An oil pan gasket represents a spacer between the engine block and the oil pan. If the oil pan gasket is damaged or worn out then you'll begin to notice that oil is leaking from under the engine. This is not a good thing as lack of oil can cause severe engine damage. The following article will help you identify an oil leak and how to replace the oil pan gasket.
Step 1 - Make Sure it is Leaking
It makes no sense to install an oil pan gasket if it is not leaking. Checking for a leak is usually very simple. Locate the oil pan gasket and use a rag to thoroughly wipe it down. Natural sediment build-up is expected. Once you wipe it down look at it closely for signs of oil forming around the edges. This is a sign the oil pan gasket is leaking and needs to be replaced.
Step 2 - Removing the Oil Pan Gasket
Once you have determined that the oil pan gasket is leaking you can identify the tools you will need to remove it. In some cases you may need to use an engine jack in order to remove the oil pan gasket. Write down the make and model of the car and use that to get the right oil pan gasket. Do not get a cheap oil pan gasket because it will just wear out faster and you will have to go through this again.
Use the jack to lift the car off the ground. Place a bucket under the oil pan so that you will not make a mess. Remove the drain plug and drain the oil out of the oil pan. When the oil is drained replace the drain plug. Remove the bolts holding the oil pan to the engine block. Once the bolts are removed the oil pan should freely fall. If the oil pan does not clear the cross member then jack the engine up slightly so the oil pan can clear the cross member. With the oil pan removed you can then peel off the old oil pan gasket.
Step 3 - Installing the Oil Pan Gasket
Use the razor blade, rags and brake cleaner to clean the surface on the engine block and oil pan where the gasket will be. Try to remove as much engine sludge and debris as you can. This will help you determine any leaks in the future. Test fit the oil pan gasket to the pan. Line it up with the bolts. When you are sure add a few drops of the sealant along the surface of the oil pan. Wait for it to get tacky and then press the oil pan gasket in place. Place the pan on the engine block. Replace all of the bolts and replace the oil.