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Well, if you want a very literal answer, an engine oil pan is a pan. For your engine oil. Make sense?
But, let’s break it down a little bit more than that. The engine oil pan is a large reservoir that is bolted to the engine. It sits directly below the engine, and is large enough to contain all of your car’s motor oil. Motor oil is that fluid you should have regularly replaced. It serves as a lubricant for the engine, to keep the engine from encountering too much friction, which would lead to damage and overheating.
And that’s pretty much it. The oil pan has one basic responsibility, and that’s to hold the oil for the engine. That said, there are a few other elements to your engine oil pan. It features a gasket that acts as a seal between the engine and the pan, to ensure that oil doesn’t leak out. There’s an oil drain plug, which is what you temporarily remove when it comes time to drain out the old oil and add some new stuff. And there’s also an oil pick-up that connects to the oil pump, to allow the oil to circulate through the engine, thus doing its job as a lubricant.
If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “hey, that seems pretty important,” well, congratulations. You’re right.
Now, here’s the really good news about engine oil pans. They’re extremely sturdy. An oil pan isn’t really going to wear and tear and eventually die on you. There’s really only one way for your engine oil pan to break, and that’s if your car has been in an accident, which could potentially lead to damage on the oil pan.
Beyond that? The gasket might go, but the engine oil pan itself pretty reliable.
Pretty much the only way to break an engine oil pan is by cracking it upon the force of an accident. So, hopefully you don’t need this bit of information, because hopefully you haven’t been in a car crash. But if you have been, there’s a chance that the engine oil pan is damaged. When your car is repaired following an accident, the technician should notice if the engine oil pan has been compromised. However, it’s possible for these things to be overlooked, and you could end up driving around with an engine oil pan that isn’t fit for the road. In all likelihood, a busted engine oil pan isn’t something you’ll have to catch on your own. But if you’re in an accident, and it involves the front of your car, be prepared for the possibility of some not-so-fun news about your engine oil pan.
Leaks are the bane of most car owners. They feel a bit ominous, and because your car has so many fluids, they can represent a number of different issues. One of those issues - albeit one of the most rare ones - is a cracked engine oil pan. If the engine oil pan, which holds all of the engine oil, has a crack, then it kind of goes without saying that your car may leak a little bit of oil. Or a lotta bit of oil. Motor oil is usually pretty recognizable, so you can check the fluid leaking from the car to see if it’s oil. Even if it is oil, it’s much more likely to be a problem with something else, such as the gasket, than the engine oil pan. But it could be the pan, especially if you’ve recently been involved in an accident.
Look, I get that checking the oil level in your car isn’t exactly your idea of a wild Friday night. But it is a habit that you should get used to. Changing the oil is an important regularly scheduled maintenance, but that doesn’t mean it can be neglected in between oil changes. If your oil starts to leak, it could cause damage to the engine in the time period between changes. So, start checking your oil regularly, and if it’s low, then you probably have a leak. As mentioned above, that leak is likely coming from somewhere other than the engine oil pan, but the pan is a possible culprit.Get a Quote 1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty
If I need to tell you that your engine oil pan is important, after everything you just read, then I’m sorry, but we’ve got bigger problems here.
If your engine oil pan is cracked, your car will quickly lose oil. If you lose oil, the engine won’t have its necessary lubricant, and before long you’ll have a severely damaged engine on your hands. And that isn’t good.
An engine oil pan replacement is extremely urgent, but, again, it almost always is damaged in an accident. So, just make sure that it’s taken care of.
1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty