How to Replace an Oil Drain Plug Gasket

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-40
What You'll Need
Oil pan
Replacement gasket
Car jack
Jack stands
Socket wrench

A leaky oil drain plug is often the result of a bad oil drain plug gasket. Replacing your oil plug gasket can resolve your leak and improve your engines health by keeping oil in the engine, where it belongs. Oil is the most important fluid in your vehicle, and resolving oil leaks is essential to maintaining a healthy engine.

Step 1 – Set Up for the Job

Get your supplies together and jack up the car. Support car with jack stands. Make sure that you have the correct replacement gasket for your drain plug. If the owner's manual specifies, you can purchase the part in advance. If it doesn't, you will have to wait for the oil to drain so that you can identify the gasket size before going to the auto store to pick up a new one.

Step 2 – Remove the Plug

The steps for changing a gasket follow much the same line as an oil change; prepare the oil pan and have oil on hand to replace what you drain. The oil drain plug is under the engine. If you have difficulty locating it, check your owner's manual for a more specific location—the engine and thus the plug is usually located at the front end of the car, near the center. Once you've found the plug, put the pan under it and use your wrench to loosen the bolt. Unscrew it the last few turns by hand, and make sure to stay out of the way when the oil begins to pour out. If your engine has been running, the oil will be hot, and you will have to be especially careful. The hotter the engine, the hotter the oil!

Step 3 – Remove the Gasket

Once the oil is drained, wipe off the area with the rag. Keep careful track of the plug, so that it doesn't get misplaced—it can be difficult to tell what size is needed for a replacement if the original goes missing. Locate the gasket, and carefully remove it.

Step 4 – Replace the Gasket

Fit the replacement gasket into the space the old one occupied. Use a little fresh oil to wet around the gasket and insure a good seal. Make sure that all of the edges sit evenly to prevent further leaks.

Step 5 – Replace the Plug

Replace the plug in its mounting. While you're at it, this is a great time to change the oil filter, as the oil filter is the only remaining item to make this a complete oil change. Pop the hood and refill the oil to replace what was drained during the gasket replacement. Leave a pan under the engine overnight to make sure there are no further leaks. If the pan is clean, the job is done!