What is the Oil Pan Gasket all about?
An oil pan is a metal container that contains the engine oil. The oil pan gasket seals the oil pan to the bottom of the engine. The engine has a lot of moving parts that need to be kept lubricated by the engine oil, without which the parts will damage each other. The oil pan and the gaskets are located under the car and are attached to the bottom of the engine. It is common for the gaskets to wear out and start leaking oil. You will see oil on the ground beneath your car. If the oil is leaking, you may see an engine oil warning light in the dashboard. If you continue to drive your car without the proper amount of oil, you will risk severe damage to the engine.
When replacing an oil pan gasket keep in mind:
- If road debris has caused damage in your oil pan gasket, then your oil pan may be damaged as well.
- Oil pan gaskets can collect grease from many leaking parts. It’s important for a mechanic to verify that the gasket is leaking directly from the oil pan, and not just collecting oil from a different leak.
- Oil pan gaskets can be made out of many different materials.
Steps for changing an oil pan gasket
- Check oil pan for leaks and damage.
- Remove engine oil pan and gasket.
- Remove oil and filter.
- Clean oil pan.
- Install new gasket.
- Add new engine oil and filter.
- Run engine to operating temperature and check for any oil leaks.
When to replace an oil pan gasket
Any time your vehicle is serviced or inspected, you should have the oil checked. Even if a mechanic doesn’t look at your oil pan gasket directly, simply checking the oil will usually indicate if there’s a problem. If your Oil Low warning light becomes illuminated or you notice that your vehicle is leaking oil, schedule an inspection immediately.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Oil Pan Gasket?
- Consistent oil leak in the same spot under your car.
- Smoke from engine compartment due to oil leaking on hot exhaust pipes.
How important is replacing an oil pan gasket?
Your engine needs oil to function properly and safely. The oil in your car is collected and stored in the oil pan. The oil pan gasket acts as a seal for the oil pan. When the gaskets are damaged, oil will leak out of the oil pan, past the gaskets, and out of your engine. As a result, your engine will lose oil, which can result in catastrophic engine damage.