Difference Between Dry Sump and Wet Sump

Dry Sump vs Wet Sump

What is the Difference Between Dry Sump and Wet Sump in Engine Lubrication System?

  • Admin
  • Jan 11, 2024

In the world of internal combustion engines, the choice of lubrication system  plays a crucial role in determining the engine's efficiency and performance. Two  primary systems employed for this purpose are the dry sump and wet sump  lubrication systems. 

Let's delve into the key differences between these systems  and understand their respective advantages and applications. 

Dry Sump Lubrication System: 

  1. Oil Storage: 

The defining characteristic of a dry sump system is the absence of an oil pan  beneath the engine. Instead of storing oil in a single reservoir, a dry sump system  features an external oil tank separate from the engine. This tank typically resides  in the vehicle's chassis. 

  1. Oil Pump Location: 

In a dry sump system, the oil pump is located externally, drawing oil from the tank  and delivering it to various engine components through a series of lines. This  external pump arrangement allows for more precise control over oil pressure and  flow. 

  1. Reduced Oil Starvation: 

One of the primary advantages of a dry sump system is its ability to prevent oil  starvation during high-speed and high-G maneuvers. The external oil tank ensures  a consistent oil supply, even in situations where a wet sump system might  experience oil sloshing away from the pickup. 

  1. Lower Center of Gravity: 

With no oil pan beneath the engine, a dry sump system allows for a lower  installation of the engine, contributing to a lower center of gravity for the vehicle.  This can be particularly beneficial for performance-oriented applications.

Wet Sump Lubrication System: 

Oil Storage: 

In contrast to the dry sump system, a wet sump system features an oil pan  directly beneath the engine, serving as the primary reservoir for oil storage.  This is the more traditional and common design found in many production  vehicles. 

Oil Pump Location: 

The oil pump in a wet sump system is typically housed within the oil pan. It  draws oil from the pan and circulates it through the engine, providing  lubrication to various components. 

Simplicity and Cost: 

Wet sump systems are generally simpler and more cost-effective to  manufacture and maintain. This makes them the preferred choice for  everyday vehicles where the benefits of a dry sump system may not be as  critical. 

Ease of Installation: 

Wet sump systems are easier to install, making them a practical choice for a  wide range of applications, including mass-produced vehicles. 


The choice between a dry sump and wet sump lubrication system depends on the  specific requirements of the vehicle and its intended use. Performance and racing  applications often favor the advantages offered by a dry sump system, while wet  sump systems remain popular for their simplicity and cost-effectiveness in  everyday vehicles.

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