If you notice oil leaks under your vehicle, the oil pan gasket is the likely culprit. The oil pan holds the oil for the vehicle engine, and the seal commonly gets damaged from debris and constant heating.
Many vehicle owners think they have to replace the whole pan, but you only need to replace the gasket in most cases. Follow these tips to replace the oil pan gasket.
Prepare to Replace the Gasket
To replace the oil pan gasket, gather:
- work gloves
- eye goggles
- jack and jack stands
- drain pan
- RTV sealer
- socket and ratchet set
- new oil filter (optional)
- oil filter wrench
- torque wrench
- replacement gasket
Consult your manual for proper jack points, and raise the vehicle. Set the jacks stands on the back wheels, and lower the vehicle onto them.
Raise the hood, look for the oil pan, and slide a drip pan underneath the plug. Open the plug using the oil filter wrench, and let the excess oil drain, which commonly takes fifteen minutes.
Remove the Oil Pan Gasket
The oil pan is commonly held in place by ten to fifteen bolts. Remove the bolts using the correct socket and ratchet size, and loosen the corner bolts, but leave them in place. Get an assistant to slide a jack under the bottom, while you hold it.
Pull the pan from the engine block; tapping it to help remove it, if needed. Detach the remaining four bolts, completely remove the pan, and use the scraper to loosen the gasket and sealant. Clean where the oil pan connects and the entire oil pan with a degreaser.
Install the New Oil Pan Gasket
You can get a new gasket from a car repair and auto parts shop. Find the correct torque level for the bolts before you reinstall the pan. Bolts that are too loose could cause leaks. Spread a thin layer of RTV sealer on the mounting surface, following the product directions. Let it stand for several minutes. After the sealant dries, press the gasket in place
Get an assistant to raise the bottom of the pan on the jack After the jack is in the correct position, reinstall the bolts to the torque level, then remove the jack. Check the torque of each bolt again after you tighten them.
Reinsert the drain plug, and install a new oil filter if you haven't changed it in a long time. Consult your manual for the correct type of engine oil, and refill the oil pan.
Remove the jack stands, lower the vehicle, and run the engine for a minute or two. Shut off the motor, check the oil level and add more if needed. Turn on the engine again and check for leaks.