Replace the Low Oil Sensor on a First Generation (1991-1994) Ford Explorer
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 Ford Explorer Models
For a long time I have had an oil leak coming from the side of my oil pan on my 91 Explorer. I suspected it might be the low oil level sensor so a few weeks ago I power washed the underside of my dirty engine to remove all the dirt and oil. After running the engine on a few short trips I checked the side of the oil pan and confirmed the oil was coming from the end of the sensor. The sensor is on the driver side near the starter in the side of the oil pan.
This picture shows where the oil is coming out noted by the clean streaks where the oil runs down.
The only way to fix it is to install a new sensor since the leak was not coming from between the pan and sensor which would mean a new washer is all that would be needed.
I had an oil change coming up soon so I planned ahead and I ordered my new sensor from Fastpartsnetwork.com. You will need 1 of Ford part number F2AZ-6C624-B, this was right around $50.
- 13MM deep socket and/or 13mm wrench
- 26mm socket and/or medium sized Crescent Wrench or 26mm open end wrench
- small straight pick
- Sharpie Marker
- Wrench for disconnecting battery
Here are the steps I took to replace the sensor:
1. Disconnect your battery.
2. Drain the oil as you would for an oil change, replace plug once drained.
3. Remove the starter with the 13mm socket and/or wrench.
4. Using a rag wipe the area around the oil sensor clean.
5. Remove the sensor with a 26mm open wrench or Crescent Wrench. Let the wire twist as you unscrew the sensor out of the oil pan.
6. With the sensor removed it is now easier to see the small wire retainer that holds the plug in place and more importantly the direction the retainer needs to come out. I used a small straight pick to pry the retainer out of the groove. The new sensor comes with a new retainer so if you break it or bend it, that is fine. Once the retainer is out gently pull the plug straight out of the socket.
New sensor showing the wire retainer that must be removed:
Using the pick to pry the retainer out
The wire retainer removed:
7. Using a sharpie mark 2 lines parallel to where the retainer protrudes into the socket on the new sensor. This will come in handy later. Remove the new retainer from the new sensor.
8. Remove the plastic washer from the old sensor and place on the new sensor.
9. Wipe the sealing surface on the oil pan clean. Install the new sensor with a 26mm socket. Make it tight but not too tight, remember the oil pan is aluminum and you don’t want to strip the threads. Do not use any thread sealer on the threads.
10. Wipe the sensor electrical plug clean and then push into the sensor socket until it is seated.
Note: my sensor plug had the rubber boot pop out of the plug along time ago. This boot is supposed to keep water and dirt out. I was unable to reinstall it so I put on some 3/4″ heat shrink and used a heat gun to seal it up.
11. Install the new wire retainer. Remember the sharpie marks you made? This will tell you visually the orientation the retainer needs to be inserted.
Note the sharpie marks I made and the orientation of the retainer. The retainer does not push straight on as the picture shows, it needs to hook 1 side and then work it around the groove to the other side until it is fully seated.
12. Reinstall the starter
13. Put in the new oil (you have changed your filter too right??)
14. Reconnect your battery cable.
I hope this helps out some of you, I found very limited information on this procedure so I decided to document this while I was doing it. I am happy, I now have 1 less oil leak!