2000 Mercedes E300 Diesel oil pan crack

The grey humming bird has 230000 miles behind her and has a good oil leak, most likely from me driving down gravel roads to fast.

In the center of the oil pan there is a dent with a 2 inch crack. The oil leaks out and creates a 1 foot in diameter spot in a 24 hour period.

I bought the car for 1000 paper and the dealer wants 5000 to put in a new oil pan… so I got some JB Weld and some Flex-Steel tape.

I put a 6 inch by 6 inch square of tape on the oil pan after scrubbing down with clean paper towels (disclosure - I was encouraged to do this and only did it to let the back seat driver see the experimental result.) After about 5 days it started leaking again.

In any case the oil needs to be drained to weld or solder or aluminum braze.

Any other ideas?

Also thought about pulling a vacuum on the engine to keep the oil out of the crack during the repair.

Good Day

Removing the oil pan requires lifting up the engine,removing part of the suspension an so on.It will probably cost you more for the repair than the car is worth.I would find a shop that does heliarc welding since the pan is made of cast alluminum and call it a day. probably cost you 50 bucks.

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NO, in any case the pan will need to be removed from the engine, ALL the oil will need to be washed off the inside and outside of the pan so it doesn’t catch fire.


Aluminum foil tape…do you think it could work?.I use that on my heating ducts.

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Yes , take it to a salvage yard and find something else .

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I would certainly try to aluminum foil duct tape. It isn’t going to hurt anything. I would make sure the pan is very clean first. Another choice I would try would be to gorilla glue on a thin metal plate…same metal as the pan.

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"oldnotdeadyet make sure the pan is very clean first. Another choice I would try would be to gorilla glue on a thin metal plate…same metal as the pan.

Add pop rivet’s and it should last forever.

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Your cheapest fix here is JB Weld heat resistant epoxy. This stuff below. Oil pans get hot which is why the Flex Seal, not Steel tape failed.

Drain the oil. Spray the crack with brake-clean, let it sit overnight. Spray again. Rough up the pan with 80 grit sandpaper along the crack. Spray brake clean again. It MUST be clean!. Apply the JB Weld to the crack, forcing it in as you go. Make sure the JB Weld is about 1/8 thick over the crack area and about 2 inches wider. Let it cure overnight. Re-fill with oil.

If it works, great. If it doesn’t, scrap the car.


Would putting it on some ramps or jack stands help drain the oil away from the crack? If so, I’d do that, drain the oil, then follow @Mustangman 's instructions. If the oil would drain better with the car level, do that, then use jackstands.


That is the first time I have seen that . I guess that is the same as dollars .

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Vs Bitcoin?

just a simple term for a dollar bill from Dr. Steve


Wouldn’t it have been easier to just type $1000 or $1k?

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Really, $5,000 for an oil pan? Do they throw in an engine for free?

For those of us who own or owned British cars a leak that size was considered standard equipment, a way of checking that there’s still oil in the engine plus controlling weeds on the gravel driveway of our English Country Estate. :slightly_smiling_face:

How about a different approach; $10 for a Harbor Freight tarp for your parking space, $10 for a 20 lb bag of Kitty Litter to go on top of it and $5 for a quart of quality motor oil.

At the rate of a quart a week, you should breakeven at 1,000 weeks (about 20 years) plus you’ll always have a continuous supply of fresh oil in the engine.

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I put money on @Mustangman 's suggestion. I repaired an AC condenser with JB Weld and it was still sealed more than a year later when the car was sold. BTW the condenser was aluminum as expected and pressures ran in the 275-300 psi range and summers are long and hot here.

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I don’t see any good options to repair this with the oil pan in place. I realize it is a lot of work to remove the oil pan, but that is your only option for a lasting repair. Once removed and cleaned, aluminum can be brazed with the correct type of brazing alloy and flux, using a MAPP gas torch.

If brazing is not up your alley, another option to repair the oil pan would be to clean it up properly, and patch it using a piece of thick sheet metal cut to the proper size with a hole drilled near each corner–but far enough from the corner, to provide adequate sealing area. I would get some black silicone and four bolts and four locknuts of the proper size. I would then place the sheet metal over the oil pan dry, use a permanent marker to mark the bolt holes, drill through the oil pan at the proper locations, apply plenty of black silicone to the metal patch, place it down on the oil pan, put the bolts facing into the pan, and the nuts on the inside of the pan, and tighten them, allow at least 24 hours for the sealant to cure, then clean the inside of the pan and reinstall.
Instead of silicone, an epoxy such as JB Weld could be used, which would be even stronger.

You might be wondering, could you drain the oil and patch the oil pan in-place using drill-point sheet metal screws which thread directly into the oil pan itself? The answer is no, because there would be no way to prevent metal shavings from getting inside the oil pan, which will ruin the engine bearings in short order. If this was a fuel tank, you could get away with such a thing, because the metal shavings would never make it past the inlet screen on the fuel pump. Even on a fuel tank, you would want to use fine-thread screws, not sheet metal screws in order to avoid loosening from vibrations.

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You got that right

This car has a MASSIVE steel subframe

I’ve removed tons of them to reseal oil pans

it might be possible . . . depending on resources, hoist, tools, etc. . . . to remove the pan without removing the subframe

But that means jacking the engine literally sky high and hope it fits through the opening in the subframe

When jacking the engine sky high . . . especially on an old car like this . . . there’s a chance that something else will break



How difficult is it really to remove this subframe using tools available to a DIYer, i.e. a floor jack, jack stands, and hydraulic shop crane? I am just curious, as I have never owned a vehicle with this type of subframe, and probably would avoid buying one since being unable to change the oil pan gasket myself would be a problem for me.

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I’ve been going that route for about 6 months now. I bought a 5 quart jug of 15w40 and I think you are about right at a quart a week. I park on the street and there is a city park across the street. We has some environmental dog walking terrorist and I have twice come out to find a bag of dog “treasure” on my hood. There have also been some signs going up asking people to fix their leaky cars to protect the creeks. I didn’t let it bother me, but I figure it is time to fix it, as I have finished my 50 foot continuous black streak next to the road.

Just an old fart here, had a leaking gas tank due to it scraping on the drive going up a steep slope. Old time remedy, from the 60’s was rubbing a bar of soap across it. It would last a month or 2, I could not afford a tank replacement. These days I might consider jb weld though I found some plumber epoxy, gas and oil resistant to fix a tub drain I tried to remove and could not. It was a couple of sticks, mix them together, from my local hardware store guy now ot of business, and I cannot find it on the internet. So if I was thinking about it I would do the bar soap to stop the leak, sand and jb weld. I have had better luck with the old fashioned version than the quick stuff.

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