What Causes My Car to Leak Oil When Parked

There’s nothing more unpleasant and sometimes disturbing than oil stains left by your car on the paving stones in the yard or the spotless floor of your garage. It could be a leak in your oil pan. Where does it come from? It comes mostly from the oil pan seal. Let’s see closer below.

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The oil pan: definition

The oil pan is located on the lower part of the engine. It is the oil reservoir which, after being pressurized in all the engine parts to be lubricated, goes back down by gravity in this crankcase.

It is attached at the top by a myriad of screws (nearly 20) to the engine block and has an oil drain plug at the bottom.

The oil pan seals

Location of oil pan seals

There are many different oil pan configurations. There are as many as there are engines! Generally, there is mainly an upper seal and the drain plug seal.

The different types of seals

Various solutions exist, but in the event of replacement, it is mandatory to install the type of seal recommended by the manufacturer:

The option without seals. Sometimes, the housings are mounted without seals. In this case, a layer of sealing compound is applied between the oil pan and the engine block. It is essential to use a product recommended by the manufacturer that is resistant to hydrocarbons. As a general rule, conventional silicone-based products are not recommended.

The cork seal. Once widely used, it has now practically disappeared. Its main disadvantage was its fragility to crushing.

The paper seal. This is the most economical joint. It is formed in a specific joint paper. When assembling, it is advisable to use a suitable joint paste.

The plastic gasket. It can be flat like the paper gasket (rare), O-ring or of a more complex shape. In the last two cases, it is often imprisoned in a cavity made in the engine block or crankcase. This solution is nowadays the most used and the most efficient. It must be mounted without gasket paste but can be lightly coated with engine oil.

Replacing an oil pan gasket

Replacement procedure

The sealing of an engine, especially for its oil pan, is problematic. Its designers have carefully studied it; that is why some rules must be observed:

    – The surfaces must first be cleaned of the residues of the old seal and degreased.

    – After dismantling a housing, a new gasket must always be refitted, respecting the manufacturer’smanufacturer’s recommendations (same type of gasket, application or not of specified gasket paste, etc.).

    – The tightening torque of the housing must be done correctly (often, the applied torque is too high and deteriorates the seal).

    – The tightening order must be respected. If the manufacturer does not specify it, the general tightening method is spiral tightening from the inner screws to the outer screws.

Where should I go for this kind of safety repair in Etobicoke?

You can rely on the Iconauto team to quickly identify whether your “check engine” light is on or your car isn’t performing as it should. To save needless and expensive repairs, they will take the time to analyze the problems with your vehicle. So now you know who to call if you need reliable and reasonably priced repairs in Etobicoke and beyond.

Hope that the information in this post satisfies your search. Don’t forget to leave a few words in the comments below. Also, do let us know should you wish to read something more specific on Safety Repairs & Diagnostics 


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