Scratched oil pan surface

Hii, I recently got my first car and it had a huge leak all around oil pan so I went to replace the seal however when I removed the pan i was shocked to see that some smart ass probably took 80 grit sandpaper and scratched the whole surface, there are huge gauges everywhere and so I didn’t use a gasket that I had instead I used RTV and thought it would seal however 3000km later I lost 4L of oil and I have a huge leak, my question is do you know id there is a way to resurface the sealing surface or somehow fix the gauges, keep in mind I don’t have money for anything expensive so let me hear your ideas. Thanks in advance :grin:

If this stuff doesn’t seal the oil pan?


The scratches (within reason) should not affect things as far as leaks go. The gouges are a different matter. Leaks could also be caused by a warped oil pan.

What kind of car? In a case like this I would say a replacement oil pan is needed.

Any PullAPart yards near you? The one here gets 12 bucks for a steel pan and 17 for aluminum.

Not trying to be a downer here, but i hope the leak is confined to the oil pan. You do not want to have to get into replacing a front or rear engine main seal.


What about the corresponding sealing surface on the block . . . ?!

If this engine has an aluminum alloy block, and somebody got too aggressive removing the old gasket . . .

Then I would try to clean up the mating surface to the best of my ability, and install the pan with a new gasket and RTV sealant, and wait for the sealant to cure before adding oil. What is your suggestion? Replace the engine?

Unless there was very poor preparation for the sealant, 4 liters of oil in 3000 km is too much loss for leaking oil pan seal and since this in the second time resealing the oil pan it is unlikely to be the problem.

A leaking front crankshaft seal, oil pump or rear main crankshaft seal are more likely to be the problem.


I’d sure look for other sources for sure as suggested, but when I developed an oil pan leak, I would lose one quart a week which was about 1000 miles. I had never messed with the pan so it was just age and a failing gasket. But yeah if the pan is screwed up try and get a different one.

Well as much as other leaks go I am pretty sure it is leaking everywhere it can as previous owner really didn’t care about the car and probably never changed oil. I know that it’s leaking on the transmission but a repair like that would cost me more than the whole car did… I just need to fix it so it can hold up for a year or so, then I might even junk the car… And as much as I remember I think the surface on the block is fine. :grin:

I can’t imagine losing 4L of oil through the non pressurized interface of the pan. There must be bigger leaks elsewhere. Not worth putting bandaids on finger cuts when there’s an artery leaking somewhere else…


Just some food for thought, but you might check the PCV valve. If that is plugged up it will pressurize the crankcase and motor oil can be forced out even past crankshaft seals.

Pull the PCV off and shake it vigorously. If it rattles like a rock in a can it’s fine. If it’s lethargic or does not rattle at all replace it. They’re cheap.

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If it did have an alloy block, and it is gouged . . . my answer is that it would need a lot more prep work

Just because I used . . . doesn’t mean I think the engine needs to be replaced

Don’t know why you’re reading so much into this :smiley:

A leaking engine oil pressure sensor/switch could result in a staggering loss of oil in a very short time

Just an idea

Very true about a leaking oil pressure sensor. For a few years Subaru had a little trouble with them. After 4 or 5 years of age the plastic would deteriorate a bit and usually in spring they would start puking motor oil.