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Oil pressure gauge reading high

Go to solution Solved by Mike Self,

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Hello group. I’ve had a vdo 150 oil pressure gauge and sender in my car for a couple of years now and can’t figure out why the pressure reading is so high. It consistently reads 140-150 while driving normally and on startup and idle. There seems to be adequate pressure with all the driving I’ve done. No oil filter blowout or anything.  The WG terminal is wired to the light and the G to the gauge. I’ve added extra ground wires to the gauge and sender. The oil pump is a year old and the piston rod is oriented correctly. The white wire from the gauge is connected to the sender. I’ve tried another sender and same thing. I’ve switched wires and the gauge reads approximately 40-50 psi. I’m out of ideas. Hopefully a simple fix like wrong sender or wiring mixup. Looking for ideas to get a correct reading. Thanks 

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5 hours ago, Schnellvintage said:

Check to make sure the sender matches the gauge limit.

+1.  VDO has at least two electric oil pressure gauges:  one that reads 0-70 PSI and the other 0-150.  The sender unit is stamped with the pressure range in atmospheres (1 atmos = approx 7 psi) so check yours.


As an aside, when running 20w-50 conventional oil in my cars, when the air temps got down below freezing, it wasn't unusual to come close to pegging the gauge on a cold morning at startup.  But the max pressure quickly returned to its more normal range within a few minutes.  I was just careful not to blow the oil filter.  I've also noticed that with synthetic oil (the same 20W-50) my normal hot oil pressure runs 15 or so psi lower than it did with dino oil....



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For what it's worth, all the VDO senders transmit the same voltage at full pressure.  So if the sender is a low pressure sender, full voltage at max rated pressure will cause a high pressure gauge to peg when mismatched.

Edited by jimk
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A radiator shop is a good place to take a leak.


I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I'm really good at it.

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  • 2 weeks later...


I would NOT use an oil pressure gauge registering less than 100PSI!  On my late '73 I used a Stewart Warner HD electric pressure gauge for a while, with a max of 100PSI.  It was common with a cold engine in Arizona to run up to the 100 PSI line.  And the electric senders would need replacing after a year or two.  I recommend a 150PSI gauge and if you do not like the 90-degree sweep of the VDO electric gauge, try the mechanical gauge (yes, I know they may drip a little but as soon as I get the backordered VDO vacuum gauge, I'll try a mechanical gauge again).  Also note that some VDO sensors cost less if you purchase one for 1/8" pipe and use an adapter to screw into the oil pressure port.

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Larry Ayers


’73 Malaga— first car, now gone

'74tii Malaga

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