Hold the Oil! (Oil Pan Gasket Replacement)
Posted in Maintenance on June 07, 2020
You've likely heard how important oil is to your vehicle's engine. Did you know that there's one part that's responsible for holding that oil so you can use it every day? It's called the oil pan, and it sits at the bottom of the engine.
The oil pan is a vital, though simple, part of your engine's lubrication system. Oil circulates through parts of your engine to keep them lubricated. It reduces friction so everything works smoothly. Without oil, friction would quickly destroy your engine. The oil pan keeps that oil contained in the lubrication system, so it's important that the oil doesn't leak out. Since it's a metal part attached to another metal part, there is a gasket between the oil pan and the part of the engine it attaches to.
Various things can put stress on the oil pan and gasket, including weather extremes, the speed you're traveling and the condition of the oil. You may drive over a couple of bad roads and kick up debris onto your oil pan. All this wear and tear, heat and time can take their toll. So after a while, the gasket can just wear out and start leaking. It usually starts pretty slowly. If you see oil visible under your vehicle where you park it, that might be a sign of a leaky oil pan gasket. Another sign? You smell burning oil coming from your engine. If the leak is bad and your engine has lost a lot of oil, you may eventually see the oil light go on.
Let your service advisor know if you are experiencing any of these things. Driving with insufficient oil can badly damage your engine. And it can do it quickly. A Top Lube Center trained technician will check to find the source of the leak. It may just be a gasket, but it also could be the oil pan is damaged and needs replacing as well.
This is a repair you should get taken care of. Your engine needs its lubrication system intact to provide you many years of service.