Remove oil pan
Find your oil pan's drain plug -- it just looks like a bolt from the outside. Use this to drain the oil from your vehicle first (keeps you from getting covered in oil later). Once the oil has drained out (usually it will still be dripping, but that's OK) put the plug back in so you won't get dripped on. Then find all of the bolts around the pan that you just drained -- there should be several around the top of the oil pan connecting it to the engine. Once you have removed all of these bolts, the oil pan should come off relatively easily -- most times it gets a little stuck to the oil pan seal, so you might have to pull on it a little, or if it's really stuck, you might have to pry it off (be careful not to damage the oil pan when doing this). If you notice that the oil pan is REALLY stuck on there, make sure you got ALL of the bolts (if you miss one the pan will not move).
Once the oil pan is off the car, and you have done what you need to do, clean the surfaces where the oil pan will connect back to the car -- making certain that the old gasket has been totally removed (leaving debris from the old oil pan seal will keep the new seal from functioning correctly. When you go to put the pan back on the car, make sure you have the oil pan seal set perfectly where it is supposed to go, then hand tighten the bolts back where they should be. Don't tighten all of the bolts down quite yet.
Check to make sure that the oil pan seal has not moved out of place, then tighten one bolt, but not ALL the way tight yet. Once you have one bold mostly tightened with your wrench, start tightening the bolt on the opposite side of the pan from the first one you just tightened -- and make this one about as tight as the first one. Next, double check that the seal has not moved, and then tighten a bolt on a 90 degree angle from your first two. Next, do the bolt opposite the third. Work on one bolt at a time, making sure that you don't tighten two bolts next to each other in a row. This will help you make sure you do not move or distort your oil pan seal as you are replacing the oil pan. I don't know the exact number of bolts, but if you follow the pattern from the diagram below as much as you can, you should not have too many problems. Once all of the bolts have been wrench tightened in this order (or similar depending on how many bolts there are, and their placement) go around the pan one more time, making sure that all of the bolts are nice and snug and you should be just about done -- don't forget to put more oil in the car before you turn it on :-)
Bolt Tightening to keep pan seal from slipping out of place:
1 ----- 9 ----- 6 -----4
3 ----- 5 ---- 10 --- 2
May 28, 2011 |
2003 Chevrolet Impala