How to Repair a Damaged Oil Pan Gasket
The oil pan gasket is a part of the oil change pan and it is used to help prevent oil from leaking or seeping out of the vehicle. Sometimes it will need to be changed to ensure that your vehicle does not leak motor oil.
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 the oil is stored. Because it is close to the ground, it is vulnerable to damage from road debris, curbs, and speed bumps.
If your car is leaking oil from the area of the oil change pan, it can only be a few things. Either the drain plug is not placed or installed in the car correctly or the drain plug gasket is failing. In addition, the oil pan gasket may be cracked or, worst of all, the oil pan itself is cracked.
Step 1 - Drain the Oil
Before you proceed with repairing the damaged oil pan gasket, you must drain the oil or risk making a huge mess. Before draining the oil, make sure you put on a pair of old work clothes. This is a messy job and you can get oil all over you even from the simplest movements.
Step 2 - Remove the Oil Pan Cover
Remove the oil pan cover and scrape off the old gasket. When you do this, you will want to be extra careful to keep the aluminum parts intact. This means that you will want to be sure that you do not scratch the different parts of the engine or the pan.
Step 3 - Clean the Oil Pan Cover
Take a rag and clean the oil pan cover. Wipe off all excess oil and debris. use a brake cleaning spray. This will remove all the excess oil film.
Step 4 - Add the Replacement Gasket
Position the gasket on the oil pan. Use gasket glue to seal the gasket to the oil pan. If you’re using silicon sealant in place of the gasket, apply the silicon sealer according to the manufactures instructions on the package.
Step 5 - Allow for Drying Time
Let the gasket glue dry a bit with the gasket in place so it won’t move when you reinstall the oil pan. If you are using the silicon sealant carefully raise the oil pan in place so you don’t smear off any of it during reassembly, being careful to just loosely snug the bolts in place till you get them all installed then tighten them equally.
Tips: Advantages and Disadvantages to Silicon Sealant
One draw back using the silicon sealant is that you must let in dry (cure) for a period of time before you can refill the engine with oil and put it in service. Using a pre made gasket means you can fill it with oil and put the engine into service immediately. The advantage of silicon sealant is the ability to seal any irregular or pitted surfaces preventing any leaks. Don’t forget to change the oil filter at the same time!