The engine is considered as the heart of a car. To keep it in good condition, oil is needed. However, to keep contaminants like oil debris and particles from reaching and damaging the engine, an oil filter is needed. As it name clearly says, it filters the oil from debris and particles. This oil filter is installed to a housing mounted to the engine. To keep the engine oil from leaking out around the filter, a gasket is installed.
Made of either rubber or paper, the oil filter housing gasket plays an important role in keeping the oil inside the engine and from leaking. Nonetheless, this particular gasket would eventually wear out or break down. It would become brittle, causing oil to leak. When that happens, the overall performance of the engine might be affected and its entire operation would become rough instead of smooth. Thus, it is only logical to check whether the oil filter housing gasket is already failing or has failed.
How would you know if the oil filter housing gasket has broken down?
There are three major signs that may indicate that there is a problem with the oil filter housing gasket. Each of these signs doesn’t really specifically pertain to a failing oil filter housing gasket, but could well indicate that an issue does exist.
First, the oil filter housing gasket might be failing if the Engine Oil Light is on. When the Engine Oil Light illuminates, it simply means that there isn't enough oil in the system, or the oil pump isn't distributing enough oil to the system. In either of these situations, the lack of oil means that the friction surfaces won’t be lubricated.
When the engine oil is lacking, there could be an oil leakage somewhere in the system. This leakage could be occurring in the oil filter housing, simply because the gasket has gone busted. Just to be sure, you need check not only the oil filter housing gasket but other related parts. After all, an engine that is operating without the right amount of oil could lead to a bigger problem. Instead of just replacing one part, you may have to pay more to repair the engine.
Likewise, the oil filter housing gasket might be broken if the Low Oil Pressure Light is on or if the oil pressure gauge on the instrument cluster is going down. When oil leaks from the broken gasket, the amount of the fluid in the system goes down, and so is oil pressure.
Lastly, you can do a visual inspection of the oil filter housing gasket to see if it is failing. If oil is leaking or dripping from the filter, the culprit might be the oil filter housing gasket. Moreover, if you see you can a puddle of oil underneath the car, a leakage might have come from the oil filter, as caused by a failing gasket.