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DIY: How To Fix Engine Oil Pan Leakages

Oil is considered one of the essential fluids in a car because it lubricates the internal engine components.  It provides a barrier between the elements, and without its presence, the friction would increase, causing the engine parts to overheat and fail.

The oil sits in a reservoir known as the oil pan.  You will find the pan bolted to the bottom of the engine block.  An oil pump sips the oil from the pan and pushes into the engine oil galleys.

Engine Oil Pan

The most common place where an engine develops leakages is in the engine oil pan.  If the leak is unfixed, it may cause your engine to run low on oil.  This could lead to a catastrophic internal failure.

Oil Pan Leakages – Causes

An engine can leak oil from many different places; one of them is the oil pan.  There are two common reasons for a leak from the oil pan: a damaged gasket or impact damage.

  • Impact damage

The pan itself may leak if it experiences impact damage from an accident or road debris.  In such a scenario, the damage will usually make a hole or crack in the oil pan.  Consequently, the oil will leak out, potentially leading to significant engine damage.

Engine Oil Pan
  • The damaged oil pan gasket

Most of the time, the oil pan gasket will wear off over time.  When this happens, leaks can develop.

The oil pan gasket lies between the oil pan and the engine block.  The gasket works as a seal, preventing oil from leaking between the two components.

Oil Pan Gasket Leak – Symptoms

The symptoms associated with a leaking oil pan are relatively straightforward.  Here are the signs you want to look for:

  • Puddle of oil under the car

Engine oil dripping under your vehicle can indicate a leaking oil pan or pan gasket. Indeed, there are many other places from which your engine could leak, so you need to determine its source.

Engine Oil Pan

Take a peek under your vehicle and look in the oil pan — does it look like it is leaking?  If so, double-check that nothing above the pan (i.e., valve cover gaskets, timing cover, etc.) is dripping down. It will ensure that the pan isn’t leaking.

You may need to clean the engine and check everything to find the leak.

  • Low level of oil

A low oil level also indicates leakages from the oil pan area.  Engines can leak oil from many locations, plus they can also burn oil.  Therefore, you need to look into the matter deeply before condemning the oil pan or gasket.

  • Smoke or a burning smell coming from the engine

Smoke coming from the hood is always a bad thing.  An engine oil leak is one of several reasons why you may see smoke.

There are cases when the oil drips on the hot exhaust, causing the oil to vaporize almost instantly.

How To Fix An Oil Pan Leakages

In most cases, to repair a leak from the engine oil pan, you need to replace the gasket or the oil pan itself. You can buy all the automobile components online at The Auto Parts Shop.

There are some instances that you get lucky by a more straightforward fix.

Oil Pan Leak Quick Repair

You might be aware that the engine oil drain plug acts as a cap for the oil pan.  Every time your car gets an oil change, the plug is removed and reinstalled.  Because the plug is tampered with so often, it can quickly become the source of a leak.

Engine Oil Pan

To fix the leak, you can often tighten the drain plug or install a new gasket behind it.

In other instances, the drain plug may be replaced.  The pan may also be repaired or replaced.

Oil pan gasket – leak repair

Typically, to repair a leak from the oil pan area, you need to replace the oil pan or gasket.

It is important to note that other components must first be removed on many vehicles to gain access to the oil pan.  In some instances, the entire engine needs removal to reach the pan – so make sure to consult the repair manual for your vehicle before digging in.

The following is a general outline for engine oil pan replacement on a vehicle that offers direct access to the pan.

  1. Prepare the vehicle

Get on on a level surface, set the parking brake, and block the rear wheels with chock.  Then, lift the car safely with a jack and jack stands.

Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  1. Drain the oil

Place a container directly under the location of the oil pan.  Remove the drain plug to drain the oil.

Engine Oil Pan
  1. Remove all the bolts of the oil pan area

Locate all the bolts that hold the oil pan to the bottom of the engine block.  Then, unbolt them one by one.

Leave a few bolts at one end of the pan in place until you finish as you can use the end of the pan opposite the bolts to drain the oil and avoid a mess.

  1. Remove the oil pan

Finally, you can remove the oil pan.  If it is stubborn, blow on it gently with a dead blow hammer or rubber mallet to release it.

  1. Remove the old gasket

Remove the old gasket and carefully scrape the remaining material from the engine.  Clean the mounting location on the engine with solvent – the area must be spotless for the new gasket to form a good seal.

  1. Install the new gasket and the oil pan

After everything is clean, you can install the new gasket and the oil pan.  Start by placing the gasket on top of the pan.  Then, put a pair of bolts through the pan to hold the gasket in place.

