How to Replace an Oil Pan Gasket

If you own your vehicle for a number of years, at least once you will run into those dreaded oil spots on the ground underneath. A leaking oil pan is usually the culprit. The oil pan is the reservoir for your engine oil located at the bottom of the engine. The gasket/seal between the pan and engine block is subjected not only to the heat cycling of the engine, but weather and road debris under the vehicle. Over time, the oil pan gasket will harden, dry, and crack, causing an oil leak.

Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It is important to make sure not only that the oil is changed at normal intervals, but the level is properly maintained between oil changes. A leaking oil pan will reduce the oil level and lead to internal damage.

  • Note: Some vehicles have easy access to the oil pan. Others are blocked by suspension/engine support members, requiring the engine be removed and/or supported. This requires specialty equipment and usually requires the vehicle be supported on a lift. If this is the case with your vehicle, taking it to a local repair shop for the oil pan gasket replacement is recommended.

Part 1 of 5: Jacking and supporting the vehicle

Materials Needed

  • Cleaner/degreaser
  • Drain pan
  • Engine oil and filter - recommended viscosity and quantity for your vehicle
  • Floor jack
  • Jackstands
  • Oil filter wrench
  • Oil pan gasket
  • Rags
  • RTV sealant
  • Ratchet/socket set
  • Scraper
  • Torque wrench

Step 1: Raise the vehicle. Using a floor jack with the correct lifting capacity for your vehicle, raise the vehicle using the appropriate lifting points.

Step 2: Jack stand placement. Place the jack stands at the appropriate points to support the vehicle in the lowest setting possible for safety and stability. Slowly lower the vehicle onto the jack stands. Once lowered, leave the jack in place for safety.

Part 2 of 5: Drain the oil

Step 1: Remove the oil filter. With the drain pan in place to catch the oil, use the oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter.

Step 2: Remove the drain plug. Once the oil filter is removed, move the drain pan underneath the oil pan. Remove the oil drain plug and allow several minutes for the oil to drain into the pan. Dispose of the oil and filter properly.

Part 3 of 5: Oil pan removal

Step 1: Select the appropriate socket and ratchet. Use an extension if needed. remove the oil pan bolts, leaving one at each corner loosely in place. Sometimes the pan will just fall loose. Others, you may need to gently tap or pry the pan away from the engine block. Once the pan is loosened, remove the 4 remaining oil pan bolts. Remove the pan carefully as to not damage the oil pick up located within the oil pan.

Step 2: Clean up. Using a cleaner/degreaser, clean the area on the lower engine block where the oil pan attaches. Also, clean the oil pan inside and out.

Part 4 or 5: Gasket installation

Step 1: Remove the old gasket material. Using the scraper, gently remove any gasket material on the oil pan as well as the engine block mounting surface. Wipe both the pan and engine mounting surfaces clean and let dry.

Step 2: Install the pan gasket. Following the directions on the rtv package, apply a thin film of rtv to the oil pan mounting surface. Allow the rtv to set up for a few minutes. Once the rtv has set, apply the pan gasket to the surface, applying even pressure all around.

  • Tip: Sometimes the pan gasket will slide around when placing the oil pan. To minimize movement of the gasket while placing the pan against the engine block, take a 3-4 inch length of wire and peel off the insulation. Take a few individual strands of wire and loop them through 4-6 holes in the oil pan and twist them loosely around the gasket. Once you have loosely installed a few of the pan bolts, untwist the wire strands and remove them.

Step 3: Install the pan. Insert all the oil pan bolts hand tight to start. To avoid distorting the oil pan and future leaks, torque the oil pan bolts to manufacturer's specifications. If you do not have a repair manual for your vehicle, your local auto parts store should be able to provide the specifications for you.

Part 5 of 5: Refill the oil pan

Step 1: Add engine oil. Reinstall the oil pan drain plug and new oil filter. Fill the engine with the recommend oil. Check for any obvious leaks before lowering the vehicle.

Step 2: Check for leaks. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle. Start the vehicle and let it run for a minute or so. Turn the engine off. Wait a few minutes and check the oil level. Top off if needed. Once checked, start the vehicle and let it warm up at idle. Check for any leaks after warmed up and again after the vehicle has been driven.

If you see oil on the ground underneath the front of your car and suspect a leaking oil pan gasket, contact YourMechanic today to schedule a visit from one of our mobile technicians today.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Pan Gasket Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Pan Gasket Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(405)

Rating Summary
380
13
0
5
7
380
13
0
5
7

Theodore

16 years of experience
1587 reviews
Theodore
16 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.4L - Oil Pan Gasket - Mercer Island, Washington
Theodore always does a great job. Never needed a call back after several years of working with him! Thanks, Theodore!
Toyota Camry - Oil Pan Gasket - Lynnwood, Washington
Theodore is an amazing mechanic who is extremely knowledgeable and professional! Thank you for all of your hard work!

Josh

16 years of experience
78 reviews
Josh
16 years of experience
Acura CL V6-3.0L - Oil Pan Gasket Replacement - Fort Myers, Florida
Josh came on time. He was friendly and courteous. We talked about cars since I too have an interest in fixing and maintaining cars. It was a tough job since it required hours under the engine to replace the oil pan gasket. One of the 18 bolts attaching the pan to the block broke in the block. Josh noted that removal of this bolt and rethreading of the hole was absolutely necessary to prevent any leaks. Very happy with the finished results.
Ford Escape - Oil Pan Gasket - Naples, Florida
Very professional even put a drop cloth down to protect the driveway. Will definitely have him work on my car again! Thanks so much for your great work!

Johnathan

7 years of experience
107 reviews
Johnathan
7 years of experience
Honda Pilot V6-3.5L - Oil Pan Gasket - High Ridge, Missouri
He was helpful explained things to me and he was very professional about his work he was awsome and provided great service I'd recommend him any day of the week

AL

12 years of experience
234 reviews
AL
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Malibu L4-1.5L Turbo - Oil Pan Gasket - Denver, Colorado
Al was great he came and made sure the job was done correct. He took his time and explained anything I had questions about. I highly recommend Al he truly is the greatest!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Replace a Head Gasket
The cylinder head gasket is a seal located between the engine block...
How to Replace an Intake Manifold Gasket
The intake manifold gaskets fail when coolant is leaking, the engine overheats, or the engine misfires or has reduced performance.
How To Replace An Exhaust Manifold Gasket
Exhaust manifold gaskets seal gaps to keep exhaust fumes out of the emissions system, as well as reduce engine noise and improve fuel efficiency.

Related questions

Possible blown head gasket issue - 2008 Ford F-150
Hello. If it has a blown head gasket it can be quite the undertaking to fix this. You would need to remove the cylinder heads and have them fully rebuilt prior to reinstalling them. If you have a lot of...
Regarding valve cover gaskets
The valve cover gaskets will be the same for the GS or GSI. As long as the engine is a 1.6 liter engine you will not have any problem.
Does the engine have to be removed to replace the oil pan on my 2002 Chrysler PT Cruise?
No, the engine does not have to be removed to replace the oil pan gasket on your vehicle. However, two of the engine mounts need to be removed to get the pan off, so it's a good idea to support...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com