Tightening an Oil Drain Plug

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  • Beginner
What You'll Need
Socket wrench

When you change the oil, you have to remove the oil drain plug with a socket wrench. Changing the oil is a relatively easy project for any do-it-yourself mechanic. The hardest part of the entire process is tightening the oil drain plug after the oil has been drained. There are some specific steps you should take in order to make sure the oil drain plug is tightened properly, and the oil does not leak.

Step 1 - Clean Oil from Area

Before you set the oil drain plug into the oil pan, you must make sure that the pan is free of any oil. Use a soft shop rag and wipe off any excess oil that is left over. Clean the threads on the oil drain plug as well, before tightening it in the oil pan. Check to see that the plastic or copper sealing washer is intact.

Step 2 - Use Your Finger to Tighten Oil Drain Plug

It is important to start the oil drain plug with your fingers, so that you eliminate the possibility of cross-threading the bolt. Continue to tighten it, until you can not turn it anymore.

Step 3 - Tighten Plug with Socket

Place a socket onto the oil drain plug and continue tightening it until it is snug on the oil pan. Give it one more 1/4 turn. Do not overtighten, or it will stripthe threads.