How to Remove an Oil Pan from a Pontiac Sunfire

by Cassandra Tribe
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If there is a spot (or more) of oil under your car when it is parked, you will have to remove the oil pan before installing a new one to fix the leak. You can remove an oil pan from a Pontiac Sunfire with only a few basic tools. Removing an oil pan takes about an hour to do, including time to drain the pan and install your new one.

Step 1

Park your Pontiac Sunfire on level ground with the parking brake engaged. Let the engine completely cool.

Step 2

Place a tire chock behind each rear tire with the narrow end of the chock wedged firmly under the tire. This will prevent the car from rolling backwards.

Step 3

Lay down on the ground so you can see underneath the engine. Use a flashlight to locate the oil pan. It will look like a deep tray bolted to the underside of the engine, on a Pontiac Sunfire the tray will be deeper at one end. Find the oil pan drain plug on the underside of the oil pan.

Step 4

Place your oil drain pan as close as you can to the location of the oil drain plug. You should still be able to work with a socket wrench to remove the plug.

Step 5

Select a socket that fits the plug and loosen it, but do not remove the plug entirely.

Step 6

Pull the drain pan directly under the drain plug and continue loosening the plug by hand until it falls out into the pan and the oil begins to drain. Let the oil drain for about 15 minutes before continuing.

Step 7

Jack up the front of the Sunfire one side at a time. Place the jack stands under the car to support the auto. Give yourself enough room to crawl under the engine block to where the oil pan is located.

Step 8

Slide under the engine. Using a rag, locate and clean off all the heads to the bolts attaching the drain pain to the engine. Select a socket that fits the bolt heads and loosen them, working across the pan so you are loosening one bolt on one side and then the bolt directly opposite it.

Step 9

Lay a clean cloth on the ground next to you. Support the center of the oil pan of your Pontiac Sunfire with one hand. With the other hand, begin to remove the bolts. Be careful to lay each bolt down on the cloth so you remember the pattern that you used to removed them. The bolts will not all be the same.

Step 10

Once the bolts are removed. Take the putty knife and gently pry the pan away from the engine block. You will see where the edge of the pan meets the edge of the spacer for the block, stick the edge of your putty knife between the two and pry gently. When the pan comes free, lower it and place it to one side.

Step 11

Using the putty knife and a clean cloth, gently scrape any remaining gasket material from the spacer in the engine block until the metal is completely clean.

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