How to Replace Oil Pan Gasketby Leonardo R. Grabkowski
A faulty oil pan gasket can result in oil leaks around the perimeter of your oil pan. Many people mistake a faulty gasket for a faulty oil pan and spend hundreds of dollars to replace the pan when a $20 gasket would have solved the problem. If you cannot see any apparent damage to your oil pan, change the gasket first.
Contact your local dealer or purchase a repair manual specific to your vehicle to determine if it has an oil pan gasket. Some vehicles have gaskets; others use silicone sealant. This will determine the replacement procedure. Also determine the recommended torque levels for the oil pan bolts, it varies from vehicle to vehicle.
Raise and support your vehicle entirely. Use a floor jack to lift the front by the predetermined factory jacking points, and then use jack stands to support both sides. Follow the same procedure for the rear.
Place the drain pan underneath the oil drain plug on the oil pan. Remove the plug and let the engine oil completely drain into the pan. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Use the floor jack to support the bottom of the oil pan. It's best to have an assistant help you with this.
Remove the bolts mounting the oil pan. Some vehicles may require the removal of additional items to access the oil pan, but most won't. Remove what you must; just remember the correct placement for reinstalling it. Oil pans are usually secured by 10 to 15 bolts around the perimeter of the pan. Lower the floor jack while providing hand support for the oil pan.
Remove the old gasket. A gasket will sometimes get stuck to either the oil pan or its mounting. Carefully remove the old gasket and thoroughly clean the area. If your vehicle has sealant instead of a gasket, remove all of the sealant from the gasket.
Replace the gasket with a new one or apply a bead of sealant to the oil pan. Have an assistant lift the oil pan with the floor jack while you provide support. Once the pan is lifted to the proper location, tighten the bolts to secure the pan and remove the jack.
Tighten the oil pan bolts to the specified torque level. Each vehicle will have a different rating to which the bolts must be tightened. Follow this specifically. Double-check the rating of each bolt when you are finished.
Replace the drain plug and any items you had to remove to access the oil pan. Lower the vehicle and add the oil or replace it with new oil.
- Unless you have recently done so, change the engine oil and filter. Closely monitor your vehicle for oil leaks after changing the oil pan gasket.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands (4)
- Socket wrench
- Drain pan
- Replacement gasket or sealant
- Torque wrench
- Do not attempt to remove your oil pan without determining the proper torque level for your vehicle. Oil leaks may develop if it is not properly tightened.
Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.