Nobody wants to deal with engine leaks, but it’s one of the most common problems to affect vehicles. And one of the most common components that leaks is the oil pan gasket.
The good news is that if you had to pick one component on your vehicle to leak, there’s a good chance you’d pick the oil pan gasket. The reason is pretty simple, it’s easier to replace than just about any other gasket on your vehicle!
But even with that, how much is it going to cost to replace your oil pan gasket and can you do the job yourself? We’ll break down everything you need to know to fix your vehicle and get back on the road in no time!
Identifying a Faulty Oil Pan Gasket
Before you head out and just swap out parts you need to know for sure that the oil pan gasket is the problem. Since the primary symptom of a faulty oil pan gasket is an oil leak, that means tracking down the leak to the right source.
The good news is that if you have a faulty oil pan gasket, it’s one of the easier leaks to pinpoint. That’s because the oil pan gasket is the lowest point on the engine. So, if the problem is the oil pan gasket you shouldn’t have oil on anything above the oil pan.
But sometimes oil leaks can create a mess making it hard to pinpoint the exact source of the leak. In these situations, it’s best to clean everything off and then let the engine run for a bit. To clean everything off we highly recommend pressure washing the entire engine.
Once you have all the old oil residue off the engine anything new that appears should point you straight to the cause of the leak. Keep the principle of gravity in mind when tracking down a leak and always work your way up from where you see the residue.
Once you find the highest point of oil, you’ve found the source of the leak. If the problem is a faulty oil pan, then you know the gasket is the problem!
Oil Pan Gasket Replacement Cost
Once you’ve determined that the oil pan gasket is the problem, it’s time to figure out how much it will cost to replace it. To have a professional mechanic replace your oil pan gasket you can expect to spend between $400 and $500.
About $100 and $125 of that amount comes down to parts, while the rest is all labor charges. That means if you’re willing to do the work yourself you save between $300 and $400.
Just keep in mind that if you’re completing the job yourself, you’ll need the oil pan gasket and oil, and you might as well replace the oil filter while you’re at it.
Finally, while most oil pan gaskets are a relatively straightforward replacement, sometimes the job can be a little more complex. This happens when you can’t completely drop the oil pan without hitting another component, such as a cross member.
Another potential hiccup with an oil pan gasket is if the oil pan bolts connect to other components with gaskets. While these issues are rare for most vehicles, it does happen and can complicate the job quite a bit.
Other Costs to Consider
If you’re taking your vehicle to a professional mechanic, they’ll tally everything up for you in their estimate, but if you’re doing the job yourself, you need to account for more than just the cost of the oil pan gasket.
That’s because you can’t just replace the oil pan gasket. You’ll also need to replace all the oil in the engine, and if you’re draining the oil, you should replace the oil filter too.
You also should invest in a small container of Loctite for when you’re reinstalling the oil pan bolts. And when you’re installing those bolts ensure that you install them in the correct order and torque them down.
These are extremely important bolts to use a torque wrench on. Too little torque and oil will leak out, but too much and you’ll warp the soft metal of the oil pan.
Cost to Replace Oil Pan
While you might not want to spend the $150 to $500 to replace the oil pan gasket, the cost to replace an oil pan is much higher. New oil pans start at around $650 and can easily top $1,000.
And if you neglect your oil pan gaskets long enough, it’s only a matter of time until it leads to further problems that cost even more money to fix.
So, take your time and replace the oil pan gasket if it’s leaking, but ensure you do it right so you don’t incur additional expenses you don’t want to deal with!
While nobody wants to deal with vehicle repairs, if you have a leaking oil pan gasket, it could be far worse. Whether you plan to do it yourself or take it to a mechanic, you should be able to get everything back in working order for less than $500.
While we understand not wanting to spend that much, it’s better than it could be. And if you’re confident in your mechanical abilities, you should be able to get the repair done for about $100 and get an oil change out of it!