How to Change an Oil Pan Seal for a Ford Escape

by Allen Moore
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An oil leak from the engine oil pan on a Ford Escape can quickly turn into an aggravating mess. The oil will not only drip all over your driveway, but will also drip onto the exhaust, putting off a distasteful odor, causing smoke and finally catching fire, if left for too long. While these heavy line repairs aren’t for the average DIY mechanic, if you have a modicum of automotive repair skills and three or four spare hours, you can tackle this job yourself.

Step 1

Clean the undercarriage, concentrating around the bottom of the engine, using the pressure washer. You can do this at a self serve car wash if you don’t have access to a pressure washer at home. Make sure to clean all the oil from the exhaust and oil pan, as well as from anywhere else it may have dripped on since the leak began.

Step 2

Drive the Escape’s front wheels onto the ramps. Set the parking brake, shift into "Park," shut the engine off and then put the chocks behind the rear wheels. Allow the undercarriage to dry before continuing.

Step 3

Climb under the Escape with the drain pan, socket set, box wrench set and oil filter wrench. Remove the exhaust intermediate flex pipe, which interferes with access to the oil pan, using the socket set and the box wrench set.

Step 4

Put the drain pan under the oil pan drain plug and remove the plug with a box wrench. Remove the oil filter with the oil filter wrench. Wait for the oil to drain before proceeding, then reinstall the oil drain plug.

Step 5

Disconnect the catalytic converter monitor with the box wrench set.

Step 6

Loosen all the oil pan bolts with the socket set and pull the pan down slightly, so that any remaining oil will drain out. Remove the pan's 18 bolts with the socket set and then take the oil pan off the bottom of the engine, by hand.

Step 7

Clean the sealing surface on the engine and oil pan with the plastic gasket scraper and rags. Climb out and clean the oil pan thoroughly with brake cleaner and rags.

Step 8

Place the new oil pan gasket on the oil pan, then put one 10mm dot of silicone gasket maker directly between each of the bolt holes, all the way around the gasket. Do not let the silicone set for more than four minutes before reinstalling the oil pan.

Step 9

Get back under the car with the oil pan and torque wrench. Hold the oil pan against the engine underside with one hand while you thread in all the bolts with the other. Starting at the engine’s right-front corner, tighten each bolt to 18 ft-lbs with the torque wrench, moving around the pan clockwise.

Step 10

Reinstall the catalytic monitor and exhaust flex pipe in reverse order of the removal procedure.

Step 11

Place a thin layer of clean engine oil on the oil filter gasket and install the new oil filter by hand. Climb out, place the funnel in the engine crankcase filler neck and pour four quarts of oil into the engine. Start the engine, let it run for 30 seconds and then shut it off.

Step 12

Recheck the oil level and top, as needed. Move the wheel chocks, start the engine, release the parking brake and drive the Escape off the ramps.

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