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Will an Oil Pressure Switch Cause a Car to Not Start?

by Marcus Baker

A vehicle's oil pressure switch keeps track of the oil pressure that the oil pump creates. This is important because low oil pressure can severely damage a vehicle's engine due to the fact that the engine needs adequate lubrication at all times.


On older model vehicles, an oil pressure switch will send a signal to the oil pressure light. This warning light comes on when the car is cranked but goes off as the pressure builds. The oil pressure switch on newer model vehicles will signal its computer, which can cause a car not to start if it has low oil pressure.


In addition to an oil pressure warning light, some automobiles also have a gauge which the oil pressure switch can inform of the vehicle's current oil pressure levels. The pressure levels typically range from about 7 psi to 12 psi when the automobile is idling and 40 psi to 60 psi when the automobile is being driven.


When it has been determined that an oil pressure switch needs a replacement, there are a few things that should be done in advance. Have a reputable mechanic check that oil levels are correct. The vehicle's oil pressure should also be checked to make sure it matches specifications required by the vehicle's manufacturer.

About the Author

Born and raised in Mississippi, Marcus Baker began writing in 1998. He has had articles published in various online publications, specializing in sports, automotive issues and wildlife, among other topics. He is a certified electrician.

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