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What To Do When You Can’t Loosen Oil Drain Plug?

The oil drain plug is one of the crucial components of the engine. Its function is to keep the engine oil inside the oil pan, thus maintaining the vehicle’s smooth motion. There are conditions when you can’t loosen the oil drain plug, and you find it a bit difficult in doing so. The situations may usually develop in the car, so no need to panic. The reason behind the stuck oil drain plug could be over-tightened, or you took long to change the oil in the pan.

Whatever is responsible for the malfunctioning of the oil drain plug, our article will guide you with the best ways to deal with the situation. Below are some of the techniques which you could apply to loosen your oil drain plug. So, let’s have a brief discussion over the problem.

What Is Oil Drain Plug?

A drain plug is a plug that allows the fluid to drain from the tank, such as an engine oil pan or sump—usually located under the oil pan at the bottom of the engine. Around the bottom of the pan, you could see a single bolt, that’s the oil drain plug of your vehicle.

The drain plug may last longer with the engine’s life if it is adequately maintained and regularly changes the oil. A single drain plug has a life span of about twenty years. All the drain plugs are designed differently according to the requirement and the type of vehicle.

Can’t Loosen Oil Drain Plug? Best 5 Ways To Deal The Situation

The following are the simplest ways to follow if your oil drain plug is stick or unable to lose. So, let’s discuss the best five methods to deal with the problem.

1. Let Your Car Warm Up First

The first thing you need to do while removing a stuck oil drain plug is to allow your car to warm up. You can easily let your vehicle warm up by switching on your car and leaving it idle, or you can go for a short drive.

After this, park the car on a stable surface. Now, use the hydraulic jack to lift the vehicle and locate the oil drain plug. Then try to move the oil drain plug in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction to loosen it.

It would be pretty easy for you to do this as the warmth helps to loosen the seal that has been created.

2. Use A Hammer

Failing with the first step must not lose your confidence. The other tip or technique is to use the hammer and tap on the oil drain plug. Next, spray penetrating oil on the oil plug and leave it to rest for several minutes to hours.

Make sure you are tapping in the correct direction, which is counterclockwise. Tapping would result in the loosening of the plug.

Be careful while performing this, as slight disarrangement may damage the oil drain plug or its teeth. The procedure must continue when the oil drain plug is overtight.

3. Using A Socket Wrench

Socket wrenches are one of the most famous tools used in automotive maintenance due to their flexibility and practicality. Socket wrenches are generally referred to as multi-purpose tools that can use for various purposes. Thus, the socket wrench is regarded as the best tool to loosen the oil drain plug.

First of all, choose the right socket that fits in the oil drain plug. Later, try to remove the plug and see if it works. Finally, try to consider a socket wrench with a large handle as it would provide you with extra torque, thus making your task easy.

4. Use A Rust Remover Or A Lubricate

Whenever you inspect your oil drain plug, please have a look around and if you found dust, then treat it first before moving on. Applying a lubricant to the affected area will give a magical effect.

Rust remover function like a solvent substance for sludge and rust. It is used by spraying on the oil drain plug and then allowing it to dry for ten to twenty minutes. Later wait for a few minutes to let the oil react with the particles present, and then remove the oil drain plug smoothly.

5. Use A Gator Grip

Gator grip invention is considered a universal wrench socket. It is so-called because it can work with any socket, plugs and bolts using its teeth.

The gator grip has tiny teeth that will help you take off the drain plug from the oil pan. You only have to wrap it around the oil drain plug and turn it counterclockwise. Thus, it may help you to remove the oil drain plug.

We hope that one of the methods mentioned earlier has solved your problem. If not, then the last option to deal with the situation is to get professional help. However, remember taking your car to the professional will cost you a certain amount to remove the stuck oil drain plug.

Removing the stuck oil drain plug would require few machining skills to avoid a situation from happening again after fixing a new one. When you visit a mechanic, please show them your problem and tell them the methods you tried but failed.A professional mechanic must have deal with the situation multiple times, so within few minutes, they will solve your problem.

How Much Does Oil Drain Plug Cost?

The broad range of new oil drain plugs may range from $100 to $350, but some vehicles cost a pretty large amount. The replacement of the oil pan gasket is approximately $40 to $150. The repairing cost, in this case, is not much, although labour charges can be more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

So, here are some of the frequently asked questions can I reuse the same oil drain plug , can you over tighten oil drain plug etc?-

Can I Reuse The Same Oil Drain Plug?

The type of gasket used on your vehicle oil pan drain plug may be a single use only. If your gasket is a thicker plastic, it can be reused again and you have no need to replace it every time you change the oil.

Can You Over Tighten Oil Drain Plug?

If you over-tighten the drain plug, you can damage the rubber gasket atop the oil filter if it is harder , you really overtighten it. Most likely, though, make it difficult for the next guy to remove the plug and filter.

Why Is Oil Leaking From My Drain Plug?

You have to replace it to stop the leak. Another cause may be from the drain plug simply not being tightened all the way. It will not tight seal on the oil pan and so as the result, we see in oil leaking out. So for fixing it you have to get a properly sized wrench and tighten the drain plug up

Is Hand Tight OK For Oil Fter?

Yes, you can tighten the oil filter by hand.
you just need to be careful not to over-tighten so that you don’t cause any damage

What Tools Can Be Used  To Remove An Oil Filter That Cannot Be Removed With Your bear hands?

Tools which can be used tl remove an oil filter that canbot be removed with your bare hands-
  • Socket wrench and extension.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Disposable rags.
  • Drainage pan.
  • A Jack and jack stands


I hope all the readers got their respective answers. Now, please don’t ever feel that you can’t loosen oil drain plug by yourself; after all, it’s a simple procedure that you can efficiently perform.

If your doubts regarding the topic persist, please comment below in the comment section. We’ll for sure answer all your queries as soon as possible.