Chevy Equinox P0522: Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch → Low Input

P0522 Chevy Equinox


P0522 is an OBD2 diagnostic code that is triggered when your Chevy Equinox detects that the value being sent from the oil pressure sensor is below its normal operating ranged.

It is typically caused by a bad oil pressure sensor or an issue with the oil system, and should be diagnosed and fixed right away.  While it is possible (and even likely) that the oil pressure sender/sensor is bad, there could also be a problem with the oil pressure.

Assume that you do not have any oil pressure until you confirm that you do.  If there isn’t any oil pressure, this can keep the engine from locking up. 

Your Equinox’s oil pressure sensor measures the oil pressure mechanically, and converts that reading into a voltage signal that the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) uses for the oil pressure reading.  This reading is what you see on your oil pressure gauge and triggers the oil warning light.


P0522 Quick Facts

  • Most often caused by an issue with your Equinox’s oil pressure sensor or circuit
  • Should be taken very seriously
  • The most common symptom is the oil light or an improper oil pressure gauge reading
  • Easy to diagnose


Chevy Equinox P0522 OBD2 Code Diagnosis


P0522 Symptoms:  Chevy Equinox

Here are the most common symptoms of P0522:

  • Low Oil Light/Gauge- While P0522 is often caused by a bad oil pressure sensor, you should treat the readings from the oil pressure gauge and low oil warning as though they are correct until you know better.
  • Ticking and Knocking- If your engine is ticking and knocking, it’s likely that the oil pressure sensor is accurate and there’s a problem with the engine or you need oil.
  • Won’t Start  If there was no oil pressure, your Equinox’s engine very well could have locked up.



Equinox P0522 Causes

P0522 is going to be caused by an issue with the sensor or sensor wiring (which would mean your engine is fine).  Or it is going to be caused by an issue your Equinox’s oil level, viscosity, pressure, or cleanliness.  

Since proper oil flow is so critical to the engine, this code should be treated with respect and not ignored.


Here are the most common causes of P0522:

  • Low or No Oil- The first thing that you should do is check to see if there is oil in your Equinox’s engine at all.  If the crankcase is empty or really low on oil it can throw P0522.  If this is the case, fill the oil back up, clear the code, and that may fix the problem.  
  • Low Oil Pressure- If the oil pressure level is too low, this code can show up.  It should show up with the oil light, or a low reading from the oil pressure gauge.  Chevy Equinox Low Oil Pressure Diagnosis
  • Dirty or Wrong Oil- If there hasn’t been an oil change for a long enough period of time, it can interfere with the oil pressure sensor, even if there still is oil pressure. 
  • Oil Pressure Sensor Wiring- P0522 indicates that the signal from the oil pressure sensor below it’s operating range.  This could indicate a wiring issue.
  • Oil Pressure Sensor- The oil pressure sensor itself is very likely to be the cause of P0522, but looking at the oil and wiring first is a smart move.


P0522 Diagnosis: Chevy Equinox

This P0522 diagnosis order is written (like everything on the site) for the DIY guy who doesn’t have a lot of specialty tools. 

1. Check the Oil

The first thing that you should do is check the oil level.  If it’s full make sure that it looks healthy.  If it appears to be black or grimy, it may be interfering with the oil pressure sensor.  If the wrong oil viscosity was used it can also trigger P0522 even with a full reading on the dipstick.


2. Inspect the Wiring Harness

Next, you should inspect the wiring harness running from the oil pressure sensor to the PCM.  If it has any damaged wiring, that could be causing P0522.  Don’t forget to make sure that the harness is still plugged into the sending unit and undamaged.  

Wiring issues are one of the more common reasons that this code is thrown.  The wiring is close to the Equinox’s exhaust and can get brittle over time.


3. Manually Check The Oil Pressure

Assuming that the oil level and wiring look fine, the next thing to do would be to manually check the oil pressure.  You can use a manual oil pressure gauge to see if it’s where it needs to be.  They are easy to use.  Here’s a great YouTube video that will show you exactly how to use this gauge to check.

If the oil pressure from the gauge reads ok, you’ll need to replace the oil pressure sending unit/sensor.  They’re cheap.  If there is low or no oil pressure, you’ll need to figure out why.


Conclusion:  P0522 Chevy Equinox

It’s relatively straightforward diagnosing P0522.  Knowing the actual oil pressure level makes it a lot easier.  Feel free to leave a comment below if there is something that you would like to add and good luck fixing your Chevy Equinox!