Oil is crucial for lubricating the moving components of the engine so they last longer and perform better while also functioning to act as a heat absorber, helping to keep the engine cool. The oil sump pan is an oil tray or tank located at the bottom of the engine. The oil sump pan stores oil, basically acting as a reservoir and collection/storage point for the returning oil once it has been pumped through the engine, before it goes off on its cycle again.

Situated at the bottom of the engine, and sealed with an oil sump gasket, the oil sump pan stores the oil which is pumped around the engine by the oil pump.

The oil pump is often positioned low to enable it to reach the oil in the oil sump pan. A short hose or pipe with a mesh strainer enables the pump to collect oil from the bottom of the oil sump pan. The oil will pass through an oil filter to clean it from any impurities before it is pumped back through the engine. Oil sump pans operate on either a wet or dry sump oiling system, but the wet oil sump is more common. Aluminium is a popular choice for oil sumps. The material, design, size and type of oil sump pan will vary from car to car.

A cracked or split oil sump pan will leak oil and will need to be fixed, if not too badly damaged, or replaced with a new oil sump pan. When replacing this part, ensure you fit an oil sump pan that's compatible with your car by buying a good quality oil sump pan.