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How Much does a Oil Pan/Sump Gasket Replacement Cost?
You change your car’s engine oil routinely, keeping it clean and fresh inside your engine.
There’s a drain plug on your oil pan, also known as your engine sump, to let the oil out before you add new engine oil.
The oil pan bolts to the bottom side of your engine from where it’s pumped throughout the engine. Over time, it’s possible for oil to escape from somewhere other than the drain plug: the oil pan gasket.
This gasket can deteriorate over years or thousands of kilometres, or due to loose oil pan bolts or a faulty gasket.
This leads to oil spots on your driveway, and low crankcase oil levels. Simply tightening the oil pan bolts might slow the leak, but once it has started, the only true repair is an oil pan or sump gasket replacement.
Oil Pan/Sump Gasket Replacement
What is an Oil Pan or Sump Gasket?
The engine oil pan gasket is a paper, metal, or silicone-like material known as RTV that keeps the engine oil sealed on the inside.
If the oil pan gasket develops a leak, the only correction is to replace the oil pan gasket.
The oil pan gasket itself is normally a very small part of the repair cost, while labour is the largest portion of the repair.
Symptoms Requiring an Oil Pan/Sump Gasket Replacement
- Oil spots noticed on the ground.
- The engine oil level is low.
- Oil ‘washing’ across the bottom of the engine, sometimes causing a burning smell if it hits the exhaust manifold or pipe.
How is the Oil Pan Gasket Replacement Performed?
- The technician drains the engine oil completely from the engine.
- The oil pan bolts are removed and the oil pan is dislodged, often with light taps from a rubber mallet.
- The gasket material is removed from the sealing surface on both the oil pan and the engine. A razor scraper or wire wheel are commonly used to remove RTV sealant.
- All oil remnants and debris are cleaned from the sump pan, the exposed engine parts, and the sealing surfaces.
- The new seal is installed or new RTV sealant is applied to the oil pan’s sealing surface, then the oil pan is installed in place.
- The oil pan bolts are tightened to the proper torque specification, then new oil is installed into the engine.
Tips to Remember
- Any contamination on the oil pan gasket surface will prevent a complete seal. It must be totally clean.
- New oil and a new filter should always be installed when the sump gasket replacement is performed.
- Check your oil level at every fuel fill for early detection of oil leaks.
Why It’s Important to Replace Your Sump Gasket
If the engine oil level is low, your engine is at risk of overheating, premature wear, internal corrosion and sludge buildup.
As soon as the oil pan gasket has been deemed faulty, it should be replaced to prevent future engine issues. The cost of a sump gasket replacement is minor compared to an engine repair.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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