, equipped with a variant of the 350 small-block V8, shares similarities in oil pressure sensor location with the Chevy C/K truck. However, there are some specific steps to note for Tahoe models:
- Preparing the Vehicle:
- Follow the same initial steps as outlined in the previous section for the Chevy C/K truck.
- Accessing the Oil Pressure Sensor:
- Remove the air filter housing by unscrewing the bolt and loosening the clamp.
- Unlike the Chevy C/K, the Tahoe’s distributor does not have rubber hoses on top. Remove the distributor cap.
- Disconnect the wiring harness behind the distributor, leading to the oil pressure sensor.
- Special Tool Note:
- Some Tahoe models require a special oil pressure sensor socket or switch socket for sensor removal and installation. Ensure you have this tool before proceeding.
- Removing and Installing the Oil Pressure Sensor:
- Follow the steps from the previous section for removing and installing the oil pressure sensor.
- Use the special socket to tighten the new sensor to the correct depth, if applicable.
- Reassembly and Check:
- Reassemble the components in reverse order.
- After reassembly, start your Chevy Tahoe and check the oil pressure gauge to ensure it's functioning correctly.
Locating the Oil Pressure Sensor on Chevy 350 Engines
The oil pressure sensor location can vary in different Chevy 350 engines. But it's typically found at the intake manifold, between the oil pan and filter. Always check the repair manual for your specific 350 model to confirm the sensor location.
Properly accessing and replacing the sensor is crucial to maintaining adequate oil pressure. This prevents engine damage and keeps your classic 350 Chevy running smoothly.
If you're also wondering whether a 'Check Engine' light indicates it's time for an oil change, discover more in our related article: Does Check Engine Light Come On For Oil Change?.