Do It Yourself Oil Leak Repair

If you own a car that is ten years older or more then you most likely have an oil leak or have had one in the past. This is very common as the oil seals on a car have a life of about ten years and then begin to break down over time. There is nothing that anyone can do to stop the oil leaks from occurring. In the old days before gaskets were invented this was the way to know that you were out of oil because they would stop leaking. Now that we have gaskets there is just the matter of keeping the gaskets in top shape to make sure they do not leak.

Gaskets are primarily a paper product unless you go with the more expensive brands that use rubber. Paper does break down faster over time but rubber will still leak eventually as the rubber becomes hard and cracks. So do not let anyone tell you that there a lifetime guaranteed gasket because it is just not true for all intents and purposes. Sure a gasket may not wear out before you get rid of the care but it will certainly not last a life time that much is certain.

When it comes to oil leaks the most common problem area is the seal around the oil pan. This is the area where the oil will start to leak in most cars and it will gradually get worse over the course of time. Most often this kind of leak will start out very small and you will notice a few small drops here and there. As time wears on you will find the leak and the puddle getting worse.

Once the leak has reached a point where you are putting oil in on a regular basis it is time to change the gasket. This can be a bit tricky if the main cross beam goes across the under side of the oil pan, but in many cars that are the proper age the oil pan gasket can be changed without too much hassle.

You will need to purchase a new gasket with a tube of high temperature gasket sealing compound. These are available from any auto parts store and do not run into the high range. You should be able to get it completed for about twenty dollars or less depending on the type of car you own.

You will need to jack up the car in the front and drain the oil from the pan. You should change the oil at this point as well but it is not required but strongly recommended. Once the pan has been drained you will need to remove the pan bolts. There can be anywhere from ten to twenty bolts around the pan. They are short but it may take a while to get them all out.

Once the bolts are removed you need to drop the pan, scrap off the old gasket and clean the seat for the new gasket. Apply a liberal amount of the gasket sealant to the lip and then set the new gasket in place. Let the sealant dry for about ten minutes to avoid slippage and then reattach the pan.

Then you should add the oil, start the car and check for leaks. Note, make sure that you properly tighten all of the bolts on the pan. If there are leaks then you should check to make sure that all bolts have been tightened and that the gasket did not slip.

WARNING: Make sure that you wear the proper safety clothing, such as goggles and gloves, to prevent illness or injuries.  Also make sure that you read and follow all the safety precautions and instructions when working with oil and other fluids on your auto.