In order for a car’s engine to run smoothly, it will need to have the right amount of oil. The oil helps to lubricate all of the moving parts of the engine and keep them cool. The oil pan is where all of oil in a car is stored. This pan is usually made from metal or hard plastic. Without this pan, it will be impossible to keep the right amount of oil in your engine. The lack of oil in the engine will cause the internal components to have friction, which will lead to a lot of damage.

The oil pan resides under the car and can become damaged over time. Having puncture or rust spots in the oil pan can lead to a number of different issues. Usually, the signs that the oil pan is in need of repair are quite noticeable.

1. Puddles of oil under the car

Having puddles of oil under your car is one of the first things that you may notice when it is time to replace your oil pan. Usually, these leaks will start out rather small and will get progressively worse as time goes by and if left unattended can damage the engine. Noticing the oil leak and getting it fixed is the best way to avoid serious damage to your car. It may be unsafe to drive with an oil leak.

2. Leaks around the oil drain plug

The oil drain plug is what helps to hold the oil in and releases it when it is removed during an oil change. Over time, the oil drain plug will become damaged and may begin to leak. The drain plug also contains a crush type gasket which can fail over time or if it isn’t replaced. If the plug is stripped out during an oil change, it may take some time to notice the leak. The only way to fix the stripped threads that the oil drain plug has caused is by having the pan replaced. Leaving it with stripped threads will only lead to more issues down the road.

3. Visible damage to oil pan

Another very common sign that the oil pan on a car needs to be replaced is visible damage. The oil pan can be hit or dented when passing over a low lying part of the road. This impact damage can be a fast leak or something that begins as a drip and steadily gets worse. If you notice that the oil pan is damaged, then you will need to get it replaced before it begins to leak. The money spent to have it replaced will be worth it considering the damage it can cause. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your oil pan easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose and fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Oil Pan and was authored by Spencer Clayton.


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