An oil pan is kind of a storage tank for the engine that is attached right below the engine with the help of bolts. It serves as a reservoir for the engine oil that flows from the oil pump to all parts of the engine.
Since its job is to hold the excess oil while the engine is running and stopping, it is fairly large in size. The oil pan works closely with the oil pan gasket which stops the oil from burning and going back into the engine unnecessarily.
The oil pan not only serves as a storage room but also plays its role in the lubrication system. A cracked oil pan can therefore cause a lot of trouble for the engine and needs to be fixed or replaced right away.
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How to Fix A Cracked Oil Pan: Follow 7 steps
Cracked oil pan quick fix is an easy process that you can perform at home, using the steps listed below:
Tools and Materials Needed:
Before starting to fix the leaking oil pan due to the cracks, make sure you have all of the stuff listed below:
- Cold welding agent
- Oil absorbent pads
- Drain pan
- Engine oil
- Mineral spirits
Step 1: Check out the cracks on the base
As the time and procedure of Cracked oil pan repair are determined by the size of the cracks, you want to examine them beforehand.
For this, you need to wipe the base of the oil pan to remove dirt and dust. Once the surface is clean, you will be able to identify the number of cracks as well as their sizes.
Usually, fixing a couple of small cracks is easier than fixing just one large crack, which can require professional help.
Step 2: Empty the oil pan
Fixing the cracked oil pan is not possible with the engine oil present in it while it is being mended. Take a drain pot and empty the contents of the oil pan using a drain plug, to avoid any clutter.
Carefully put the oil drain pot under the vehicle and use a wrench to undo the drain plug.
When you are certain that all of the oil has been taken out, close the drain plug and discard the oil. The engine oil is not good for health so make sure you follow the proper protocols for disposing of it.
Step 3: Clean the surface surrounding the cracks
As the cracked oil pan causes oil leaks, the surface around the cracks becomes oily and untidy. The dirty surface of the oil pan reduces the ability of the welding compound to act, which is why it needs to be cleaned thoroughly.
For the oil around the cracks, use a few oil absorbent pads, and wipe gently, you can also use simple rags for this. Along with the oil, you will notice heaps of debris from the road, stuck on the cracks.
You can easily remove the mud and the debris by rubbing sandpaper around the affected area.
Step 4: Apply mineral spirits on the cracks
After all the mud and dirt has been removed from the surface of the cracked oil pan, it's time for the chemical cleaning.
Apply a few drops of the mineral spirit onto the cracked oil pan and spread it evenly with a piece of rag. Use that rag to clean the oil pan surface entirely with the help of that petroleum-based chemical agent.
Wait for about ten to fifteen minutes for the mineral spirit to dry from the cracked oil pan surface. If you notice any drops of oil leaking from the cracks after this, repeat the cleaning process.
Step 5: Prepare the cold wending compound
Cold welding is a process where the two broken pieces of metal are merged without the use of heat.
There are different cold welding compounds available at local auto shops, and most of them have the same preparation method. There are normally two different chemicals in the compound and you have to mix them evenly.
Even if you have never used a cold welding compound before, you can do it using the instructions on the pack.
Step 6 Put the welding compound on the cracks
Once you have prepared the cold welding compound, using the instructions, take a generous amount and put it on the cracked surface. If there is more than one crack, cover each of them separately with the welding compound, and spread it.
Leave the compound on for a minimum of 24 hours for it to be maximum effective.
Step 7: Refill the engine oil
For the cold welding compound to fully fix the cracked oil pan, you have to wait a day or two before refilling the oil pan.
Even after this specific time has passed, never add the engine oil without ensuring that the surface is completely dry and fixed.
After you have added the best motor oil and there are no signs of leaks anymore, your vehicle is prepared to hit the road again.
Cracked Oil Pan Symptoms
A cracked or leaking oil pan of a vehicle can easily be identified using these common signs:
A sudden drop in oil levels
The first thing you will notice is an unexplained oil loss from your engine. Naturally, a perfectly working engine doesn’t need more than a quart of oil during an oil change interval.