Finally, thread the bolts into the motor by hand.

Once the pan is in place, you can rotate the rest of the bolts (also by hand).  Next, tighten the bolts using a torque wrench.

Engine Oil Pan

If you reuse the old oil pan, reinstall the drain plug and tighten it to the specification.

  1. Refill the engine oil pan

Lower the vehicle by carefully removing the jack stands.  Once you’ve done that, refill the engine with the correct amount of fresh oil.

Reconnect the negative battery cable, then start your engine and thoroughly check for leaks.

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Wheel Bearing Noise: Is your Car Wheel Bearing bad?

You drive on a warm, sunny day and listen to your favorite song.

Life seems beautiful!

But suddenly, when you turn off the radio, you hear an unusual noise that coincides with the wheels’ rotation. 

What could this be?

Well, in such cases, a bad car wheel bearing could be one of the most common possibilities.

How does a Bad Wheel Bearing Sound Like?

Most people describe a lousy wheel bearing as a howling or hissing sound (the sound is often mistaken for worn tires). Also, in some cases, a bad bearing can make a high-pitched grinding or screaming sound.

Car Wheel Bearing

In both cases, the frequency of the sound corresponds to the rotation of the tires. The sound also increases with the increase in the vehicle’s speed (although it may pass at a certain point), and it is more detectable when your car turns in one direction.

How to tell if your car wheel bearing is bad

Your car has many rotating parts, making it difficult to distinguish a defective wheel from many other problems. Paying attention to when the noise occurs will help you to diagnose the issues.

Car Wheel Bearing

A faulty wheel bearing will only make noise while driving. So, if you hear a sound when the vehicle comes to a stop, you can dismiss considering the wheel bearings. It is also worth recognizing that it doesn’t matter what type of road travel you make; the wheel bearings’ noise will be the same.

However, tire noise usually varies with the road surface.

In most cases, you will hear a noisy wheel bearing, whether you are accelerating or decelerating. Contrarily, some drivetrain noises, but not all of them – change as you accelerate or decelerate.

It can be hard to distinguish a flawed wheel from other problems at the end of the day. It is, therefore, essential to perform additional diagnostic work before coming to the conclusions. Otherwise, there are chances that you replace the wheel bearing unnecessary without determining the real problem.

An important thing that you must be cognizant of is that not all faulty wheel bearings make noise. Some worn bearings exhibit excessive lateral movement without making abnormal noises.

How to check for bad wheel bearings

Many other problems mimic the sound of a bad car wheel bearing. You will need to perform additional diagnostic work to ensure that one of your car’s wheels is faulty.

Car Wheel Bearing

Some of the methods used to detect a bad wheel bearing include:

  • Check the play by shaking the wheel and tire set.
  • Check for roughness
  • Listening to noises using a stethoscope
  • Monitoring for overheating
  • Check play using the dial indicator.

Signs of wheel bearing failure

You already know that the wrong wheel bearing can cause noise. But did you know that this can cause other problems as well? A bad bearing can allow the wheel housing to move excessively. Besides, the internal bearing components increase friction. As a consequence, you might observe that your car has the following problems:

  • Whining/humming
  • Vibration while driving
  • Pulsation during braking
  • Irregular or abnormal tire wear
  • Illuminated warning lights
Car Wheel Bearing

Is it possible to drive on a bad wheel bearing?

You may be wondering if you can keep driving on a bad wheel bearing. And the answer is, “big NO.” In some cases, a failed bearing can result in the wheel’s loss while driving, which can lead to fatal consequences.

So, if you think you’ve heard noises due to bad wheel bearing, don’t forget to repair your vehicle right away. Your safety depends on it.

What can happen if you have a Faulty wheel bearing?

As mentioned above, if you neglect a bad car wheel bearing, you can lose the wheel. It is the worst-case scenario, but there are other unintended consequences.

Car Wheel Bearing

Bad wheel bearings can cause abnormal wear of the wheels, pulsation while driving, and even problems with the Anti-Lock Braking System.

So, once again, if you think you’ve got a bad wheel bearing, contact a mechanic right away or buy a spare bearing from The Auto Parts Shop and fix it yourself.

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Symptoms of bad Blower Motor Resistor

If the blower of your car has only 4 or 5 distinct speed settings, it is likely to use a simple electric resistor to control the speed of the fan. The resistor sets the electrical current limits so that the blower can operate at the right speed. If the resistor fails, the blower will only work in the selected speed settings in most cases.

