What Happens if the Oil Pan Gasket Goes?

by Jay Motes

An oil pan gasket is a flexible gasket that seals the oil pan to prevent oil from leaking. Oil pan gaskets rarely fail, but damage can occur to the oil pan, which may cause the gasket to leak.

Gasket Failure

When an oil pan gasket fails, oil will begin to leak from the oil pan. Car owners may notice oil spots in places where the car was parked. The most serious problem caused by a leaking oil pan gasket is the loss of oil.

Determining Leak Location

Oil may leak from a number of areas on an automobile. When oil leaks, it will run down the motor and may appear to be leaking from the oil pan. Before replacing the oil pan gasket, car owners should clean the engine and oil pan to determine the actual source of the leak.

Gasket Replacement

Replacing an oil pan gasket is not difficult, but it is messy. The oil should be drained from the car before replacing the gasket, but some oil will still remain in the pan and will drip from the engine. A model-specific repair manual is a useful resource for determining the steps to remove the oil pan.

About the Author

Jay Motes is a writer who sold his first article in 1998. Motes has written for numerous print and online publications including "The Dollar Stretcher" and "WV Sportsman." He holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in history and political science form Fairmont State College in Fairmont, W.V.

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