Oil pan dented


Old 11-22-10, 11:30 AM
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Oil pan dented

As I tried to change the engine oil on my 2005 Kia Sedona mini van, I noticed the oil pan has a major dent on the bottom. It appears the vehicle ran just fine with the dent in place. Money is tight right now and I'm not sure if I must have it fixed, or can I just change the oil anyway without replacing it ? There is no leak from the pan- just dented. Does this affect oil flow in any way ? Thanks for your expert opinions.
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Old 11-22-10, 11:42 AM
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Just an opinion..but it shouldn't really be an issue. If you can still get the plug off (not dented in that area)..then changing it shouldn't be an issue. Depending on where it is..you may be reducing the amount of oil you can drain completely.

If it's real severe..I guess it could limit oil pickup...but I doubt you are taking this autocrossing?

The opinion of a trusted mechanic would be worthwhile. Not a dealer or an oil change "technician".
Old 11-22-10, 02:21 PM
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(Question) Does this affect oil flow in any way?


(Quote) I'm not sure if I must have it fixed

You must repair as per below

Remove the pan.

Place the pan (inside facing up) on a level piece of ĺ inch plywood that is larger than the pan.

Use dry wall screws (with washers if necessary) through all the holes in the pan to fasten the pan to the wood.

Don't over tighten the screws or you will distort the pan. The goal is to tighten the screws just enough to hold the pan securely to the wood so that it doesn't move around.

Have two friends stand on either end of the wood with the pan in the middle.

Place a piece of wood (2 by 4) is good on the dent, and bang the block with a small steel mallet till the dent is out, and the pan is flush and level again.
Old 11-22-10, 03:17 PM
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Thank you guys so much !! ASE, I will try your tip it sounds interesting. Thank you.
Old 11-22-10, 08:38 PM
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so why exactly you have to have two fellas weighing that pan down? so it does not bounce? so what, let it bounce. so it does not spread when dent is pulled out? drywall screws will not prevent that from happening anyway.

i'd say, follow the g'ol redneck rule:

DON'T FIX IT IF IT AIN'T BROK. IF IT'S BROK, FIX IT RIGHT AWAY. yours ain't brok. it woiks. oil pan change at shop easily runs 400 hundred bucks. DIY can be MAJOR hassle, like on my Silvie.
Old 11-23-10, 03:26 AM
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OPís Ďmajor dentí terminology is subjective, and therefore an absolute statement that it must be fixed is questionable. If someone believes any dent regardless of size must be fixed, then I can understand why a poster would not question that statement. Like others, Iím of the view that this dent probably poses no problem but thinking it is no more the size of a golf ball, and perhaps smaller. At the other end of spectrum, if a mechanic saw this Ďmajor dentí, and felt the word Ďsmashedí better fit what he was observing, then the pan may need to be replaced rather that trying to repair it. Without a picture, itís only a guess as to what should be done.

The pan on this mini van probably holds roughly 3 quarts or more of oil. A dent the size of a golf ball would displace little oil, and essentially cause a slight rise in the level of that oil within the engine. A rough way to determine the effect of this dent is to compare how much oil has to be added at an oil change to bring the oil dipstick up to the full line, and then compare that quantity of oil to what the manual says it should take. If OP hasnít yet changed his oil, he should observe the oil dipstick to see where the oil is showing relative to the full line marked on it. Obviously, an engine is not going to be damaged by a slight difference in oil as there is some leeway built in by the mfg. having another line on the dip stick showing where to add oil . . . this difference is roughly 2/3 to 1 qt. depending on specific engines and their overall oil capacity. My ballpark guess is that 1/10 of a quart of oil or thereabouts is being displaced, and something I would not worry about. A picture might cause me to conclude differently.

Regarding the proposed fix to knockout the dent from this pan. It makes no sense to me to essentially create plywood wings, or have a full sheet of plywood spanning over the top of the pan. Since this is most likely an indentation in the pan (i.e., inward facing), a full piece of plywood over the top is not going to allow the person to strike a piece of wood to bang the dent from the inside of pan. If the idea is to make plywood wings so that the top of the pan is open, two guys standing on these wings, and secured w/ drywall screws, may snap them off and/or possibly damage/bend the panís bolt holes.

Having built and owned several off-road hunting vehicles, some had a welded skid plate to protect the oil pan while others did not. When an oil pan was badly dented by striking a large rock, cypress knee, or pine stump, we simply placed the pan on a level surface and had one guy in a kneeling position brace the pan (inside facing up) against a fixed object while holding the sides. This would prevent movement of the pan while the other guy used a block of wood to knock out the dent. If a rounded surface is dented, using a large round piece of wood with the block of wood striking it also helps reconfigure it back to somewhat like it was before being dented.
Old 11-23-10, 04:47 AM
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(Quote) ASE, I will try your tip it sounds interesting. Thank you.

Youíre welcome. Iíve used this method countless times and it always works flawlessly. A dent in the oil pan can impact flow, volume and pressure. Also (quite frequently) the crankshaft could be hitting the dent as its rotating. Donít think you can always hear that either. The scraping of the crankshaft against the dent could be ever so slight that you wouldnít hear it. The point here is that any contact between the crankshaft and the pan is wrong and too much.

Donít forget to address the issue of how the dent occurred in the first place. Was it as simple as hitting something in the road that caused the dent, or are you facing a bottoming out issue that must be ruled out?
Old 11-23-10, 07:27 AM
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Just as an added point

The pick -up tube and screen should sit flush to the bottom of the pan, and horizontal to the bottom edge of the block.....

Being that the pan has been damaged, and the "Positioning" of the tube may have been altered by the impact......IT IS IMPERATIVE TO CAREFULLY INSPECT THE TUBE AND SCREEN FOR ANY DAMAGE.....THE SLIGHTEST HINT OF DAMAGE IS REASON ENOUGH TO REPLACE IT. ( Some cars may require oil pump replacement to replace the pickup tube) NEVER ATTEMPT TO STRAIGHTEN A PICK UP TUBE!!!!! At bare minimum, it should be removed and cleaned out thouroughly while the oil pan is off. If you have an open space to work in...I have had success with carb cleaner and a match......(Gasoline is a bit much, but also works very well)....fill the tube with flammable liquid, light it up and the sludge will melt off. when it finishes burning, spray it clean with carb cleaner or gasoline, and reinstall.

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