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What Causes High Oil Pressure (What You Should Do to Fix the Problem?)

High Oil Pressure

High Oil Pressure

Your car’s oil pressure must be maintained at least at its middle level on the pressure gauge. However, high oil pressure is enough to cause an alarm. The uncorrected problem of this type may cause your car engine to malfunction and may lead to unthinkable damages on the engine.

If the trouble is not addressed immediately and the car is allowed to run on this condition, the whole engine is at stake. So, what really causes high oil pressure on your car’s engine? There are different reasons to this.

There are various ways of checking the origin of this problem, the sooner you find those, the better. This article will give you some wisdom on what causes high oil pressure and the possible solutions.

What are the causes of high oil pressure?


High oil pressure

Normal oil pressure in car engine usually ranges between 55-65 psi. Oil pressure more than 80 psi (while driving at higher car RPM) is considered abnormally high. 

Here are some possible causes of high-pressure reading on your oil pressure gauge:

  • Malfunctioning pressure relief valve.
  • Possible problem with the oil sending unit.
  • A blockade on the oil piping system (including oil filter).

How Do You Solve These Problems?

Car engines are designed to give symptoms of the problem first before they become full-blown. Each part of the engine has its own role in running the engine smoothly. These symptoms are sometimes barely noticeable.

If you are not keen enough in observing the performance of your car, you will probably miss these manifestations. You really have to read this article. Here are the possible solutions to the problems stated above.

Pressure relief valve

A malfunctioning pressure relief valve is uncommon in car engines, but it does happen sometimes. This valve can’t be tested during operation. The trick is to remove this valve, clean it, and then replace it.

Then install the valve and test it. If the pressure reading is still the same, the valve is not the problem. But, if the pressure goes back to normal, you are certain that the valve is the problem. When the pressure reading continues to be high, you are bound to find something wrong other than the valve.

Oil sending unit

The oil sending unit is electrically controlled. You will need a tester to troubleshoot it. If you find this piece defective, replace it immediately. Replacing the oil sending unit will require you to clean your oil filter.

Maintaining a good oil filter is also a must for car owners. This valuable piece of the car’s oil piping system must be cleaned according to your car’s maintenance plan. But if you will notice early on that your pressure gauge records an intermittent abnormal high-pressure reading before the scheduled maintenance, try to check the oil filter first.

For GM-manufactured vehicles, a good choice as a replacement for an oil sending unit is the ACDelco 12673134 GM Original Equipment Engine Oil Pressure Sensor, available on Amazon.

Engine Oil Replacement

To avoid these problems arising from the lack of maintenance on your oil lubrication system, oil change must be performed periodically. Oil breaks and thickens over time, it loses its viscosity which may lead to low pressure.

On the other hand, when the oil thickens, which is sometimes due to cold temperature, especially in colder countries, the pressure rises abnormally. The thickening of the oil is also the result of residues from metal’s contact with other metal. These residues sometimes clogged the oil filter.

Try these motor brands for your car's excellent high-and-low temperature performance that are readily available on Amazon.

Mobil 1 94001 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 Quart or Castrol 03037 EDGE Gold 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil.

Blocked oil piping system

If the oil passage of the piping had been blocked for quite some time, there got to be a serious problem. This will starve the engine of the needed lubrication for its running parts. To know whether the system is blocked, you will notice an oil leak at the cam assembly (near the cylinder head gasket).

If you suspect that you are experiencing high oil pressure for a long time, the most likely are that damaged had been done on your engine. Bring your car to an expert mechanic and let him check the engine. Your mechanic could determine if your engine needs replacement or only some of its parts depending on the damage.


Knowing what the causes of high oil pressure on your car can really save you lots of time and money if you act immediately to solve the problem. Now, that you know its symptoms, you will be aware of its consequences the minute this happens to you anytime.

Remember to use only products that are recommended by your car manufacturer and those that you found most conducive to your car. You can also listen to some experts’ advice about these products.

Please send to us your comments about this article and we are ready to answer your queries.


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