How to remove an over tightened oil plug?

The oil plug may get jammed in its place due to sludge or over tightening, but it can be removed using tools like socket wrenches, hot-air gun, or hammer.

If your oil drain plug is stuck and you are unable to open it with your hands, open it with a wrench and even with a rounded wrench.

You can go to a car repair shop to solve the problem, but before that, try these 5 methods for removing an over tightened oil plug on your own;

Warm it up method

This is a very easy trick to loosen your over tightened oil plug.

Warming up the nut can make turning action easier as, at high temperatures, metals expand.

However, the expansion rates are different for different metals, and the hardened material of your bolt would take longer than the oil pan metal to expand.

Resultantly, the hole where the plug is fitted would expand slightly, and you would be able to remove the plug using a wrench.

Usually, you won’t need extra tools for this method;

  1. Start your engine and leave the vehicle as that for some time, or take a drive on it so that engine gets warmed up.
  2. Park your car on an even surface and use a hydraulic jack to lift it up.
  3. Locate the oil drain plug and loosen it with a wrench.

You can also warm up the oil drain plug with a hot-air gun.

But do not use a burner, lighter, or any other flame to heat up the oil plug, as it can lead to fire accidents.

Lubricant/ Rust remover method

This method is effective if your drain plug is stuck due to sledge formation.

Impurities in engine oil or not changing the oil for a long time leads to oxidative reactions, which may rust the oil plug.

Resultantly, the nut gets stuck in its place and does not come off even if you apply a lot of force through the wrench.

In such cases, a lubricant oil or rust removing spray comes in handy.

Just spray the lubricant solution over the tightened plug and let it penetrate into the plug surroundings for one or two hours.

Then try to open the drain screw with a wrench.

Socket Wrench method

If the plug is not moving with a regular wrench, you may use a better multipurpose tool called a socket wrench.

This tool comes in handy for many functions you need to perform for vehicle maintenance.

To remove an oil drain plug, pick up the socket which fits over the bolt exactly and then rotates it to loosen the nut.

Choosing a wrench with a long handle is beneficial as it offers additional torque to make the turning process easier.

Hammer tap method

If the oil plug is so tightened that you are unable to open it even with a socket wrench, give it some jerks with a hammer. Tap the bolt with the hammer in the right direction.

But be careful, do not hit it so hard to damage the corners of the bolt. Then, turn the plug with a socket wrench.

Gator grip method

Gator grip, also known as a universal wrench socket, is a tool that fits over bolts and makes it easier to open the over tightened nuts.

This tool is effective even if your oil plug is stripped or rounded because its twisted teeth fix it firmly on most bolts, and you can rotate the bolt easily by using a socket wrench.

Get help from a service station.

If all of these methods fail and your oil plug is not coming off.

It’s time to go to a service station to fix the problem. They can loosen the stuck bolt with their more efficient and complex tools, and if it’s too tight, the oil pan may need to be drilled to drain oil.

In this case, you would need to get your oil pan replaced.

However, make sure that the repair shop you are choosing has a good reputation and that the person dealing with your vehicle is expert enough to handle the issue.

You can also ask about the solution method and how you can prevent this trouble next time.

Which way do you loosen the oil drain plug?

Though it’s basic but is an important thing to know is in which direction you should turn the wrench to loosen the oil plug because if you turn it in the reverse direction, you may over-tighten the bolt, making it difficult to remove.

It becomes a little trickier when you are lying under the vehicle, changing your oil by yourself.

Because upside down, you may get confused about the direction.

Just remember that you should turn your tool in the anti-clockwise/counter clockwise or left direction to open the plug seal.

Use the mnemonic “left- loose, Right- tight” to help you memorize the right direction.

Take away

  • To unplug the oil drainage of the vehicle, which is closed by an over tightened bolt, you can utilize the warm up method, socket wrench, lubricants, and Gator grip tool.
  • If none of these tricks work, you should consult an expert or go to the nearby repair shop.
  • Besides that, you can use a vacuum oil extractor to drain the oil without removing the oil plug.