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I have a 2000 honda accord v6 lx with about 190K miles on it. I was told recently by a mechanic that I need to get the oil pan replaced and it was going to cost $400-$500 dollars. I did some research and it appears moderately easy with the right tools I'm sure to replace it myself but how can I verify if in fact, the oil pan needs to be replaced. Thank you for any insight on this.

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The oil pan is not a normal wear item, however being so low to the ground it is possible to damage it. As the oil pan is not removed for regular inspection, any decision made by the mechanic should be visible to photograph without tools or disassembly, either as physical damage or oil leaking.

Have the mechanic put the vehicle on the lift and show to you the damage or leak. If necessary, photograph it using a digital camera with a "macro" setting from 30-50 cm distance with flash, and post the photo here.

Note as Capsule mentioned that some oil pans have striations, casting marks, or even air-cooling fins and these should not be confused with damage. Light scratching and denting on the underside is common and acceptable, but deep scratches, tears, or cracks are signs that the pan should be replaced.

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    Also, if you live somewhere with lots of snow, as @dotancohen said, it's so close to the ground that it's going to get blasted with salt all the time in the winter times. It makes it highly prone to rust. I had to replace mine on a Civic 2005 with 180k km due to the rust. – jValdron Jun 30 '15 at 13:52
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I would check for:

  • cracks, but don't take casting marks for cracks (a picture of your pan would be helpful to tell)
  • scratches
  • stripped plug thread (but then it would already be leaking since you wouldn't be able to tight the plug back ;-))
  • any deformation especially on the gasket level
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The oil pan is not a regular wear item, though it might need to be replaced if it's rusted, cracked and/or leaking. Welding an oil pan is difficult, time consuming and not worth it.

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it may need to replaced if it has cracks

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    That one is probably pretty obvious? Maybe you'd like to expound on how to check for crack and what other problems might cause leaks? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 23 '16 at 20:51

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