How to Fix Everything by Removing a Worn Oil Drain Plug

11 Min Read
How to Fix Everything by Removing a Worn Oil Drain Plug

This time, we’ll demonstrate how to take out a worn oil drain stopper in case you ever have a similar issue. Read this post through to the end if you want to learn how to solve this issue.

Any engine’s lifespan can be extended by doing routine oil changes. Fortunately, changing a car’s oil is a straightforward process that typically takes 30 minutes.

How to Fix Everything by Removing a Worn Oil Drain Plug

How can I take off a rusted oil drain plug?

Most drivers can change their oil without issues with education and some simple hand tools.

But occasionally, getting your oil changed can create unforeseen challenges. The most significant of these issues may be caused by a worn-out (or rounded) drain stopper.

This issue can stop even the most critical efforts since removing the drain cap is required to finish any oil change.

Additionally, an oil leak may result if the drain plug cannot be adequately tightened due to wear. This oil loss is frequently visible at the bottom of the engine crankcase.

A quality repair will be required to avoid significant oil loss and potential engine damage in these situations.

How do you take out an oil drain plug?

Usually, one of two situations is referred to as an oil drain plug that has been “stripped” (also known as an oil pan plug). These issues are distinct in terms of context and potential solutions.

The threads in the oil pan drain hole are damaged in the first of these situations. The oil pan bolt (or drain stopper) cannot be adequately tightened because of this damage.

This issue, which frequently causes ongoing oil leaks, must be fixed as soon as possible. Engine damage from excessive oil loss might occur if this issue is not resolved.

A drain plug or oil pan’s threads losing up is frequently the result of excessive pre-tightening. All drain plugs must be tightened during reinstallation to a precise torque value.

The drain plug lines or oil pan lines may become damaged if this torque value is disregarded and exceeded.

The second symptom sometimes referred to as “worn drain plug,” relates to the rounding of a drain plug’s hex head. This makes it impossible to remove a drain stopper effectively by using a wrench or socket.

Old oil cannot, therefore, be removed from the engine crankcase. Ultimately, this issue must be resolved before an oil change can occur.

The use of an incorrectly sized wrench or socket during the first removal or installation is the most frequent reason for a rounded drain plug.

Typically, this happens when a classic twist is applied to a metric application or the other way around.

The head of a drain plug will undoubtedly continue to round during subsequent oil changes once it starts to do so.

How to Remove an Oil Drain Plug That Is Worn (or Rounded)

As was already established, two distinct problems are generally referred to as “worn drain plugs.”

Both of these issues require different approaches to be taken to solve them. However, one can gain control of either circumstance with persistence and a steady hand.

Depending on the circumstance, follow these methods to remove a worn oil drain plug:

1. Threaded drain plug with damage.

Removing a drain stopper with stripped threads is frequently possible by simply twisting it counterclockwise with a wrench or socket. You might need to gently push outward on the plug to engage the remaining lines.

A flat-head screwdriver between the bottom of the drain plug head and the oil pan’s outside surface can typically be used to do this.

Channel-lock pliers can spin the worn drain plug counterclockwise while taking it out if its head is flush with the engine’s oil pan body. Even under less-than-ideal conditions, this technique will typically be sufficient to eliminate it.

2. Round-headed drain plug

A completely different method must be used to remove a drain plug with a rounded head.

In this condition, pulling a drain plug typically necessitates using a unique tool called a bolt extractor, which has internal spiral grooves.

Using an impact hammer, a plug of this kind can be gently tamped into the head of a drain plug of this type. This makes removing the plug easier because the pin’s inside grooves bite into the head of a rounded screw.

How can a damaged oil pan drain hole be fixed?

It is occasionally possible for an oil pan drain hole to separate, making it difficult to tighten the drain plug on your engine correctly. This can be very worrying and leave many drivers concerned about what seems to be an unsolvable issue.

Fortunately, this kind of issue can frequently be fixed with the aid of an excellent oil plug repair kit.

Oil drain plug repair kits remove damaged threads from the oil pan’s drain hole before rethreading it to accept a slightly bigger plug.

When carried out correctly, this process enables a replacement drain plug to be placed in the same way as the plug that came with the vehicle. This avoids buying and installing a replacement oil pan, saving time and money.

How do I use a repair kit for an oil drain plug?

You will now learn how to use an oil drain plug repair kit to remove a damaged oil drain stopper.

The following are the general procedures for using this kit:

1. Take out the frayed threads.

A reaming bit clears debris from pre-existing threads and is a common component of oil drain plug repair kits. As a result, a new surface can be tapped to accept a fresh drain plug.

2. Threading fresh threads

The oil pan drain hole is then carefully threaded with a particular size tap. New threads are created as a result, which an enlarged drain stopper can grab onto.

A fixture of this kind is often turned multiple times in the clockwise direction before being turned once or twice in the opposite direction.

Repeat this procedure until the tap has reached the bottom of the oil pan drain hole.

3. Examine the threads

One should pause to thoroughly evaluate their handy job after inserting a fresh set of threads into the oil pan’s drain hole. Ensure that all lines are evenly cut and devoid of extra metal shavings.

4. Wipe out the oil pan

It is always a good idea to flush a 12 quart of oil through your car’s engine after recapping the oil pan drain hole before replacing the drain stopper.

Most metal shavings that would otherwise contaminate your engine oil will be eliminated.

5. Insert a drain stopper that is too large

Now that the oil pan has been rethreaded, you will thread a fresh drain plug into the drain hole. When tightening this plug for the first time, care should be given to check for any anomalies.

The drain plug should be tightened to the value recommended when using a repair kit. Verify that your sealing washer is fitted uniformly around the outside of the drain hole after drawing the drain stopper.

6. Top off the oil and look for leaks

After fully refueling your engine with fresh oil, check for leaks to ensure the integrity of your repair. Start the engine and check for leaks again if none are visible.

After driving your car for a short distance, you should perform this inspection again. After a brief test drive, if the oil pan and drain plug are still dry, there is no reason to suspect that there will be any additional issues.

How can I stop the threads on the drain plug from coming undone?

While it is inevitable that a drain plug will sustain damage from a prior owner, some steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of doing such harm yourself. These crucial methodological guidelines guarantee that a drain plug won’t be damaged.

Using a correctly sized socket wrench at each oil change is the first of these safety measures. The probability of a drain plug’s hex head rounding is significantly decreased by doing this.

You can frequently find information about the drain plug size for a given car online or by reviewing the service manual for that manufacturer.

The drain plug on your car must be tightened according to the correct torque specifications. By doing this, there is a far lower chance of causing thread damage to the oil pan or engine drain plug.

A torque wrench can be utilized to prevent overtightening and ensure the drain plug in question is not at all slack.

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