How does an Oil Pan work? | Sings of bad Oil Sump

What is an Oil Pan?

An oil pan is a mechanical part of the engine that seals the bottom of the vehicle engine. For the efficient performance of the oil sump, it is formed deeper and attached to the crankcase bottom. It works as an oil storage tank.

The oil pan uses to store the engine oil. During working of the engine, the pump draws oil from the oil sump and circulates it throughout the engine. The oil pump transfers oil to all the engine parts and properly lubricates them.

When the parts are lubricated properly, the oil pump sends the residual oil back to the oil sump. In such a wet sump system, the oil quantity that the engine can keep is directly related to the oil pan size. The engine cannot take in more oil than pan without reaching the crankshaft.

Function of Oil Sump

The oil pan or oil sump performs the following functions:

  1. The main function of the sump pan is to store the engine oil.
  2. It covers the engine and stops the environmental contamination from entering.
  3. It also helps to cool the hot lubrication oil during the operation of the vehicle. The sump has an airflow that assists to lower the temperature of the hot oil before it enters the engine for lubrication.
  4. The oil of the sump uses to lubricate, cool and clean the engine. The oil also prevents the engine overheating.
  5. The sump has cooling fins that extend its surface area.
  6. It helps to trap large solid debris in the engine and keep them away from the engine. An oil filter uses to remove the oil contamination.
  7. With the dipstick, the oil pan measures the amount of oil.
  8. It helps to drain the residual oil.

Parts of Oil Pan

The oil pan has the following major parts:

1) Baffles

Due to extreme engine vibration, the sump oil can move around as the vehicle moves and turns. This vibration of the engine pushes the oil away from the intake manifold and prevents the normal flow of oil through the engine.

In such condition, the oil may run out in your vehicle engine. To prevent this, a baffle uses to stop the oil from moving away. The baffle performs different functions but mainly it uses to stop the flow of large volumes of fluid and prepare it for sock suffocation.

2) Dipstick

Dipstick is most commonly employed in the engine to check the oil level in the engine. To measure the oil level, you need to dip the dipstick in the oil sump. When you remove the dipstick, it shows the oil level.

Electronic sensors are utilized in the latest engines to measure the oil level from gauges on the dashboard.

3) Windage Tray

It is a metal plate that prevents oil from spattering onto the rotating crankshaft. The windage tray also contains a type of crankshaft scraper that eliminates additional oil from the crankshaft counterweight.

4) Drain Plug

It installs in the oil pan housing. It acts as an old screw that can drain dirty oil from the sump. It comes with a gasket that needs to be replaced each time when the plug is unplugged.

Working of Oil Pan

The oil pan or oil sump contains the engine oil. The aluminum or steel is used for the construction of the sump. The oil sump can store from four to six quarts of oil.

The oil pan works in the following way:

  1. First of all, the engine oil pours from the top of the engine which travels from the camshaft to the sump.
  2. The oil sump connects to the engine base by using bolts.
  3. The engine contains an oil pump. This pump takes oil from the sump and pumps it throughout the engine. This oil is passed through a filter before entering the engine. This filter uses to remove the contamination from the oil. When the oil enters the engine, it cools, cleans and lubricates the different parts of the engine.
  4. After lubricating the engine parts, the oil is returned into the oil pan or sump where it is cooled and whole process repeats.

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