2003 nissan sentra - oil pan - how hard to replace on my own?

was quoted 650$ for this to be replaced. i have no issues with doing this on my own, but also don’t have the experience working UNDER the car.

it’s the 1.8L 4cyl engine. i believe i would have to detach the exhaust pipes as well as the crossmember of the front axle to get to the pan itself. if anyone can help with any details or what i would need for parts/tools i would be incredibly appreciative!

Why does the pan need replacing? If it is a stripped drain plug, there are all kinds of fixes for that. If it has a small hole or is rusted on a bottom corner, I have had good success with a fuel tank epoxy kit that NAPA used to sell. I haven’t had to use it in a long tome because my last 4 cars have had plastic tanks.
We used to use the NAPA kit on 60 gallon steel fuel tanks on tractor trailers,that were full of diesel fuel. Theer was a wax crayon to plug the leak and a large plastic pouch that you kneaded then cut open and applied to the leak. It grabbed the tank even through wet diesel fuel.

Here’s what needs to be done to remove the oil pan.

*Remove the front exhaust pipe.

*Support the transmission

*Remove the crossmember.

*Remove the support brackets from the oil pan.

*Remove the rear cover plate if equipped with an automatic transmission.

*Remove the pan bolts

*Remove the oil pan.


the pan is starting to rust and as the dealership said “is wet on the bottom”. that confused me to no end.

and from the above if i do need to replace it i will have someone else do it.

@waltzink Most oil pans are rusted somewhat and nearly all are “wet at the bottom”. Usually it is the oil plug which needs either a new gasket or replacement.

If the seal between the pan and the engine is leaking badly it might need resealing. Oil pans normally don’t rust through. I would have an independent mechanic give it a good inspection first; it likely will not need replacing.

I second the advice. most oil pans have issues that are repairable, and not really needing replacement. it is really your choice. find the leak and replace, or just seal the area.

The “wet on the bottom” part ought to forestall any more rusting. I’m actually amazed at how many posters complain of pans rusting out…I’d’ve thought the oil pan, and the portion of the block just beneath the filter, would be more or less immune to rust!

(Apparently not…)

I’ve had to replace the gasket before. I would crawl under there and clean up the pan pretty good with rags and solvent. Then check it every day or so to see where the wetness is coming from.