How to Drop an Oil Pan in a 2000 Malibu

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The engine oil in your 2000 Malibu collects in the oil pan so that it can be picked up by the oil pump and circulated through the engine. If the pan becomes damaged by running over road debris, or improper oil change procedures, it may be necessary to replace it. The front-wheel drive configuration of the Malibu makes this a somewhat onerous repair, but the experienced, and well equipped, home mechanic can complete it in an afternoon.

Things You'll Need

  • Engine support brace
  • Wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Screwdriver set
  • Hammer
  • Drain pan
  • Install the engine support brace under the hood of the car along the fender rail to which the fenders are bolted. Slide the J-bolts of the support brace into the eye hooks bolted to the engine. Tighten the nuts on the J-hooks until the weight of the engine is supported. Disconnect the 8 mm negative battery cable bolt using a wrench.

  • Raise and support the front of the car using a floor jack and jack stands. Position the stands at the lifting points along the rocker panel pinch weld, before lowering the car onto the stands. Position a drain pan under the car and remove the drain plug using a 15 mm wrench. Allow the oil to drain into the pan for several minutes and then reinstall the drain plug.

  • Remove the inspection cover on the lower edge of the transmission, near the starter, using a 10 mm wrench to remove the attaching bolts. Remove the starter bolts and let the starter hang. Remove the four 13 mm A/C compressor bolts using a socket and ratchet and let the compressor hang out of the way.

  • Loosen the right side sub-frame bolts using an 18 mm socket and ratchet. Remove the 15 mm bolts that attach the front motor mount to the sub-frame and engine, and slip the mount off the sub-frame.

  • Remove the four 13 mm nuts located at the front and rear of the pan using a 13 mm socket and ratchet. Remove the remaining 10 mm bolts that secure the pan to the engine block and lower the pan to the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • A total four-wheel alignment is necessary after this repair to prevent excessive tire wear and unstable driving characteristics. A small change in the position of the sub-frame during this repair can result in a large change in the alignment.
  • Wear safety glasses and work gloves to prevent serious injuries.

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References

  • “Chilton 1997-00 GM Malibu/Cutlass Repair Manual”; Peter J Rhein, ASE ; 2000
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