Oil pressure sensor - dealer scam?

Discussion in 'Engine & Drivetrain' started by ThatOneGuy_1234, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. ThatOneGuy_1234

    ThatOneGuy_1234 TYF Newbie

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    I don't own a Chevy, but I'm trying to help an elderly neighbor with an '05 Tahoe. She took it to the dealership for an oil change, and while there they told her she had a defective "oil sensor for the engine", and they wanted her to come back in so they could run a $179 diagnostic test to see what the issue is.

    She's never had the oil light come on, nor CEL, and I didn't see any codes when I used my cheapie reader.

    What sensor does this vehicle have, other than the normal pressure sensor that goes to the gauge or idiot light? If it's just this they're talking about, why would they run a $179 test on a $50 part? I'm smelling a scam... if there's really a problem with the unit, I'm guessing I can swap it out for her myself and save her a lot of dough.

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. HiHoeSilver

    HiHoeSilver Away!

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    This is a very common problem and definitely does not need the dealer to scan it.

    Turn the key on, engine off, and observe the oil pressure gauge. If it pegs to 80 without starting the engine, 99% the sending unit is bad.

    The part is about $25, and takes less 1/2 hour to change.
     
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  3. SnowDrifter

    SnowDrifter Full Access Member

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    $179 diag for what you assume is a $50 part. Could be sensor, wiring, gauge, ground, pin issues. Can't comment without knowing truck's history. And while it's likely the sensor, it's not guaranteed. And if the dealer "shotguns" a sensor at it and the problem isn't fixed, now they're in a bad position should the customer choose not to pay for what would be an ineffective repair. Hence the diag fee to cover their ass from a liability perspective.
     
  4. wjburken

    wjburken Full Access Member

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    If she just took the vehicle in for an oil change and didn’t have any other issues or CEL on, what caused them to suggest the need for a diagnostic test? Did they happen to mention to your neighbor why they made the suggestion? Seems kind of strange to me but as @SnowDrifter said, we don’t know enough to call scam or not. Might offer to go back with her and ask yourself.
     
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  5. ThatOneGuy_1234

    ThatOneGuy_1234 TYF Newbie

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    Thanks All!
    I tried the test suggested by HiHoeSilver and yes, the gauge goes to 80 with the engine off. I see the point about the dealership not wanting to replace without a full set of tests, but I have to think there's a bit of profiteering here as well.
    I'll replace the sensor for her and see if that doesn't do the trick.
     
  6. Wylie_Tahoe

    Wylie_Tahoe Member

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    Id get a new pigtail connector. If the sensor is leaking internally, the oil tends to wick up the wires under the insulation and the seal also swells.
     
  7. Tonyrodz

    Tonyrodz Resident resident

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    Let us know how it works out.
     
  8. HiHoeSilver

    HiHoeSilver Away!

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    It will. Make sure to use AC Delco. Aftermarket replacements tend to have trouble with service life.
     
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  9. tom3

    tom3 TYF Newbie

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    Something to think about, lots of jokes but it's true in many cases. You replace that sensor and the alternator, transmission, or anything goes bad the next week, "you musta did something" to cause it. You see that the sensor is probably bad, have her take it back to the dealer. Or not.
     
  10. gpd4

    gpd4 TYF Newbie

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    Do not neglect the little gasket under the oil pressure sensor. And I hope you have little hands - the little bastard sits about 6" in front of the radio. I lost one and actually tied fishing line around the next one so I could retrieve it if I dropped it. Found the one I dropped about a year later when I swapped engines...
     

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