Oil pressure is an indication of your vehicle’s health. If the oil pressure in your engine is in the normal range, it means that there’s a sufficient “cushion” of oil between the internal rotating components. Maintaining constant and proper oil pressure is vital if you want your car’s engine to last.
The P0522 error code warns the driver that the vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM) has detected a potential incorrect or low voltage signal from the engine oil pressure sensor. What does this mean and how should you deal with this trouble code? This short guide will answer these questions and more.
What Does the P0522 Code Mean?
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) P0522 stands for Engine Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch “A” Circuit Low.
The pressure-sensing mechanism in the oil pressure switch is in direct contact with the oil gallery. This means that any changes in gallery oil pressure will produce an increase or decrease in the resistance of the oil pressure transducer.
The PCM monitors these changes in resistance as an input representing oil pressure in real time. If the PCM detects that the signal coming from the engine oil pressure switch is less than the specified value for a certain amount of time, it sets the P0522 code. It will also illuminate the low oil warning light found on the instrument cluster.
In earlier applications, the oil pressure sending unit (with a gauge) received voltage from the instrument cluster gauge assembly, and the sending unit would reduce its resistance to ground as the oil pressure increased so that the gauge could electrically reflect oil pressure. On those, you could short the oil sender wire to ground and the oil pressure would read high.
Then computers became part of the instrument cluster and the oil pressure sending unit became a two or three-wire transducer.
In most modern systems, the ECM/PCM and the instrument cluster work together on a network and one of the modules will monitor engine oil pressure and send it to the other module for various different purposes.
Read our note about oil pressure for different OEMs for more information.
What are the Possible Causes of the P0522 Code?
Below are just some of the possible causes of the error code P0522:
- Engine oil pressure sensor failure
- Powertrain control module (PCM) failure (rare)
- Faulty instrument cluster
- Low oil level, dirty oil
- Wiring issue
- Excessive mechanical wear in the engine
- Mechanical failure in internal engine components (oil pump, oil pressure relief valve, timing chain tensioners, etc.)
What are the Common Symptoms of the P0522 Code?
There are a lot of symptoms that point toward the engine code P0522. Below are some of the most common indications that you’re dealing with the P0522 code:
- Oil pressure warning light illuminated
- Engine may not start
- Engine may quit or stall
- Engine may be shut down by the PCM (P2015 may also be present)
- Mechanical noises such as ticking, thudding, knocking, rumbling
- Engine may misfire, depending on the nature of the problem
How to Diagnose the P0552 Code
Diagnosing the exact root cause of the P0522 code can be difficult as there are many possible causes that can trigger this code, like all OBD-II codes. You can ask your mechanic to do the diagnostic and repair work. However, you can also use some resources such as repair manuals and other guides to help you with the task.
Below is a video resource that you can use to refresh your knowledge on the P0522 code:
How to Fix the P0522 Code
Fixing the P0522 code could get a little tricky since there’s no magic bullet that resolves the issue. Your mechanic is better equipped and trained to deal with the P0522 code. However, if you think you have the necessary tools and DIY knowledge, you can try to do the fix yourself.
Remember that different carmakers have different sets of repair instructions specific to their models, so what works for one particular car may not work on another vehicle of a different make.
Other Notes About P0522
In some vehicles, the engine code P0522 may also be accompanied by the P2105 code, which stands for also known as the “Throttle Actuator Control System Forced Engine Shutdown.” This means that the PCM has shut down the engine to protect it from further damage. If the P0522 and P2105 codes appear together, you may not be able to restart the engine until the P0522 code is resolved.
The technical service bulletin PIP 4786 lists a number of GM vehicles that may experience this error code. Vehicles in the list include the following:
- 2005-2007 Buick Rainier
- 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS
- 2007-2010 Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe
- 2007-2009 Chevrolet Impala
- 2005-2009 Chevrolet Trailblazer
- 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- 2007-2010 GMC Sierra, Yukon
- 2005-2009 GMC Envoy
- 2007-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2008-2009 Pontiac G8
- 2005-2009 Saab 97x
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