How to Clean and Seal an Oil Pan Gasket

These tips on how to clean and seal an oil pan gasket will be easy for a do-it-yourselfer. Although it may be time-consuming, you’re benefiting by saving money on hiring a mechanic for the job.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Oil pan gasket
  • Gasket sealant
  • Socket wrenches
  • Car jack
  • Jack stands 
  • Cleaning material and tools

Step 1 - Locate the Leak Problem

Make sure you know exactly where the leaks occur because even small oil leaks can turn into big problems on the road. If the leak is from the area of the oil pan it is because the drain plug gasket isn’t correctly installed or has been excessively tightened, the oil pan gasket has a crack, or worst yet, the oil pan itself could be broken because of its proximity to the ground.

Step 2 - Buy an Oil Pan Gasket

Purchase the appropriate oil pan gasket. Different car parts websites allow you to find oil pan gaskets for any car make and model and offer you much lower prices than the dealer or local parts shops. However, if you only want to use original manufacturer parts in your vehicle, visit your vehicle's dealer spare part shop.

Step 3 - Clean the Oil Pan

Set the brakes and ensure that the brackets don’t move. Lift the car using a car jack and jack stands, if necessary. Wipe down all the old oil that’s visible so that it doesn’t drip in your eyes while you’re working. Make sure all oil is entirely drained from the oil pan. Use the wrench to remove all bolts holding the oil pan in place and slowly lower the pan cover. If the pan resists, double check the bolt count in the manual and then tap it with a rubber mallet to break the seal of the gasket. Scrape off the old gasket and oil contaminates. Clean thoroughly using a plastic tool or razor blade and cleaner. The tools and type of cleaner will depend on the pan’s material. Clean all mud out of the pan and inspect for cracks.

Step 4 - Seal the Oil Pan Gasket

Drop the new oil pan gasket onto the cleaned oil pan and align with the bolt holes. Lift the oil pan gasket and put silicone on all four corners of the oil pan. Let it harden a little. Now, lightly put silicone on top of the gasket in the same areas. Be sure to allow time to let the glue dry prior to installing the oil pan cover. Reinstall the oil pan with all the bolts you removed. Allow the sealer to firm up, and then go back and do a final tightening. Do not over-tighten. Double check everything that was removed. Refill with new oil and check the dipstick. Run the vehicle for a while to look for any leaks.