With every oil change the pan should be checked as well. The oil pan is the area located at the lowest point of the engine where oil pools up. Because it is close to the ground, it is vulnerable to damage from off road driving, curbs, and speed bumps. If the drain plug in the oil pan has been excessively tightened, over time, this can wear on the drain plug gasket and crack the oil pan. Another common problem is an oil pan gasket leak.
If your car is leaking oil from the area of the oil pan, it can only be a few things. Either the drain plug gasket is failing, the drain plug is not in correctly, the oil pan gasket is cracked or, worst of all, the oil pan itself is cracked. An oil pan gasket replacement should be of minimal cost. Your two options are to purchase a factory-made replacement gasket or to use a silicon-based gasket sealer.
Like valve cover gasket repair, an oil pan gasket can be repaired by using an O-ring type gasket or silicon gasket sealer. Valve cover gasket replacement, when you hire a mechanic, can be $100 or more. An oil pan gasket shouldn't be quite as much, and if you do it yourself, it may only be time-consuming.
- First, remove the oil pan cover and scrape off the old gasket. Be careful not to nick the aluminum, so use a plastic tool and take your time.
- Thoroughly clean the oil pan cover, wiping off all excess oil and debris.
- Next, position the replacement gasket on the oil pan cover using the gasket glue to affix it. If you're using sealant in place of the gasket, apply the silicon sealer. Let it harden a little before replacing the oil pan cover.
Oil pan gasket repair can be done if you have the space, the tools and wherewithal. It's not something to take lightly, though. Make sure you know exactly what you're doing because oil leaks, even small ones, can turn into big problems down the road.