Remove Pan

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Aug 7, 2004
I have a neighbor that insists that you must remove the oil pan atleast once a year to get all the crud out of the bottom of the pan. Is this really neccesary? I have never dropped my oil pan and think this would be too much work. What do you guys think?
I just replaced my oil pan two weeks ago. The car had 167,4xx miles on it, and doesn't look perfect under the valve cover. The oil pan was quite clean, no buildup at all. As was the oil pickup. If it's necessary for you to drop the pan once a year, then you're not changing your oil enough.
Let me offer a counterpoint. I removed my valve cover frequently and it was not too terrible. The pan, however, had a decent amount of crud AND the bottom of my bearing caps were coated w/ the sludgies. Once a year may be overkill, but it doesn't hurt to check it out every now and then.
Maybe dumb to do it frequently, but maybe not to do it once in a while. Especially when so many cars no longer have a real oil pressure gauge.
If you have a problem that requires pan removal, fix the problem so you don't have to keep taking it off and cleaning it. It would be a huge waste of time for the vast majority of vehicles - it's not necessary.
It seems to me removing it that often could cause a problem with gasket material entering the oil stream, especially is if requires a fresh liquid gasket each many cars do.
Originally posted by Stuart Hughes: I think that's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.
Second post today I totally agree with. [Big Grin]
Originally posted by wn1998: I have never dropped my oil pan and think this would be too much work. What do you guys think?
You don't have to drop the pan every year as long as you use a steam cleaner with a flexable nozzle inserted into the drain hole every other oil change. Do a search for "engine steam cleaning" and you will get plenty of hits. Just make sure that you use a flexable nozzle. Hint [No no]
Something is either wrong with your engine design or Somethings wrong with your choice of oil or Something is wrong with the length of your OCI You should never have to remove your oil pan under normal driving conditions like 90% of us do.
That would be a serious PITA on some of these newer cars too. I cant imagine puttin my GTO on a lift every 12 months to take the pan off! Thats crazy.
If it is acceptible to use synthetics with 2000-4000 mile OCIs, if cleaning varnish for cosmetic reasons is OK, if cleaning piston tops is considered normal, then I think that cleaning the pan shouldn't be that surprising. Shining innards seem to be popular.
That is unless you have one in which you have to pull the engine in just to pull the pan. Better lbelieve it is not going to happen.
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