How to Replace the Oil Pressure Sending Unit on 5.3 General Motors Engine

by Baptist Johnson

General Motors is an American automotive corporation. Its vehicle brand lineup includes Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac. Some of the company’s vehicles utilize a 5.3-liter V8 engine, including the GMC Yukon, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Silverado. The oil pressure sending unit, also called an oil pressure switch, is a component of the engine mechanical system. The oil pressure switch monitors changes in the oil pressure. It relays sudden oil pressure drops to the onboard computer system, which alerts the driver that something may be wrong. A malfunctioning sending unit puts your engine in danger of serious damage. If you suspect a problem, replace the oil pressure sending unit on your vehicle immediately.

1

Park your vehicle in a safe location on level ground. Engage the parking brake. Open the hood. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery.

2

Locate the oil pressure sending unit near the rear firewall of your vehicle. Identify the oil pressure sending unit as a cylindrical component mounted near the oil filter just behind the engine block.

3

Inspect the area surrounding the oil pressure sending unit carefully. Depending on your vehicle, the sending unit may be partially covered by the distributor shaft and cap, which resembles a round plug with a hole for each cylinder.

4

Note that the distributor cap is attached to several wires via the distributor posts at the top. These wires must be disconnected to remove the distributor cap. Squeeze the release tabs on the heads of the wires and pull them away from the distributor cap. The wires should disengage with little pressure. Pull the distributor cap and set it aside.

5

Pull the electrical wire on the end of the oil pressure sending unit to disconnect the cap. Turn the sending unit counterclockwise using an adjustable wrench to remove it. Discard the old sending unit.

6

Replace the sending unit with a new component. Twist the sending unit clockwise with your fingers. Tighten it using an adjustable wrench. Replace the electrical wire onto the sending unit. Simply push the wire onto the cap of the sending unit until you hear an audible click.

7

Replace the distributor cap and the wires attached to the distributor posts. Connect the negative cable to the battery.

Warning

  • close For your safety, wear gloves and protective eye wear when replacing your oil pressure sending unit.

Items you will need

About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images