Oil leaks from oil pan bolts

So I noticed that 3 or 4 bolts are leaking a little oil from my oil pan when I run the engine for a few minutes. I put in a new oil pan myself not to long ago I didn’t tighten the bolts to tight I would think because I know that it can cause problems if over tight. So I am wondering is it a need to fix thing or will it just leak oil very slowly because from what I can see it doesn’t leak very much but I haven’t drove the car yet so I don’t know ( I won’t be able to drive for a few months). Another question is if the bolts are old can that cause them to leak?

No. You just did not get the gasket on correctly or did not seal it properly. Did you use a new gasket ?

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Yes I used this one specifically https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000C2GFDM/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1

How did you seperate the pan from the block? How thoroughly did you clean the old gasket off. In what order did you install, snug and tighten the screws? Did you apply a sealer to the gasket? The devil is always in the details somewhere.

I separated it using a paint scraper and a rubber mallet on the corner and after a few taps on the corner it just separated. As for cleaning I used rubbing alchol and paper towels to clean it off I made sure to get off as much as I could. The corners don’t leak at all. As for tightening I did it in a star kind of diagonal pattern. No I didn’t use a sealer on the gasket because I was told that wasn’t needed if it is a solid / one piece gasket.

If you didn’t get it all off, you didn’t get enough off.


Yea thats honestly probably it I got kinda annoyed because it took me 3 days to do it because it was my first time. I’ll have to take it off and clean it more I guess.

Have you tried simply retorqueing them? Sometimes that’s all it takes.

What kind of pan I it? Stamped steel pan or is it cast?

If a cast pan then you need to follow a bolt tightening sequence.


Try tightening he pan bolts 1/8 of a turn at a time until the leak stops.

Sometimes that 1/8 of a turn stops the leak.


Yes and pay attention to torque values and pattern, otherwise warping the pan is possible.

It’s possible you already warped the sealing surface of the stamped steel oil pan. It’s very easy to do. Take a close look and run your finger over the sealing surfaces. If they are warped, you can easily straighten them with a ball peen hammer

One more thing . . . were the bolt holes clean?

I’m talking about the bolt holes in the block

If you crossthreaded one of the bolts, you might also have a leak

If the threads in the block are damaged, you might also have a leak

Quite a few possible scenarios, but most of them are easy to fix

A Chilton’s or Haynes manual will probably provide the torque values for those bolts. I’d start there. Are you sure that is the source of the leak btw. When you are driving down the road at 60 mph there’s huge wind gusts in that area, that blow any oil leaking from anywhere all over the place. You could clean the area off, then idle the engine and see if you actually see oil actively leaking from the bolt area.

George, the OP does not have a license and this free vehicle is not road ready.

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Not yet I’ll try that first

Also db4690 the bolt holes were clean.
I’ll check the sealing surface when I can

Yeah I got the title now so I just need to wait till the summer when I work then I’m going to get it registered since I have my drivers permit. It only needs tires from what I can tell but I’ll have to see.

Richard , 3 year old thread .

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