Does a zero oil press guage reading cause the ECU to shut down the engine?

5

Asked by Oct 26, 2016 at 01:59 PM about the 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

07 Ram 1500, 5.7L, 235K Miles.  Was driving at hiway speeds this morning when the oil pressure gauge went to zero and the check gauges light came on.  The engine lost power and died, so coasted to a stop midway off the nearest exit ramp.  I could not restart the engine for several minutes and then it had little to no power.  Checked oil, showed to be full.  After 10 mins restarted and drove fine.  Oil pressure was normal.  Check gauges light was off.  Check engine light did not come on, no trouble codes.

Anybody have a clue as to what happened?  Maybe a UFO in my vicinity?

Seriously, would a bad oil pressure sensor or bad sensor connection cause the engine control unit to shut down the engine if it received a zero psi oil pressure reading?

2 Answers

34,995

It certainly is possible that your cars computer will shut off the engine to protect it from damage due to no oil pressure. Of course no oil pressure will also seize an engine. I would have it checked out and maybe go ahead and replace the oil pressure sender.

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Friend who is a shop manager at a high volume used car dealer suggested said that he's had similar experience with 2 high mileage Ram 1500s with hemi engines. He found that these events were likely due to the build up sludge in the oil pan and that sludge eventually getting sucked into the oil pump. The immediate effect is a chain reaction that causes the oil pressure to drop, the hydraulic lifters to collapse, the timing to go out of sync, resulting in the engine stalling or the ECU shutting down the engine due to multiple codes. He does not think that the ECU shuts the engine down in response simply to low or no oil pressure, but it does immediately alert you to that condition by illuminating the check gauges light. His recommendation is to drop the pan and clean it out. Also replace the oil pump and screen while pan is off. I may try a solvent flush first to see if that gets rid of the sludge. Anyone have any experience with doing that? At its current age, don't want the ol truck to pass another clot and suffer a second stroke.

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