Use Caution When You Replace Oil Drain Plugs & Gaskets
May 12, 2022
Let’s get one thing straight: oil drain plugs are not universal.
Just because an oil drain plug has the thread pitch you need for a vehicle, that doesn’t mean it will work with the oil drain pan.
Here’s what you need to know about oil drain plugs and gaskets so you can select the right replacements.
What are the Different Types of Oil Drain Plugs?
There are many kinds of oil drain plugs—including short shank, pilot point, magnetic tip, wide flange, rounded flange, flat smooth flange, or even tapered. Some oil drain plugs have an O-ring or seal on the seat. Different vehicles require distinct oil drain plugs because oil drain pans vary in design.
How Can I Tell if an Oil Drain Plug is Right for an Oil Drain Pan?
When it comes to doing a proper oil change, you should use an oil drain plug with the same quality, style, design, and fitment as the Original Equipment (OE) oil drain plug. This is the only way to be sure the plug and the pan will work together—and that you won’t have any issues. Our Dynamic Application Guide is a great resource for this information.
What Could Happen if I Use the Wrong Oil Drain Plug?
If your oil drain plug is too small, you’re going to leak oil. If your oil drain plug is too big, it will rethread and not seal correctly. This could damage the oil drain pan and cause a potential leak the next time someone installs an OE-style oil drain plug.
Be Careful When You Replace an Oil Drain Plug
You must make sure the oil drain plug is application-specific to the vehicle. Otherwise, you could have an oil leak, damage the oil drain pan, or both.