Apart from fuel and water, the engine oil keeps your car kickin' and runnin'. The oil that flows through the different parts of the engine is stored in an oil plan. This oil pan is attached in its place underneath the engine with a set of oil pan bolts. When these bolts fail due to damages acquired through time, serious engine dilemmas might occur. If you don't want to end up in the middle of nowhere with oil pan leakage and a dead engine, replace your oil pan bolts now.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- New oil pan bolt set
- Floor jack and jack stands
- Drain bucket
- Rubber mallet
- Ratchet and socket set
- Adjustable wrench
- Engine oil
Step 1: Find a spacious place with a flat ground. Park your vehicle and put chocks behind the rear wheels. Apply the parking brake. Lift your car up using the floor jack and support it using two heavy-duty jack stands. Make sure that the stands are positioned away from the oil pan.
Step 2: Place the drain bucket under the oil pan and remove the plug using a wrench. Drain the engine oil from the pan. Re-install the drain plug when all the engine oil is removed.
Step 3: Remove the oil pan. You may need to take off other parts before you can remove the oil pan completely. Remember the order and the manner by which you removed them. You will repeat the same procedures later, only in reverse. Take off the old oil pan mounting bolts using a ratchet, socket, and a ratchet extension. Slightly tap the oil pan using the rubber mallet to remove the pan from the engine.
Step 4: Clean the oil pan and the mounting surface using a gasket scraper. Do this before installing the oil pan back in place with the new bolt set.
Step 5: Re-install the oil pan using the new bolt set. Remember not to screw the bolts too tight or too loose. If you have some, you can put a considerable amount of thread sealing compound to your new bolts. Re-install the other parts that you had to remove to take off the oil pan.
Step 6: Remove the two jack stands and lower your vehicle. Remove the chocks from the rear wheels. Refill the oil pan with the required amount and type of engine oil for your vehicle. Place a clean cardboard or paper under the oil pan. Start your car's engine and make sure that there are no leaks.
Checking the condition of your oil pan bolts everytime you do an oil change is a good habit that you must develop. Remember, replacing your oil pan mounting bolts is more hassle-free and less expensive than replacing an entire engine.