The vehicles’ engines use oil as a lubricant and a coolant. While the engine runs, oil is pumped from the oil pan (the sump) to the different moving parts. The oil lubricates these parts before it flows through various holes inside the engine block, going to moving parts and eventually settling back in the sump.
When the Dodge Ram 1500 is parked, with the engine idling, the oil pressure should be at about 40 to 60 psi. The engine pressure increases with increased engine activity. At normal engine operations of 2000 to 3000 rpm, the oil pressure should be from 60 to 110 psi.
The oil also cleans the moving parts of the engine. It is forced into spaces where the moving parts are located. The oil seeps into the spaces between these parts to lubricate while these parts are moving against one another.
Besides the internal combustion in the pistons, the moving parts also generate heat through friction. The oil helps to minimize friction, cool the elements, and also clean them at the same time.
It is just like sharpening a knife against a whetstone. The knife edge is sharpened by shaving tiny metallic pieces via continuous friction. These tiny bits of metal are forced to flow with the oil pumped through the engine at high pressure.
With the oil between the parts, dirt, grime, and minuscule metal shavings are washed away with the oil.
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What PSI Should Oil Pressure Be At Idle On A Dodge Ram 1500?
Although the Dodge Ram 1500 is not in motion, the engine is still working, and for it to work efficiently, it requires oil as a lubricant and coolant to be moving through the system.. The oil pressure on an 8-cylinder HEMI engine on a Dodge Ram 1500 is between 40 and 60 psi. The oil pressure is at least four psi when idle, parked, and the engine is running.
The pressure can be monitored on the oil pressure gauge on the dashboard. If yours shows lower than 30 PSI, there may be a problem in the system, or you may have a faulty oil pressure sensor.
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What Is The Normal Oil Pressure In A Dodge Ram 1500 While Driving?
During typical operations, the Dodge Ram 1500 engine runs at 2000 to 3000 RPM, at which speed the oil pressure is between 60 to 110 psi.
How Do I Check The Actual Oil Pressure On A Dodge Ram 1500?
The oil pressure gauge provides a continuous reading of the oil pressure inside the engine. It is standard equipment in all vehicles, including the Dodge Ram 1500. In addition, an oil pressure warning light on the dashboard informs the driver that there is something wrong with the oil pressure. The light turns red when there is low oil volume or low oil pressure.
Some Dodge Ram models don’t have a specific PSI indicated but rather LOW to HIGH range. In this case, if you need to know the exact PSI, you may need to either rent an oil pressure gauge tool from a local auto parts store or visit a mechanic shop.
During diagnostics, a mechanic will also use an oil pressure tester to read the oil pressure independent of the oil pressure gauge. With these two data sources, the mechanic would better understand the problem and come up with an accurate diagnosis of the low-pressure or high-pressure readings.
What Causes Low Oil Pressure In A Dodge Ram 1500?
The oil pressure is an indicator of the general health of the Dodge Ram 1500 engine. Although high oil pressure can also occur in an engine, low oil pressure is more common and can be a longer-term problem.
The following are some causes of low oil pressure on a Dodge Ram 1500:
- Low oil level is the most common cause of low oil pressure. Gasket leaks or faulty seals usually cause it. To correct this problem, check the oil level and refill if necessary.
- A malfunctioning oil pressure-sending unit can cause a false reading of the oil pressure. You have to replace the unit and install a new one.
- A clogged oil filter can cause low oil pressure. There is also a blockage in the oil filter. To remedy this, have an oil change and install a new oil filter.
- An oil pump can get worn and not function properly. If this happens, replace the old oil pump with a new assembly.
- Diluted or thin engine oil is not very common, but when it does, have an oil change and optionally change the filter. Please refer to the owner’s manual for determining the proper oil viscosity.
- Issues with the bearing clearance needing to be up to factory specifications can cause low oil pressure. Refer to a mechanic to measure the bearings and determine if the clearance meets the specifications in the factory service manual.
- The oil pump relief valve may be stuck. Remove and inspect the relief valve and clean or replace it if necessary.
- A clogged, loose or broken oil pump suction tube can also cause low pressure. Check and inspect the suction tube. Clean or replace as necessary.
- A cracked, warped or damaged oil pump cover will cause low pressure. The oil pump cover can be inspected visually. Replace the oil pump if the cover is damaged.
Where Is The Oil Pressure Sensor On A Dodge Ram 1500?
The oil pressure sensor is a device that triggers a warning light on the dashboard when the engine’s oil pressure is not within the normal operating range. It is located near the front of the engine on the passenger side about 2 inches above the oil filter.
The oil pressure sensor consists of a diaphragm that receives oil and stays open within the oil pressure limits. The oil pressure pushes on the diaphragm, serving as a switch.
When the pressure goes below a set limit or above the maximum levels, it triggers the dashboard warning light. Typically, the sensor detects low oil pressure and not high oil pressure.
How To Know If My Dodge Ram 1500 Oil Pressure Sensor Is Out?
The oil pressure sensor is a device that triggers the oil warning light on the dash. In older vehicles, this switch can directly control the warning light.
In comparison, in newer cars and trucks, it is connected to the electronic control module that controls the warning light after some computations on the correct oil pressure.
With the presence of the control module, other intermediate steps go through different devices and gauges before it triggers the warning light.
Because it is a device that works independently of the oil pressure gauge, there are ways to determine if the oil pressure sensor is out, working, or damaged:
- The oil pressure warning light repeatedly blinks. The oil pressure warning light is off if the oil pressure is in the correct range and stays on if it is too low or too high. Suppose the light does not stay on or off. Instead, it switches continuously on and off, which could make the driver think the oil pressure is low.
- The oil pressure gauge shows a wrong reading. If the oil levels are normal and the oil pressure gauge shows zero, there is probably a faulty connection issue.
- If the oil pressure warning light is on, but the oil pressure gauge shows normal oil pressure, there is probably something wrong with the oil pressure sensor. On the other hand, if there are noises like ticking or grinding, you have an actual problem, and the oil pressure gauge shows false readings.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace The Oil Pressure Sensor On A Dodge Ram 1500?
The first thing that is most likely the culprit when your oil pressure gauge is showing the wrong information or not working at all is probably the oil pressure sensor. The easy fix is to replace it.
Replacing the Dodge Ram 1500 oil pressure sensor can cost between $95 and $105. The oil pressure sensor replacement costs around $60, while the labor to replace the part costs between $35 and $45.
You can either buy one yourself at a local auto parts store, or take the truck to a local mechanic shop and they will order the part and install it for you.
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Can You Drive A Dodge Ram 1500 With A Broken Oil Pressure Sensor?
If the Dodge Ram 1500 has a broken oil pressure sensor, it is best not to drive the truck because you have no idea what is happening inside the engine. The sensor is just a way to tell if there is a problem in there. Without it you are driving blind.
While driving and you see that the oil pressure sensor may be defective, it is best to pull off the road where it is safe, turn off the engine and have the truck towed to a mechanic. Driving with the warning light ON can cause irreparable damage to the vehicle’s engine.
How Long Will A Dodge Ram 1500 Engine Run Without Oil Pressure?
When you notice that your Dodge Ram 1500 is running without oil pressure, it is best to pull off the road and turn off the engine. You have less than 30 minutes to shut off the engine once the oil pressure is gone.
An engine can run without oil pressure for a short time before failure. However, running the engine without oil pressure is not advisable because it can cause irreparable damage. The engine will stall and sometimes the crank shaft will friction-weld to the block from friction without oil.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.