Oil Gauge dropping to Zero

Asked by Nov 19, 2013 at 02:21 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe LS

Question type: General

Just the other day I noticed my oil pressure gauge at Zero, I pulled over, and turned off the taho for 15-20mins, then checked the oil.  The level is at full, and it's nice and clear as I had it changed about a month ago.  What is wrong.

16 Answers


oil pressure sending unit has probably gone bad.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Check to make sure your connections to the sending unit are tight. Then check for cracks or nicks in the wiring leading to the gauge.IF you do not find any lose connections and the wire is good, I'd try changing out the sending unit. Does your gauge work normal on start up? When does this disturbing reading occur? After the motor is warmed up, on acceleration, or driving on the highway on smooth roads or in town crossing RXR tracks? If it is on a bumpy road or going over a bump, it may indicate a lose wire. If all the above does not fix the problem, next will be to have the gauge itself checked. Make sure the wire to the gauge is secure also.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

sounds like a bad oil pump too if the rest is ok

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

TTsinnie, have you found the problem yet?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

PROBABLY going to be the oil pressure sensor. BUT it may be the oil pump going bad. My friend thought it was just a sensor and it was the pump going out. It cost him $8,000 for a new corvette engine,,, so be sure it is just a sensor.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If it is a 2013 Taho, it should be under warranty for the oil pump. Have the service writer look at it and make sure it is entirely covered under warranty. I agree it may be the oil sensor sending unit on a vehicle this new. Also if they just changed oil, use the reset button and see if that helps eliminate the issue. If you fixed it or got it corrected, let us know. It helps everyone all around.


how about when the oil pressure gauge goes up when i accelerate?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

al5877. Goes up starting from where? The increase speed works the oil pump faster, so more oil is sent throughout the engine. This increases the pressure and the gauge should indicate it. More information on what you are wanting to know.


I have a 2005 Tahoe and it doing the same thing. Low oil light and low oil pressure at the gauge. I've replaced the oil pressure sending unit, looks like a small spark plug located in the back of the engine. It was a real pain in the a to replace this. Still doing the same thing. When I start the pressure is a 40 and driving around town the pressure drops to 3. It's at normal pressure when driving only. Any thoughts on the next parts to replace. Thanks.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

phc77067, You should have your engine pressure tested for low pressure in the cylinders. Also have the oil checked for metal shavings and or other fluids An 11 year old engine, with unknown history may be tired and you have bearings wearing out. There is no maintain history so if you go way over the oil changing recommendation, you are pushing dirty oil through the engine. If you are meticulous in engine maintenance, it may be something else like a bad gauge? It is a pain to change the sensor but new ones have been known to fail when put in. For now, go to a 40 weight oil and add some additives like STP to thicken up the oil. It wouldn't hurt to change the oil and filter right away. Have the oil analyzed. Cam bearings also can go our and do what you describe.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I just found this posted on another person suffering from low oil pressure. He claims to be a GM tech and I'll pass it along. Woody: answered. I am a gm tech and I see this problem all the time. The 5.3 had a check valve in the oil pan that sticks from time to time especially on cold mornings.You must remove oil pan to replace it.It's called a pressure relief valve and there is a great utube video that's explains it and shows you how to do it without removing the pump. I hope this helps and if anyone else out there can cut and paste, it seems very helpful. JC

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Great will try this. Thanks!

I just bought a 2008 GMC yukon xl The oil pressure goes down and the light turns on...we changed the oil put a new sensor on and that didn't fixed it....any idea what the problem could be???


Ok, I had the same problem with my 2005 Tahoe. Check and replace the cheapest parts first. Oil pressure sensor, looks like a small spark plug located in the back of the engine front of the transmission. Second, replace it with better oil filter, not the ones they use at the oil place. Third, go with thicker oil, like high mileage oil. That way you can get better oil pressure. If all that fails, than...here's the bad news. Replace oil pump, clean out oil pan, and clean out oil pick up tube. If that doesn't work, here’s the real bad news...your cam bearing is bad. It the bearing that looks like U, there are several of them and on the center there are grooved in them to let oil pass as pressure builds up in the engine. Once the grooves are worn, no oil can pass, so no oil pressure. Basically it's a whole engine rebuild. What makes me mad is GM used cheap cam bearings and it wore down even though I changed my oil every 3000 miles. Bought my Tahoe new, now its got 200,000 miles on it. Everything is still like new, love the car, drives very nice, and so I got my engine rebuilt to fix the problem. It’s all-good, now I just need to put in 200,000 miles more and we’ll call it even. Sorry Chevy, I won’t be buying a new car anytime soon.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

phc77064, Great information! Question though: When was your pressure dropping? I had to replace my oil pressure sensor. Now whenever my 2005 Tahoe is idling, uphill, (warming up in our driveway) pressure drops, and bells start dinging. Once I back out and am on level ground, it goes back to normal. I do know I have a small leak and have to replace oil pan gasket, but never an issue before. Should I still consider all the suggestions you posted? Or could it be something else, as it's only on an incline? We also purchased Tahoe brand new, she's 12 years old this month and has about 175k miles on it, with regular, dealer oil changes. Currently using Mobil 5w 30.


ProTow If everything else doesn't work, than it's your bad cam bearings. My oil pressure drops when it warms up. Oil pressure is high when cold start but driving around and warms up that's when pressure drops. I've even drove it around with low oil pressure till I saved enough money for engine rebuilt. I took a chance but engine didn't knock, didn't have high temperature, and didn't even have oil burning. I disconnected the warning bell and drive it around till I saved enough money. I don't recommend you do this unless you're willing to take a chance all or nothing chance. See with engine running, it's worth something but with engine blow, it's worth nothing. Know what I mean. Check the followings: Oil pressure sensor Oil pan, oil pump, oil pick up screen (all in same area) Oil pressure Guage. (look at your local Craigs list and find guage cluster repairman) 2005 gauges have new system not like old school gauges but new state of art type diode circuit board type. They can check to see if your getting right current and so on the see if it working. New oil and filter change, thick high mileage oil. That way the thicker oil can close up the gap between the engine moving parts. Last if non of the above works than you have bad cam bearing like I did. Meaning engine rebuild. Find a local guy who knows how to rebuild engine and make a deal with him or her. I gave my guy a case a beer and $1500 cash to do the job. If you took care of your car like I did than nothing else should be replaced except cam bearing. It's all labor, cam bearings are cheap. You can order them from auto stores like summit and so on. Cam bearing have small grooves in the middle to let the oil flow as it runs. As the groves wear out you get low or no oil pressure build up like in our case, but when you run fast like on highways it forces it to build pressure no mater what, with all other mentioned above working correctly. Once the new cam bearings are replaced it will create oil pressure because of the grooves where oil can pass at low rpm. Hope this helps and it's up to you if you want to keep the car or sell it. I took really good care of mine so it was worth fixing it.

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