How to Find the Size of Your Oil Drain Plug

  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Pan (large enough to catch oil)
Tape measure

Finding out the size of your oil drain plug is not too difficult of a task, if you have the right tools. Knowing the size of your oil drain plug is a crucial step in knowing how to prepare if it needs to be replaced, changed or anything in between. Generally, the first few steps revolve around simply locating the drain plug in the first place. After finding it, the oil drain plug is simple to measure.

Step 1—Getting Started

The first step is to locate the oil drain plug. For this, you will need to consult your manual. The manual should have a general schematic of your car. The importance of a schematic is to provide the visual organization of the entire car. There may be a time where you cannot visually see the plug and will have to search for it blindly with your hand and knowing the shape of it will help. Otherwise you may pull something else, causing a big problem. The manual itself should verbally explain the location of the plug and that is crucial because every make and model is a little different. For example, one car may have it on the right side, the other on the left, one near the hood, another away from it and so on.

If you do not have a manual, you may find one at any local auto-parts store. If not, search the internet or car dealership. You can also check the manufacturer’s website.

Slide down underneath the car. The oil drain plug should be a plug that is sticking out. It is located in the engine oil pan. Place newspaper on the ground to soak up any potential mess. Then, with your wrench, begin to loosen up the plug by spinning the wrench counter clockwise. Note not to loosen it all the way.

Step 2—Handling

Make sure you are out of the way so that the oil does not spill all over you. You can also start your engine and letting it go idle for ten minutes, or so. The heat and general movement of the motor will loosen dirt, which will end up in the oil—getting rid of dirt along with oil is not too bad of an idea, as it will be doing two jobs at same time. Now, make sure you have a deep pan directly under the plug to catch all the oil. Manually with your fingers, loosen the plug all the way, and let the oil drain into a pan.

Step 3—Measuring

Measure the plug with a tape measure to get basic information. Then, use the wrench to find the width of the plug and measure the wrench’s opening to indicate said width.