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How to Replace an Oil Pan

Omkar Phatak
Oil pan leaks can compromise engine performance and bring down its efficiency. That is why, it is important that you replace or fix it, as soon as possible. If you are looking for guidelines, you will find the needful here.
An automobile is one of the most amazing and complex machines, that you will come across. The power of a car emanates from its heart, which is the engine. Like the incessant beat of a human heart, the engine is also constantly functional, when the car is in motion.
With constant high pressure and moving metallic parts, heat and friction can wear an engine down. That is why, an engine needs constant lubrication and cooling. This purpose is served by the oil pan, from which, the lubricant oil is pumped around, in the engine.
To prolong the lifespan of a car engine, it needs to be lubricated and cooled during operation. This function is facilitated by the oil pan, which is the pool from which the pump draws oil and distributes it over to engine parts.
In case of leakage or damage, this lubrication mechanism is hampered and it leads to a decrease in engine efficiency. That is why, it's crucial that you replace the pan, when it's damaged or leaking.

When to Replace the Oil Pan

There are some sure signs to watch out for, which can give you an indirect indication that an oil pan replacement is imminent. If you have noticed oil on the garage floor lately or an oil trail following your car's path, it's a sign that the pan is leaking. Many times, either the pan is worn out and has developed a hole, or the gasket has broken.
You need to ensure that the oil pan and not just the gasket has developed the problem. If it's only the gasket, then there is no need to replace the entire pan. Just replace the gasket. If it's indeed so, that the oil pan has worn out, then go for a replacement immediately. In case you replace the pan, go for a gasket replacement too.

Tools and Supplies

Let me list all the tools and supplies you'll need, to get the job done. They are:
  • Ratchet Along With a Socket Wrench Set
  • A Crescent Wrench
  • A New Pan
  • A New Gasket
  • Adequate Supply of Motor Lubrication Oil

Replacement Procedure

The procedure for replacing a pan is not easy, but if you are willing to apply yourself and like pulling off such do-it-yourself jobs, then you can do it without any hiccups.
Firstly, gain access to the pan and drain oil from it. To do that, locate the drain bolt of the pan, from the pan bottom and remove the plug, using a crescent wrench. Let the oil pour in a clean container or an oil catching pan, that is available in hardware stores.
Next part is removing the old pan. To do that, locate attachment bolts and remove them using a socket and ratchet wrench. There will be quite a few bolts to remove, as the pan is very securely attached to the engine underside.
After the bolts are off, the pan can be easily removed and lowered down to the ground. When you remove it, the old gasket will be ripped off, from the engine. Clean and scrape off dirt from the underside of the engine, where the pan is normally attached.
Next, prepare the new oil gasket for installation. You need to attach a new gasket to the new oil pan before fixing it in place. Make sure that gasket sticks to the pan properly and does not block any holes, that are left for the bolts.
With the gasket in place, the new pan is ready for installation. Line up the new pan, along with the affixed gasket, with bolt holes and fix it in positions, by putting bolts in place. Tighten all the bolts. Make sure that the pan is firmly attached.
Refill the new pan with four to five quarts of lubrication oil. Use the oil, which is recommended by the manufacturer. Check and ensure that there are no leaks. See to it that the oil drain plug is fixed securely in place. With that, the job is accomplished. You can rest easy, as all the leak problems will be taken care of.
It is quite a straightforward job that you can do on your own. In the process, you also save substantially on the replacement cost. That is the prime benefit of dealing with car problems on your own.