Oil pressure gauge


I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 truck, 29,000 miles. I drive 6 miles to work 1 way and about the 4th mile or so, the oil gauge goes to low, check gauge light comes on and then goes back to the middle and then goes back down again, it only happens usually 1 time on my way to work, then I sit in the parking lot in park gear and it never does it, was told it was an oil sending switch, if this is what it is where should I take it to get fixed and how much should I pay? Thanks for any info



[b]Who changes your oil?

Most engines have the oil pressure sending unit mounted next to the oil filter.

So, go to the parts store and purchase a replacement oil pressure sending unit for your vehicle. And make sure it’s the one for the oil gauge, not the oil light. The next time you have the oil changed, ask that they also replace the oil pressure sending unit while they’re replacing the oil filter. That’s about the cheapest way to do it.

If there’s never any noise coming from the engine while the oil pressure guage is acting erratically, then this sounds more like either a sending unit or gauge problem. Not an oil pressure problem.



Make certain you’re NOT at a ‘Quicky lube’ when you ask to get the sending unit changed.


Make sure you’re NEVER even on the same street as a quick lube.



I go to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed, will they do it, replace the oil sending unit that is next to the oil filter? No Their is no noise in the engine when it happens.


Don’t let any of the quick-change oil places attempt anything remotely resembling a repair. I wouldn’t even let them change oil. You need a MECHANIC, not an oil changer. This is not a difficult job, but neither is changing oil, and you’d be amazed at how often the people working in quick change oil places mess it up and ruin someone’s engine. Happens every day. Find an independent mechanic and let him or her take care of your truck.


took the truck in to an independent mechanic he told me it was not the oil sending unit, but did tell me that the oil was thin(still had another 400 miles before the oil needed to be changed) He said these sending gauges usually only go bad on vehicles with lots of milage on them mine has 29,800 on it.
He said to let him know if it happens again and that is could be the filter screen in the oil pan, is this what it could be?


Yes. I replaced an engine that threw a rod, and the oil screen was clogged with super-hard sludge. This was due to the owner stretching out oil changes too far for too long , and using cheap oil. I don’t know if this is the same problem you are having, but a clogged pick-up tube will starve an oil pump and the engine for much needed lubrication.

Try the sending unit first with an oil change. If this doesn’t cure the problem, then the oil pan will have to be removed, and the oil pump and pick-up tube inspected.


Take to a Dodge dealer. Could be oil sending switch. Could be oil pump. Have both checked. Sending switch should cost about $200; oil pump will be about $400 to $600 depending upon labor.


I wish someone would give me some straight answers, I took my Dodge 2002 Ram truck with 29,000 miles on it to an independent mechanic. What he told me was it was not the sending unit but that the oil seamed to thin even though it was not time for an oil change. Yes the truck was taken care of very well as it was owned by my fiancee and he did change the oil every 3 thousand or even less, wheather it needed it or not. My question is why would this oil sending switch be bad when the indepdent mechanic said this only happens on vehicles that have lots of miles on them like over 100,000 when mine only has 29,000. I had the oil changed by the independent mechanic and he also put in the oil MOA oil treatment. It seems to be okay now but i guess I will have to wait and see


This engine has the oil pick-up towards the rear of the pan. Does The problem occur when you are slowing or braking the vehicle? This would be when the oil moves forward and 4 miles would give it time to warm up and become more viscous.

Check the oil level. If it is low the same problem will occur. Mine, and many other Dodges, recirculate oil through the EGR valve due to the incorrect vaccuum. At about 3000 miles, when I religiously do my oil changes, the oil level is significantly low. This problem would be much less expensive than an oil pump, but more expensive than a sending unit. (The Brothers recently discussed this problem on the radio show just a few months ago.)


If it seems to be OK now, then the indy mechanic was probably right on target. No further advice given or needed, but here’s some anyway.

Do get to know this mechanic. He seems to be trustworthy. There are lots like him, but a lot more who aren’t.


Your mechanic is wrong when he states an oil pressure switch will only go bad after it has a lot of miles on it. They can go bad anytime.

Oil too thin? Maybe, but that can be hard to determine as a lot of late model vehicles use oil that is lower viscosity.

I would not be too enamored of someone resorting to a BG oil additive to cure a perceived problem on a late model, low miles vehicle.