Because you'll have to drain the engine oil to remove the oil drain plug, it's generally a good idea to replace the plug when changing your oil.
- With the engine raised, move the drain pan under the oil drain plug.
- Use the correct filter wrench to loosen the plug.
- A typical drain plug is not made of the strongest metal and can be rounded with a wrong wrench. A boxed-in wrench is suggested.
- Be careful not to strip the threads in the oil pan.
- Check the condition of the drain plug gasket. The gasket is usually made of either nylon or a soft metal such as aluminum or copper. Drain plug gaskets are usually reusable, but at the first signs of wear or damage they should be replaced.
Check the condition of the gasket on the drain plug.
- Continue draining the oil.
- Prior to reinstalling the drain plug, wipe off its threads and sealing surface with a clean rag.
- Always turn the drain plug all of the way into the thread by hand. Only use a wrench to torque the plug when its gasket has been compressed against the oil pan. This will avoid the possibility of accidentally stripping a thread.
- If a stripped thread is encountered, self-tapping drain plugs are available.
A self tapping drain plug and gasket.