Oil pressure gauge pegged at max while running

Asked by Oct 08, 2010 at 11:18 PM about the 2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I also have the check engine light on and the computer says to replace the catalytic converter.  Does this make any sense?  The car seems to run fine but does smell hot (electrical) occasionally.  The engine temperature is running at about 200 degrees F which is where it has always been.  

4 Answers


This problem is caused by the oil pressure sending unit. It is a small part that fits into the block on the front side of the engine; The fuel filter must be removed in order to replace. The part can be purchased on the internet for under $50.00.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Been through this one on my Yukon. Check engine light kept coming on, had the Cat replaced. This solved the problem.


since you have several electronic gauges reading erratically, first thing I would do is put a hand held voltmeter on the system, see if your voltage regulator has gone bad and your system voltage is too high. that would account for electrical smell, and erractic readings from gauges.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The catalytic converter efficiency code is common. It can be a bad oxygen sensor before or after the cat and also an exhaust leak between the cat and one of the oxygen sensors in addition to or instead of a bad catalytic converter. This code does not make the engine run any different as it is only used for driver information. The pegged oil pressure gauge is a typical sign of a bad oil pressure sensor. If your gauge cycles through full sweep & back at key on then pegs at full when started it is most likely the oil pressure sensor. Some mechanical issues could also cause this but are pretty uncommon if you change your oil regularly.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

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