Using a universal oil drain plug is similar to using a non-universal, or “normal,” one. The purpose of a universal oil drain plug is so that one plug should fit in many different sizes. Cars come in a plethora of makes and models, and each make and model comes with its own version of everything, including oil drain plugs. Some car companies hold consistence, though. For example, a line of Toyota cars may have the same type of oil drain plug. However, at times not. So, when the perfect oil drain plug is too expensive, does not exist anymore, just cannot be found, use a universal oil drain plug. In other words, if you can’t find the right piece to the puzzle, use something that looks the same, acts the same, and, hopefully, fits the same.
Think about a universal TV remote. Why does it exist? Because there are so many remotes already existing. Parallel that logic with the car industry—there are so many cars these days, and each needs its own “remote,” or, in this case, their own oil drain plug. Instead of having the costly situation of customizing every aspect of the car, a universal “what-not” is used instead. From the buyer’s perspective, this is a time saver, a money saver, and an overall energy saver. Instead of having to go to every store to find just the right oil drain plug, having to ship it just for you, and so on, there is a simpler, much more cost-efficient method. Getting a universal oil drain plug is, therefore, a good idea that will save you money.
When you got to your auto parts store, they may or may not have the exact oil drain plug you are looking for. If they do not carry what you desire, and shipping it is either going to take too much time, too much money, and just too much of a hassle, then ordering and using a universal one is just fine. However, universal may be synonymous with “easier” and “cheaper,” but it can be neither. In the rare instances that the desired oil drain plug is cheaper, perhaps because of how common the car’s make and model is, then there is no need to cough up the extra money. Moreover, universal means different things to different cars. For example, Ford’s pickup trucks may use common oil drain plugs, so a universal one shall suffice. However, a Toyota pickup may use and need a different one. In other words, universal is dependent on a few variables—the same company, the same car type, the same year, etc., and there is no real way of knowing which variable or variables will come into play.
Just as in with the “normal” ones, oil drain plugs require little work. With just a wrench, maybe a flashlight, probably a manual or schematic of the car as a whole and the isolated workplace itself, you can tighten, remove, and anything in between. However, note the oil—place newspapers and pails to catch the oil, stay out of the oil’s way, etc.