Chevy Corvette C5 - Oil Pressure Sending Unit

Readings Are Fundamental

Meggan Bailey Jan 1, 2013 0 Comment(s)
Vemp 1301 01 Chevy Corvette C5 1/21

Readings such as this one are normal for an LS1 C5. If yours is showing much higher numbers for no readily apparent reason, there’s a good chance the OPSU has failed.

If you're a C5 owner, there's a good chance you like to put your foot down every once in awhile. After all, driving a 345hp sports cars sometimes calls for a little speed.

Let's assume you've waited for the perfect moment. You look around, and the coast is clear. Your fingers grip the steering wheel a little tighter, and your right foot is primed to slam down on the Vette's rubber-covered loud pedal.

Vemp 1301 02 Chevy Corvette C5 Intake 2/21

But this time, things are different. Instead of locking onto the rapidly blurring scenery ahead of you, your eyes are glued to the oil-pressure gauge. Rather than its usual reading of around 40 psi, the display has climbed into the 80-psi range.

As your foot instinctively comes off the gas, the obvious question forms in your mind: What broke?

The good news is that the problem is most likely ascribable to your Corvette's oil-pressure sending unit (or "OPSU," in mechanic-speak), which commonly fails on the '97-'04 models, and not to some major underhood catastrophe.

"Every time we've had a [C5] Corvette in here with the oil-pressure reading high, the cause has been the sending unit fouling out," says a tech from Jim Phillips Automotive Service in Lubbock, Texas. "So we just replace that to start, and if it doesn't fix the problem, we go from there. But in every case it's worked."

With the shop gearing up to perform yet another C5 OPSU replacement, we grabbed a camera, a pen, and a pad of paper, and set out to document the job. Follow along as we take you through the process, which should consume around two-and-a-half hours using standard hand tools.

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