With so many car parts, it can be difficult to know which one is which, especially if you aren't an automotive technician and are speaking with a mechanic. If you're having issues with your vehicle, particularly related to your oil, knowing what an "oil pan gasket" is can be helpful.
What Is an Oil Pan Gasket?
An oil pan gasket creates a seal between the engine block and oil pain. It allows for the contraction and expansion of the engine's heat. The oil pan gasket also serves the purpose of preventing leaks, and it stops oil from entering other parts of the vehicle. The oil pan gasket also provides cushioning so the vibrations from the engine don't cause any damage.
The kind of gasket you have depends on the composition of your automobile's oil pain. For instance, cars with a pressed steel pan will have a formed rubber gasket. On the other hand, vehicles with aluminum pans will have a liquid silicone gasket.
Signs of an Oil Pan Gasket Problem
Over time, the oil pan gasket can wear out. It may become dry and start to crack. As a result, it won't be able to act as a cushion or stop leaks. You may then experience an oil leak, which will cause thick, dark brown or black stains underneath your vehicle where you park. It'll be in the front, center portion on your hood. You might also notice your oil level is lower than normal from losing that oil.
Your engine may overheat because of an increase in friction from a leak. Your engine needs that oil for the engine's cooling process.
Commonly, black smoke forms from this problem because the oil will leak onto the exhaust manifold — piece that's responsible for carrying exhaust gases to the exhaust pipe. Keep in mind when the engine smokes, it can cause damage to the oxygen sensors and other vital components.
If you're having issues with leaking oil or have other signs of a faulty oil pan gasket, bring your vehicle to Dave's Automotive LLC today!