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How to Drop the Oil Pan in Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The engine oil in your Chevrolet car collects in the oil pan so that it can be picked up by the oil pump and circulated through the engine. If the pan becomes damaged by running over road debris, or improper oil change procedures, it may be necessary to replace it. The front-wheel drive configuration of the Chevrolet car makes this a somewhat onerous repair, but the experienced, and well equipped, home mechanic can complete it in an afternoon.

Under The Hood:

 How to Drop the Oil Pan in a Geo Tracker

Start by running the Tracker for at least 10 minutes to heat the engine enough to circulate the oil throughout. Park the car on a level surface and one that is secure. Use a jack and jack stands to raise the vehicle off the ground and support it. The jack instructions will provide you with information on how to use it properly.

Open the hood of the car and find the engine cap, which is found on the right side of the vehicle's engine. Twist off to allow for pressure release. Drain the oil out of the oil pan by placing an oil drip pan under the vehicle's oil pan. The oil pan is located about halfway between the tires under the engine.

Pull the oil plug on the back of the oil pan, using a wrench to unscrew and remove it. Let all the oil drain into the oil drip pan. Remove and discard the oil, or if it is still good in quality, put aside to refill later.

Go back to under the hood of the Tracker and located the battery (on the front, right hand side of the vehicle). Use a wrench to unscrew and remove the bolt holding the negative battery cable in place.

Remove the skid plate and differential on the vehicle if it is equipped with them. Remove the crankshaft position sensor, located on the oil pan and the left transmission stiffener bracket, if the car is equipped with it. Follow this by removing the flywheel access panel. Follow that order when removing each.

Disconnect each of the bolts that line the edge of the oil pan. These bolts hold the oil pan in place so as you remove them, support the oil pan with one hand for safety. The oil pan will drop off at this point.

Items you will need

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Oil drip pan

  • Wrench

 How to Drop an Oil Pan in a 2000 Malibu

Install the engine support brace under the hood of the car along the fender rail to which the fenders are bolted. Slide the J-bolts of the support brace into the eye hooks bolted to the engine. Tighten the nuts on the J-hooks until the weight of the engine is supported. Disconnect the 8 mm negative battery cable bolt using a wrench.

Raise and support the front of the car using a floor jack and jack stands. Position the stands at the lifting points along the rocker panel pinch weld, before lowering the car onto the stands. Position a drain pan under the car and remove the drain plug using a 15 mm wrench. Allow the oil to drain into the pan for several minutes and then reinstall the drain plug.

Remove the inspection cover on the lower edge of the transmission, near the starter, using a 10 mm wrench to remove the attaching bolts. Remove the starter bolts and let the starter hang. Remove the four 13 mm A/C compressor bolts using a socket and ratchet and let the compressor hang out of the way.

Loosen the right side sub-frame bolts using an 18 mm socket and ratchet. Remove the 15 mm bolts that attach the front motor mount to the sub-frame and engine, and slip the mount off the sub-frame.

Remove the four 13 mm nuts located at the front and rear of the pan using a 13 mm socket and ratchet. Remove the remaining 10 mm bolts that secure the pan to the engine block and lower the pan to the ground.

Items you will need

  • Engine support brace

  • Wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket set

  • Wrench set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Hammer

  • Drain pan

 How to Drop the Oil Pan in a Chevy Cobalt

Turn on the vehicle and allow it to run for at least five minutes to raise the temperature of the vehicle to its normal level. Once the engine is at that level, turn off the vehicle.

Jack the vehicle up using the Cobalt's jack and stands. Follow the jack manufacturer's directions carefully on where you place the jack and stands under the vehicle. You will need to slide under the vehicle to remove the oil pan.

Pop open the hood of the Chevy to remove the oil cap and dipstick and set aside. These are located on the left-hand side of the engine and are labeled. The dipstick is a metal hook while the cap is a twist off cap.

Slide an oil drip pan underneath the oil pan under the car. Slide under the car and remove the plug from the oil pan, which will allow the oil to stream from the pan into the drip pan.

Remove the engine drive belt and the intercooler pump bracket bolts. These are located on the oil pan, you will see them when you lie under the vehicle and look up at the oil pan. Also, remove the lower air conditioning compressor bolt also attached to the oil pan using a wrench.

Support the oil pan with one hand while you loosen and remove the oil pan bolts, located on all four corners of the pan. Use a wrench to loosen and then remove the oil pan. The pan will drop at this point into your hands.

Items you will need

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • Wrench or socket set

 How to Drop the Oil Pan in a Chevy Silverado

Raise the Silverado using the proper equipment. Use a ramp or a jack and jack stands to support the vehicle securely by following all directions for use provided by this equipment's manufacturer.

Drain all oil from the Silverado by placing an oil drip pan under the vehicle's engine block, directly under the oil drain plug. The drain plug is located on the oil pan, between the vehicle's tires underneath the vehicle. Use a wrench to loosen and remove the plug allowing the oil to drain into the pain below.

Notice the various items attached to the oil pan or in the way of the oil pan dropping. For the oil pan to drop, remove the negative battery cable, front differential (only for four-wheel drive vehicles) and the under body shield by using a wrench or socket set.

Remove the oil pan shield by loosening the four bolts holding it in place along the edges of the shield. Then, remove the cross brace, oil filter, the transmission to oil pan bolts and the oil level sensor.

Follow the removal of those pieces by removing the bolts from the two front wiring harness, the engine wiring harness retainer, engine oil cooler pipe to oil bolts and the transmission oil cooler pipe retainer using a wrench. Located the closeout covers and bolts located on each side of the engine and remove them.

Disconnect each of the oil pan bolts using a wrench that will allow the oil pan to drop. The oil pan gasket will also fall off and replacement should occur before reinstalling the oil pan.

Items you will need

  • Ramp or jack and jack stands

  • Oil drip pan

  • Wrench

 How to Drop the Oil Pan in a Chevy Impala

Run the vehicle for at least 5 minutes to circulate the oil through the car. Turn off the vehicle and park on a flat, secure surface.

Jack up the vehicle using a jack and jack stands. Follow all warnings and usage directions provided by the manufacturers of the jack and jack stand.

Drain the oil from the engine by placing a drain pan under the oil drain plug, located under the car, between the tires. The drain plug is located on the oil pan, a rectangular shaped pan. Use a wrench to remove the plug, allowing the oil to spill into the pan.

Remove the negative battery cable, engine mount struts, drive belt and air conditioning compressor mounting bolts. Use a wrench to disconnect each of these, so you can gain access to the oil pan to remove it.

Place an engine support fixture under the vehicle for support. Follow the directions provided on the engine support fixture for proper installation. This will hold the engine in place as you remove the oil pan.

Disconnect the catalytic converter from the right exhaust manifold. Remove the oil level sensor electrical connection, the starter motor, the transaxle brace and mount lower nuts as well as the engine mount lower nuts. Remove each using a wrench and socket set.

Unscrew each of the 12 oil pan retaining bolts located around the edge of the oil pan. Support the pan with one hand while removing the bolts until the pan drops off.

Items you will need

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Oil drip pan

  • Wrench or socket set

  • Engine support fixture

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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