How to Repair a Leak in an Oil Pan Gasket
An oil pan gasket creates a tight seal between the oil pan and the rest of the car. If the oil pan gasket begins to wear out you will wind up with oil dripping all over the car and the ground below. Replacing an oil pan gasket is not difficult, but in most cases you can simply fix it. The cost to repair the oil pan gasket is minimal. The following article will show you how to repair a leak in an oil pan gasket.
Step 1 - Draining the Oil
Failing to remove the oil will cause a tremendous mess that will be difficult to clean. Slide under your vehicle and locate the oil pan. It will be full of dirt, grime and oil, which will make locating nuts and bolts difficult. Use a rag and begin wiping away the sludge until you can identify the nuts and bolts holding the oil pan to the car. Place the bucket directly under the oil pan and remove the oil pan drain plug. This will allow the oil to drain from the oil pan. Wait about 45 minutes before replacing the drain plug.
Step 2 - Remove the Oil Pan
Once the oil pan drain plug is back in place you can begin to remove the bolts and lug nuts attaching the oil pan to the car. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle you may need to use an engine jack to lift the engine up slightly. Sometimes a bolt or nut is hidden between the engine and a cross beam. Once all of the bolts and screws are removed the oil pan should fall freely from the engine compartment.
Step 3 - Cleaning up
Remove the fittings from the oil pan and peel off the oil pan gasket. There will be a lot of sludge on the gasket and on the oil pan. Use a putty knife to scrape away thick spots and it wipe down with a rag saturated with degreaser. Fill a bucket with hot water, solvent and degreaser, and submerge the oil pain in the water. Wait up to an hour before removing the oil pan from the bucket. Scrub the oil pan and oil pan gasket until they are both fairly clean.
Step 4 - Preventing Oil Leaks
Buff the oil pan with a towel to remove any dust. Silicone sealant is a strong ally against oil leaks. Create a bead of silicone along the edge of the oil pan where the oil pan gasket rests. Use your finger and quickly spread the sealant over the oil pan so the sealant covers the entire side. Wait several minutes until the silicone is tacky, then line the oil pan gasket up with the holes and press in place. Wipe away the excess silicone. Replace the oil pan and refill the vehicle with oil.