How to Change the Oil Pan of a Volkswagen Jetta

by Dan Ferrell

The oil pan on your Volkswagen Jetta works as a reservoir for the oil and as a bottom cover to keep dirt, water and other contaminants from the engine. Improper pan re-installation, road debris or accidents may damage the pan and create oil leaks. However, replacing a damaged pan is a simple process.

Remove the Oil Pan

Park your Jetta in a level surface.

Raise the front of your Jetta using a floor jack and support it on two jack stands. Then chock the rear wheels and apply the parking brake.

Remove the insulation tray from underneath the oil pan using a wrench or ratchet and socket, if you have a 1.8L engine model. On 2.0L and 2.8L engine models, remove the right and center sound insulation or damping pans from under the oil pan using a ratchet and socket.

Place a catch pan under the drain bolt of the oil pan and remove the bolt using a wrench or ratchet and socket. Loosen the oil fill cap and let the engine oil drain completely. Replace the drain bolt.

Unscrew all the oil pan mounting bolts using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Detach the oil pan from the engine block. If the pan seems stuck, tap the pan with a rubber mallet. Remove the pan from the vehicle.

Remove all traces of sealant from the bottom of the engine mounting surface using a plastic scraper to avoid damage to the surface.

Typical automotive oil pan.

Clean the engine mating surface with solvent and a clean shop rag to remove any oil and grease.

Install the Oil Pan

Make sure the mounting flange of the new oil pan is perfectly clean.

Apply a continuous strip of sealant all the way around the mating surface of the oil pan, about an eighth of an inch in diameter. Cover the inside of the bolt holes with sealant as well.

Position the oil pan against the mounting surface under the engine and start the mounting bolts by hand.

Start tightening the mounting bolts gradually and following a crisscross pattern to clamp the pan evenly against the engine block. Be careful not to over tighten the bolts to avoid warping the oil pan flange, which can lead to oil leaks.

Install the insulation tray using the ratchet and socket, if you have a 1.8L engine model. On 2.0L and 2.8L engine models, install the right and center sound insulation or damping pans using the ratchet and socket.

Wait for 30 minutes or more to let the sealant harden or follow the manufacturer's instructions on the sealant package, if necessary.

Lower the vehicle and remove the chocks from the rear wheels.

Add the correct amount and type of engine oil to the engine. Check for leaks around the oil pan flange.

Items you will need


About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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Photo Credits

  • Bull-Doser: Wikimedia.org, FixEuro: Picasaweb.google.com