How-to: Replace Oil Pressure Sensor (Sending Unit) - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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How-to: Replace Oil Pressure Sensor (Sending Unit)

Failure of the oil pressure sending unit appears to be a common issue on 2005 and 2006 Xterras. I noticed yesterday the something was wrong with the oil pressure reading on my 2005 that has 107K miles. A little research here and across the internet confirmed this to be a common problem.

Symptom High oil pressure reading. In my case, the oil pressure gauge was pegged at high when the engine was running. With the key turned on and the engine not running, the gauge indicated the pressure as about 3/4 of the way up the scale.

Solution Replace the oil pressure sending unit. I believe Nissan describes it as an Oil
Pressure Sensor. The p/n for my 2005 is 25070-CD00A. The out the door price from the local dealer was about $85.

Difficulty SIMPLE. It took me less than fifteen minutes from start to finish.

Tools Required A 15/16" (or 24mm) wrench or deep socket, a flashlight, pipe thread sealant, paper towels.

  1. Locate sending unit. It is located on the passenger side of the engine directly below the alternator and behind the rack and pinion. It is easily visible from underneath the vehicle. No issues with access on my 2005 S with a Shrock bumper and front skid.
  2. Remove the wiring harness connector. Unlike some, this is an easy connector to remove with your fingers.
  3. Remove the old sending unit. I used the open end of a 15/16 wrench. As you finish removing the sensor - watch out for oil! A small gusher came out when I removed my sending unit...not a lot...less than a 1/4 cup, but it tasted terrible.
  4. Clean up the oil mess.
  5. Apply thread sealant to the new sensor. I would strongly suggest not using teflon tape for a couple of reasons. It can interfere with getting a good electric ground which is required. There is also a (small) risk that strings of teflon tape will get into the oil galleries and cause some type of mayhem. I used a tube of white paste thread sealant. If you are old school, Permatex #2 is another good choice.
  6. Install the new sensor. Do not over-tighten. The sensor has a tapered pipe thread so not a lot of torque is required to get an oil tight seal.
  7. Reconnect the wire harness connector. If you are anal, use some dielectric grease to keep out dust and moisture.
  8. Start the engine and confirm the gauge is reading properly.
  9. Check for leaks and check the oil level. I had no leaks and did not need to add oil.


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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 12-18-2011, 09:49 PM
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A little known fact, only the 05-06 have actual sensors, the newer ones have a dummy switch. I wonder if the newer ones would accept an old sensor and make it actually usable rather than something else that can go wrong that does no good.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 02:29 PM
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I don't think it's a 24mm socket. I know when I did mine I couldn't even get a 1" socket around the sender.

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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 08:44 PM
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-28-2012, 02:24 PM
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I just did this 18 min ago, mine is an 05 and it was a 24mm. Took 5 min to do once oil was drained. Also, the 05 is an analog which sensor which commonly goes out and costs about 45 bucks. The newer models use a digital version which doesn't detect actual pressure so much as pressure on or pressure off. It is not a "dummy switch" it is just a cheaper solution.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:52 PM
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This was great. Real easy fix. The gauge on my '05 was maxed out as soon as the key was turned to the ON position. $70 part from Autozone, although I saw them go for $45 online.

Followed these directions to the letter, I used a 24mm deep socket, it was perfect. No problems now, took about 10 minutes total.

Last edited by mrk87; 03-27-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 01:19 PM
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 08:07 AM
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Do I Have To Drain The Oil First?

It was unclear from the original post, will the oil be settled beneath the sensor or will I need to wait for an oil change to swap out the sensor?

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 01:46 PM
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You can do it when you change the oil, or not. Doesn't matter.
The sensor is a plug in the oil passage. When you remove the sensor you remove the plug leaving a hole. Oil will run out this hole while you are putting the new sensor in there to plug the hole. A little oil will run out while you are fussing about (less then an ounce even though it will look like a lot).

Hint, if you do it to a cold engine the oil will be cold and thicker. Cold thick oil will run slower and you should spill less while swapping the sensor. It just sucks working in the cold.

Was I the only one who was sobor and paying attention in college?
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 06:40 PM
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Same Issue?

So I think I am having the same issue, but I am a little unsure and looking for some confirmation. My 2005 Xterra oil pressure gauge pegged at H, but after it warms up, it starts coming back down, but nowhere near where it should be. Could the issue still be the sending unit? Is there a way to test this? Or other symptoms I could look for if the pressure was really too high? I checked the oil level, it is fine. I changed the oil and oil filter about 1 month ago. Drove it yesterday with no issues that I could notice. Thanks!
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