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458 Oil Pressure Sending Unit Questions

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by up4speed, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Feb 16, 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    Chris
    The oil pressure gauge seems to be bouncing around a little erratically on my car (see attached videos), so I'm suspicious that the sending unit is either bad, or that the connector needs to be cleaned with contact terminal cleaner.
    My 3 questions, for those of you that have replaced the sensor are:

    1- How does the electrical connector jack come off of the sending unit? It's too hard to see it clearly, so I have to do it by feel. I don't have the dexterity to mess with it either because it's tight in there. I ordered a topside creeper, so I can hover over it and reach down (I didn't use it yet). I'm hoping that it makes it more comfortable for me to work.
    Is there a push button? or a lock that I have to pull out? What do I need to do to release the clip?

    2- The shop manual shows to remove the whole intake manifold in order to access it!!! That seems ridiculous considering that I can clearly see the sensor using my phone camera. I'm assuming that once I lie on the topside creeper, I should be able to reach straight down, and access it without a problem using an assortment of extensions, sockets, etc.
    Has anyone removed it easily themselves? Did you actually have to remove the intake manifold?

    3- Do I have to wait for the next oil change to take care of it? I don't have the dexterity while in there to plug the hole and swap sensors quickly so I can avoid oil spillage. Will a lot of oil come out if I take my time swapping sensors?

    Any help would be appreciated from anyone who has done this repair. I will first try to clean the connector with hopes that it will fix the issue. I'll report back as I figure more out. I had to replace the sensor on my 360 because the gauge was acting exactly the same. It was rock steady and smooth after I replaced it.



     
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  3. craigburton

    craigburton Karting

    Aug 27, 2016
    57
    Yeah that does look a little sketchy. Mine is rock solid when I’m moving. It bounces around a little at idle.


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  4. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Thanks for checking. I noticed that other cars that I checked also react how you describe.
    I'm not so concerned about it jumping around so much, since I never really watch that gauge. My bigger concern is that if it gets worse and I get a "low oil pressure" error light. Then I would have to decide weather to assume that it's the sending unit and proceed on my way, and replace ASAP. If I assume it's the sensor, and in the 1/1,000 chance it isn't, I can cause a lot of damage. At this point, it seems that it is better to just change the $150 part if I can easily do it myself.
    However, if the whole manifold has to come off, I will probably wait until it gets worse.
     
  5. 3POINT8

    3POINT8 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2014
    2,435
    my sensor went out. cost about $400 to replace. i got an indy shop to do it. doesn't need to be at the same time as the oil change
     
  6. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Glad to hear that it was only $400, that tells me that they most likely removed it without removing the intake manifold first, considering that list price on the sensor is about $230.
    what was the symptoms that your car had, that required replacement?
     
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  8. 3POINT8

    3POINT8 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2014
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    it wasn't even working. showed no pressure but car ran fine. i stopped and had it towed just in case
     
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  9. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid by proactively replacing it, if it's not 100% normal.
     
  10. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Some good news! I used the Topside Creeper (see attached photo), and it was very easy to reach the sensor. It was also very easy to see how it unclips. There is a little side tab that needs to be pulled out a little, then the jack comes right off. I cleaned the jack, and the sensor with contact cleaner, then dried with an air gun. Now the gauge reading is ROCK STEADY!!!
    The only bad part about using the creeper is that I couldn't use it without putting the car up on the lift because the wheels and legs of the creeper didn't fit under the car since it's too low to the ground.

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  11. Rexcat458

    Rexcat458 Formula Junior

    Dec 11, 2019
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    Steve
    Interesting thread... My 458's oil pressure gauge is erratic at idle, but steady whilst driving. I'm going to keep a keen eye on it as it looks like it may need to be cleaned (per above procedure), or replaced. My first "annual" service since buying my 458 is coming up in March, so I will have the dealer take a look if it is still wonky. The dealer told me I have three more "annual" services left on the initial seven year plan. Woo hoo!

    Topside creeper looks great, but my carpark has only an 8" high ceiling and thus no room for a lift (other than Quickjack or equivalent). Sure wish I had more room, but no such luck!
     
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  13. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Unfortunately, that creeper won't work unless the car is lifted because it can't roll under the car due to low ground clearance. However, you can drive up onto ramps to create the clearance, if you wanted to use the creeper.
     
  14. Solid State

    Solid State F1 Veteran
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    Feb 4, 2014
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    Maybe its me but bouncing around a bit on initial start-up seems normal for most cars. Pressure is lower once oil is hot.
     
  15. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Yes. I agree. Mine used to jump at all speeds, all temperatures, all RPM’s.
     
  16. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Update: You are correct, today I just noticed that with a cold engine, it bounces a bit. Once it warms up, it is rock steady at idle, and at constant speeds. Before I cleaned the terminal, it was still jumping even when warm.
     

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