The oil levels dropping after your car has been parked overnight or not being used so much, is a sign of a defective oil pan.
Engine components covered in oil
Normally, the undercarriage of a vehicle is clean except for the dust from the road, but a cracked oil pan makes it drenched with oil.
You will notice the pieces of machinery around the engine all soaked with oil if your oil pan is defective.
Oil drops on the ground
Another symptom of a cracked oil pan is the presence of oil droplets on your parking spot. The engine of a vehicle transfers oil to the oil pan with pressure and if the oil pan is cracked, it leaks oil onto the ground.
Oil stains on the ground can also be from oil cooler lines leaking at radiator but you can distinguish them by the color of the oil.
What Causes A Oil Pan Cracked?
A cracked oil pan is not an uncommon issue for the vehicle owners, since a lot of things can lead to a cracked oil pan, such as:
A worn-out oil pan
The oil pan can leak oil if it has been in use for a long period. The excessive usage leads to cracks and ruptures on the surface of the oil pan.
Hitting hard objects
The oil pan of your vehicle can become cracked if it has been hit by road bumps or rocks. Contact with the road debris and parking stops can also cause it to leak oil.
Since the oil pan is located right below the engine, it is the closest to the road. Any bumpy or rocky path can easily hit the oil pan and lead to cracks.
Sometimes, small animals like raccoons jump onto the road and hit the moving vehicles. Such incidents leave dents and cracks on the oil pan.
Cracked Oil Pan Repair Cost
A cracked oil pan makes your car unfit for driving due to the constant oil drip and needs to be repaired immediately.
The cracked oil pan repair cost varies greatly according to the severity and the depth of the crack.
The simple repair cost using epoxy and silicon is usually less than $300 because people can do it at home using simple steps. Sometimes when the oil pan is way past the fixing phase, it needs to be replaced, which can be expensive.
The average cost for the oil pan replacement starts from $350 and goes as high as $1500.
The exact amount of the oil pan replacement depends on the model of your vehicle, the labor costs, and the oil pan brand.
Doing a cracked oil pan repair on your own will not cost you as much, because there are no labor expenses included. At home, you can repair a cracked oil by spending around $150-$600.
1. How can I temporarily fix a cracked oil pan?
You can fix your splintered oil pan temporarily by using the regular JB weld. Applying the JB weld for a cracked oil pan quick fix stops the oil leak from the engine.
Once your car stops leaking you can then take it to an auto center for a permanent repair.
2. Can you JB weld a cracked oil pan?
Yes, you can fix a cracked oil pan using a JB weld, but the surface of the crack has to be cleaned before applying the JB weld.
JB weld doesn’t stay on the slippery and dirty cracked pan, because of the oil residue. You can apply the JB weld to cure the leaking oil pot only when the crack is very minor.
3. Can you drive a car with a cracked oil pan?
Yes, you can drive a car with a cracked oil pan, but it is not recommended unless there is an emergency.
With a cracked oil pan, you would not be able to drive for long because the oil keeps leaking from the crack. As soon as the oil levels of the car become dangerously, your engine stops working.
4. How does an oil pan get cracked?
The oil pan of a vehicle gets cracked because of the road debris hitting it while driving, such as dead plants and rocks. Excessive usage and wear and tear of the oil pan can also lead to cracks, which then cause the engine oil to leak.
Whether you have a few tiny cracks or just one giant crack on the oil pot, the above guideline will always be helpful.
Although the cost for fixing or replacing the defective oil pan is not too high, it is best to avoid rough and shattered roads. The purpose of the oil pan is diminished if there are ruptures or cracks present on it.
Cracks in the oil pan by striking the unexpected surfaces on the road signal several issues for the engine of your vehicle. Therefore, taking care of your oil pan is extremely important and requires immediate attention.