P0520 code — how to fix error fast
Delve into the P0520 code to enhance your car's performance. Understand its importance for a seamless drive.
One of the most common codes that you may encounter regarding your vehicle’s powertrain is the P0520 code. This code can indicate a problem with the engine oil pressure sensor or the associated wiring.
While it may seem like a minor issue, it’s important to understand the P0520 code meaning and address it promptly to prevent more significant problems down the road. In this article, we will provide a detailed explanation of the P0520 code, its causes, how to diagnose it, and how to fix it.
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What does the P0520 code mean?
The P0520 code is a generic powertrain code that indicates a problem with the engine oil pressure sensor circuit. This code is typically triggered when the engine control module (ECM) detects that the oil pressure is too low or too high, or that the sensor circuit is faulty.
It’s essential for ensuring your engine’s proper operation to deal with this code straight away. With inappropriate engine oil pressure, the oil flow through the engine may not be sufficient to lubricate the moving parts, and the same goes for that extra cooling factor that regular oil pressure achieves.
What causes the P0520 code?
While this code mostly indicates an issue with the engine oil pressure, there are several possible causes behind it. These all come with distinctive symptoms of the code, such as rough idling, poor acceleration, and the “check engine” light coming on.
The most important sign that something is off is if you spot the erratic performance of the oil pressure gauge, assuming that your vehicle has one. So, these are the main causes of mentioned symptoms:
Faulty oil pressure sensor
The most common cause of the P0520 code is a faulty oil pressure sensor. Over time, the sensor can become clogged with debris or fail altogether, leading to inaccurate readings.
Another potential cause of the P0520 code is a problem with the wiring associated with the oil pressure sensor. Damage or corrosion to the wires can cause the sensor to malfunction and trigger the code.
Low oil pressure
In some cases, the P0520 code may be triggered by low oil pressure levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a low oil level, a clogged oil filter, or a failing oil pump. This is why you should frequently check your engine’s oil level, and top up if necessary.
Sometimes an oil leak could cause lower oil pressure within your car’s engine bay, and you should also check the oil for any signs of dilution if you suspect that something is not right.
Which car models does the P0520 code affect the most?
The P0520 is a generic code and most of the vehicles that showcase lower oil pressure will manifest the issue through this code. However, it’s mostly associated with GM vehicles, so here are a few car models that have most frequently been associated with the code:
- Dodge RAM: This car features an array of engines that are susceptible to issues with low engine oil pressure, which triggers the code.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: The Grand Cherokee has the same issue as the RAM due to its failing engine components, mostly including oil pathways that feature lower pressure buildup due to a production fault.
- Chrysler Sebring: This car has been known to display the code P0520, especially in versions equipped with a 2.7-liter V6 engine.
How to diagnose the P0520 code
Now that you have a bit more background on the code P0520 and why it appears, it’s time we get to the practical part – diagnosing the issue. To understand why your car struggles with proper engine oil pressure buildup, you can try one of the following diagnostic methods:
Check your car’s oil level
Since low oil pressure can trigger the P0520 code, the first step in diagnosing this issue is to check the engine oil level. If it is low, top it up to the recommended level and see if the code disappears.
Inspect the engine oil pressure sensor
The P0520 code can also result from a faulty oil pressure sensor or circuit. To diagnose this issue, you can use a multimeter to check for continuity and resistance in the sensor and its wiring. If they are outside the normal range, replace the sensor or repair the wiring as necessary.
Test the oil pressure
If both the oil level and pressure sensor are fine, you may need to test the engine oil pressure using a manual gauge. This involves removing the oil pressure sending unit and inserting a gauge in its place to measure the pressure while the engine is running. If the actual oil pressure is below the specified range, you may need to replace the oil pump or perform other repairs.
Look for other associated codes
In some cases, the P0520 code may be caused by other factors such as a damaged engine control module (ECM) or a malfunctioning instrument cluster. To rule out these possibilities, you may need to perform additional diagnostic tests using specialized tools or equipment.
How to fix the P0520 code
Once the P0520 code has been diagnosed, there are several potential fixes that our team can recommend. Here’s a complete list of possible solutions that will likely help erase the code:
Replace the oil pressure sensor
If the P0520 code is caused by a faulty oil pressure sensor or circuit, replacing the sensor is typically the most effective solution. This involves removing the old sensor and installing a new one, which can be purchased from an auto parts store or online retailer. Be sure to use a sensor that is compatible with your vehicle’s make and model.
Repair the oil pump
If the actual oil pressure is below the specified range, you may need to repair or replace the oil pump. This involves removing the old pump and installing a new one, which can be purchased from an auto parts store or authorized dealer. If the pump is still functional but clogged, you may be able to clean it by flushing the engine with a cleaning agent.
Fix the wiring issue
If the P0520 code is caused by a wiring issue or connection problem, repairing or replacing the affected components may be necessary. This can involve inspecting the wiring harness for damage or corrosion, repairing any broken wires, and ensuring that all connections are secure and free of debris.
How to prevent the P0520 code
The best way to prevent the P0520 code from appearing is to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle. This includes doing the following actions to keep your vehicle’s oil pressure system maintained:
- Regular oil level checks
- Performing oil pressure tests
- Replacing the oil filter
- Topping up engine oil according to the manufacturer’s specifications
It’s also important to use high-quality oil and filters that meet the specifications of your vehicle.
By taking these preventative measures, you can help ensure that your vehicle remains in good working condition and avoid the potential for costly repairs down the road.
The bottom line is – any sort of an issue that comes as a consequence of improper engine oil pressure may also affect your engine’s performance in the long run. So, to make sure this never happens, you should always do your best to keep the engine oil pressure at bay and take all the necessary maintenance steps.
Our team can help you with that, and by using our guide, you can lower the chance of ever having to deal with the problem again.
What does the P0520 code mean?
The P0520 code is a generic powertrain code that indicates a malfunction in the engine oil pressure sensor or circuit. It can be triggered by various factors such as low oil pressure levels, a damaged oil pressure switch, or a faulty engine control module (ECM).
What are the symptoms of the P0520 code?:
The symptoms of the P0520 code may vary depending on the underlying issue, but they often include an illuminated check engine light, low oil pressure warning, engine stalling or hesitation, and reduced engine performance.
Is it safe to drive with the P0520 code?
If the P0520 code is caused by low oil pressure levels, driving your vehicle can cause serious engine damage and should be avoided until the issue is resolved. If the issue is related to a faulty sensor or wiring issue, you can drive your vehicle for a short period but should have it repaired promptly.