The oil pan of your vehicle is the reservoir where oil is collected and stored. The pan is fastened with a protective gasket to ensure that oil doesn't leak. Any damage to the oil pan gasket will trigger an oil leak, which will affect the overall functioning of your car. If you notice any of these warning indicators of a damaged oil pan gasket, head to a qualified car service immediately to get the problem fixed before it becomes catastrophic.
You Notice Smoke Emanating From Your Engine
The most common indicator of a damaged oil pan gasket is smoke emanating from your engine. Smoke is often the result of oil dripping on the hot exhaust system pipes or on the exhaust manifold. When oil drips on the engine, you may notice a bluish grey coloured smoke. You may also get a distinct oil smell when this happens. A qualified car repair service will need to check whether the oil pan gasket needs replacement.
You Find Oil Puddles Below Your Engine
Another indicator of a degraded or damaged oil gasket pan is an oil puddle below your engine when the car is parked. These oil puddles are quite greasy and occur because the rubber or the cork of the gasket deteriorates over time, under constant pressure from heat. Oil puddles or drops on the ground with a brownish or blackish colour are strong indications of oil pan gasket damage. A car service will need to identify the source of the leak and replace the components where necessary. In most instances, your oil pan gasket may need replacement. If the problem is severe, the entire oil pan may need to be replaced.
Your Car's Oil Levels Are Falling Too Quickly
If you find that the oil levels in your vehicle are decreasing prematurely at a very high rate, then there could be a leak because of a broken or damaged oil pan gasket. An oil leak may also be caused if the gasket sealer is worn out or too old because it doesn't sit properly against the surface of the oil pan. Low oil levels will drastically affect the functioning of your car's engine. To rectify a leaky gasket, a professional car service may use a special leak additive or may replace the entire oil pan gasket based on your specific situation.
A qualified car service should attend to a damaged oil pan gasket as soon as possible to prevent a small leak from turning into a catastrophic problem later.