When your garage floor looks like an oil slick, there’s a good possibility that you will be shopping for a new oil pan gasket in the near future. While oil leaks can also be caused by a loose oil pan drain plug, an improperly seated dipstick, or even an unscrewed oil filter – the oil pan gasket is the most likely culprit. This handy little gasket is made from either rubber or cork and keeps the oil from leaking out of your vehicle.

The oil pan is quite close to the road and can pick up all kinds of debris that can damage the oil pan and the area around it, like the oil pan gasket. You should have your oil pan gasket checked with each oil change and maintenance to ensure that it’s still doing its job and keeping the oil in check. Keeping your engine well-lubricated is the best way to stave off problems down the road such as overheating and excessive friction; both of which cause delicate parts to wear more rapidly than necessary.

Located between the oil pan and the engine block, this particular gasket is very vulnerable to damage and is constantly exposed to harsh conditions. There are four different oil pan gaskets that may need to be replaced: upper, lower, front, and rear.

Several different options exist for oil pan gasket material: rubber, cork, steel-core rubber-coated, rubber-coated fiber, paper, and fiber. To determine which gasket best fills your needs, consider the following:

  • Rubber: Rubber is cost-effective, lightweight, the most common and widely-accepted
  • Steel-core rubber: Steel-core rubber is ideal for stock replacement
  • Paper and fiber: Paper and fiber are very lightweight and only good for shorter-term usage
  • Cork: cork excels at handling a range of different temperatures.

Replacing your oil pan gasket is relatively inexpensive; generally in the $20-50 range and there are a number of reliable brands of aftermarket and OEM parts to choose from.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality oil pan gaskets to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install an oil pan gasket that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on oil pan gasket replacement.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Oil Pan Gasket and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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