There are also cases in which a blower motor of the car may not work.

Fortunately, you can check the condition of the part by blower motor resistor test. With just a multimeter, you can find out when it’s time to find another replacement.

Blower Motor Resistor Test

If you hear a blower fan running but can’t make it change its speed, you probably have a resistor problem. Here are some tips for testing the blower motor resistor:

  1. Start by looking at the blower fan resistor. The repair manual can tell you its placement according to the model and design of your car is.
  2. Check out the resistor visually. Look for obvious signs of rust and burns from overheating.
  3. Check the electrical resistance of each terminal resistor with a multimeter. Set up an ohms reading device (resistance measure) and connect one of its probes to the resistor’s common output terminal. Use another probe to measure the resistance between the terminal output and each input terminal of the resistor. Measure the resistance between one pair terminals at a time.
  4. If any of the points indicate constant resistance, the blower motor resistor fails. Endless reading defines an open circuit.
Blower Motor Resistor

Be careful when handling a blower resistor. As electric currents pass through the resistor for a long time, this device can create high temperatures – enough to heat your fingers or worse.

What is the Blower Motor Resistor?

The blower motor resistor is usually located outside the heat box or HVAC plenum that transmits air into the internal space. It is generally installed in HVAC control cables somewhere between the blower control knob and the blower motor.

Blower Motor Resistor

The resistor controls the blower motor’s fan speed and changes the air pressure generated by the blower fan movement. It does this by controlling the electric motor that powers the motor.

The function of the Blower Motor Resistor

The resistor restricts current, thus reducing the power output to control the blower motor speed setting.

More Current = More Speed

Less Current = Less Speed

The blower motor ensures that the right amount of power reaches the car, turning the fan at the right speed to blow air from the HVAC system to the chamber.

Blower Motor Resistor

It is also important to note that most cars have a circuit that exceeds the resistor when the blower motor is at high speed. In this case, the battery power is sent directly to the Blower motor.

Many modern cars have a mini-computer, called a blower motor control module, instead of a traditional resistor.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Blower Motor Resistor?

Every time you play with your car’s air-conditioning system or heating system, you change the current flowing through the blower motor resistor on the way to the blower motor.

A malfunctioning or failing motor resistor interferes with the proper operation of the heating and air system. The most common symptoms include:

  • The blower fan stands on a single speed setting.

A resistor can vary between speed settings depending on user preferences. However, resistor failure can cause the speed to stick to a single speed setting.

While the blower motor is still running, you cannot change its speed. It can be unpleasant in situations where you want to adjust your car’s internal temperature to a comfortable level.

A blower confined in a high-speed environment will always blow you up in hot or cold air when you don’t need it, while a one stuck in a low-key environment can be just as frustrating.

  • Blower fan cannot access specific speed settings.

In some cases, a failed resistor may set more than a one-speed setting. However, it may lose the ability to reach certain speeds. A blower motor will work well in the available settings, but it won’t work well if you choose a disabled speed setting.

Blower Motor Resistor

This sign is not limited to a bad blower motor resistor. A broken blower motor switch can also stop the blower from turning to specific speed settings. If your blower motor cannot switch to a certain speed, check both the resistor and your dashboard switch.

  • No air from vents

In most cases, due to the presence of the bypass circuit, the blower motor will continue to operate at high speeds with a failed resistor.

However, there are situations where a default resistor will prevent the current from reaching the blower motor ultimately. Without power, the motor will not work. As a result, the blower fan remains quiet and still, and there is no air coming out of the vents.

This symptom may also appear from a failed blower fan or several other issues. If the blower motor resistor test clears the resistor and wiring, the problem may lie in the fan’s motor.

Causes of Bad Blower Motor Resistor

Resistors go through rough situations. They always have electricity flowing between them, and the voltage supply can change dramatically as the car owner adjusts the power of the fan blower.

The most common reasons for the failure of a blower motor resistor can include:

  • Rust from prolonged exposure to air and moisture.
  • Overheating – if the motor finds it difficult to move due to the bearings’ malfunctioning, it can raise the resistor’s temperature to dangerous levels.
  • Normal wear out with time and usage.

 What is the cost of replacing a Blower Motor Resistor?

Blower Motor Resistor

You can still drive your car despite the fault of the blower motor resistor. However, you will probably find it uncomfortable if you are unable to change the blower’s speed.

Depending on the manufacturer and model, the blower motor resistor can go anywhere between $3 and $335 at The Auto Parts Shop. Replacement parts come in individual units, two sets of resistors, or a blower motor resistor kit.