How to Fix a Cracked Oil Panby Maria Tussing
A cracked oil pan is a serious problem, but one that doesn't necessarily require a trip to the repair shop. Only aluminum oil pans crack. The method required to fix a cracked oil pan is determined by the size of the crack. Large cracks will need to be welded with an aluminum welder, or the pan replaced completely, which can be complicated. After a large crack is fixed, or if you have only small cracks, you can fix the problem yourself, says Darrel Keyser, a 30-year veteran mechanic from Blunt, South Dakota.
Wipe off the bottom of the oil pan to determine the size and extent of the cracks. There may be one large, obvious crack and several smaller cracks, or just small cracks.
If there is a large crack through which oil is leaking, take the car to a shop that can weld aluminum. They can weld the large crack and you can take care of the rest. They will need to drain the oil before they weld the oil pan, so if you must drive the car after that, be prepared to put more oil in it, then drain it again before you finish fixing the small cracks.
Thoroughly clean the area that needs to be fixed. Wipe all the oil off with a rag.
Use a wire wheel or sandpaper to get any dirt or debris off.
Wipe the area clean with mineral spirits and a rag.
Let it dry completely. If any oil is still leaking out, clean it again and let it sit until all the oil stops dripping.
Combine the cold welding compound according to the package directions. Spread it liberally on the cracks.
Allow the welding compound to dry and cure completely, as directed on the package, before refilling the engine with new oil.
- Darrel Keyser, Mechanic; Blunt Repair; Blunt, S.D.
- Properly preparing the surface to which you are applying the cold welding compound is crucial to the success of this process. It must be completely clean and dry for the compound to work.
Things You'll Need
- Cold welding compound (JB Weld or something similar)
- Aluminum welder (if necessary)
- Mineral spirits
A freelancer from South Dakota, Maria Tussing has been writing since 2000. She has been published in "Family Fish & Game," "Wondertime," "Today's Horse" and "Cattle Business Weekly," among other publications. Tussing holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Chadron State College.