Repairing Oil Pan Gaskets
Q. My 1998 Honda Civic has a cracked oil pan. A mechanic has told me that on each oil change, the plug gasket should also be changed. He said that, in this case, this plug has been rammed in repeated oil changes, and has now resulted in a cracked oil pan, which will amount in a repair cost of up to $725. Is this true that the gasket around this plug should be changed repeatedly in Hondas? Generally, what is the life of an oil pan in Hondas?
A. The oil drain plug gasket may need to be changed at certain times as they do go bad and may even occasionally need a new drain plug because of stripped threads, or rounded off heads usually due to shops over tightening or using the incorrect tool to remove it. Depending on the style of gasket, it may require a new drain plug, which comes with the gasket. Usually if the gasket is changeable, most lube shops will stock them and change them when needed while performing the oil change rather than have a customer come back with a small oil leak and many would probably not have any additional charge just for a drain plug gasket.
For the most part, oil pans will usually last the life of the car and do not normally crack from normal maintenance of changing oil. You may want to get a second opinion at a different shop if you haven’t already.