What Size Socket For Oil Drain Plug?

Do you realize that every vehicle needs an oil filter to keep the engine running smoothly and long? This device is tiny, yet it ensures that your car’s engine runs smoothly. An oil filter safeguards your engine against contaminants in engine oils, even if it appears to be idle.

Engine oils are routinely polluted with dirt and debris, even if you aren’t aware of it, which can harm your car’s engine bearings. When this happens, your engine will have low oil pressure, which is quite dangerous. It ruins the motor making your life a living hell. You may have to invest money attempting to repair the engine or have to change it. That is how crucial an oil filter is to any vehicle. Unless your vehicle’s oil filter & oil drain stopper/plug are impossible to access, replace the vehicle oil and oil filter yourself so you can save money.

To change your oil, you don’t have to be a mechanic; all you need is the ability to recognize critical sections of the vehicle and the appropriate equipment. From a high level, the oil change technique entails a few steps. Let’s look at some possible concerns before beginning a DIY oil change.

oil drain plug

What Size Socket For Oil Drain Plug?

Before beginning a project, such as changing a vehicle oil, choose the correct size and type of socket wrench to use first and foremost. ¼” (0.6 cm), ⅜” (0.9 cm), ½” (1.3 cm), and ¾” (1.9 cm) are the four common socket sizes.


Furthermore, sockets may come in a variety of forms to match different bolt heads: 6 points (hexagon), 8 points (dual square), & 12 points (double hexagon). You risk damaging the tool and injuring your hands if you use a too large socket. Furthermore, specific socket wrenches are longer than usual to accommodate protruding nuts.

Are All Oil Plugs The Same Size?

Although there is no standard drain plug type/size, specific sizes are commonly used. The plug is usually always reusable. Thus automotive mechanics need not replace the plug.

The disposable component is merely a gasket or sealing washer. To know the size of the plug, measure it, and you can do this with digital calipers or a ruler (which isn’t the ideal way but will suffice if you don’t have these instruments). At the broadest portion of the threads, check the size of the plug. If your stopper is 12mm in diameter, you’ll need to seek a stopper/plugin in the “M12 x 1.25 – M12 x 1.75′′ size range. The “M12” corresponds to the diameter of your Factory sump plug measured from the widest point of the threads.

What Size Socket Do I Need To Change My Oil?

The selection of the size socket matching the specific hardware for changing oil is critical. ¼” (0.6 cm), ⅜” (0.9 cm), ½” (1.3 cm), and ¾” (1.9 cm) are the four common socket sizes.

A socket kind of wrench is a tool used to tighten or loosen the neck of a fastener for a nut or bolt. It has a comfortable grip to which various size sockets can be fitted for tightening multiple fasteners. The socket wrench may have a ratchet handle, which allows the twist to revolve constantly without lifting it.

What Good Will It Do To Change Engine Oil On Time?

The most important routine of automobile maintenance is to change your oil on a regular schedule; carefully planned oil changes are critical in keeping your automobile running smoothly.

  • Change oil regularly to keep the engine clean.
  • Routine oil changes increase the likelihood of longer engine life.
  • Replacing your oil maintains your engine’s other components.
  • By replacing your oil regularly, you can get better gas mileage.
  • Pass Your Emissions Test and Help the Environment.
  • Oil changes periodically aid in improved engine efficiency.

What Wrench To Use For Oil Change?

The combination wrench is the commonly used instrument for changing motor oil. Such a type of wrench has two sides, open and closed.

Use the open end to take the wrench and put it on the nut. Furthermore, sockets, keys, and spanners are the three sorts of wrench/twists. A socket kind is a valuable tool to have in your toolkit. It can be put vertically or horizontally into a socket to turn the bolt.

Which Way To Turn Oil Drain Plug?

Spray the plug with penetrating oil and allow the oil to stand for hours. Then, using a light hammer, tap the oil plug counterclockwise to confirm the loosening.

The classic hypothesis, Righty-Tighty, and Lefty-Loosey is the easiest way to recall which side tightens and loosens. Rotating generally threaded objects right, or clockwise, drawing them (Righty-Tighty), whereas turning them left, or counterclockwise, reduces them (Righty-Loosey) (Lefty-Loosey). Mechanics frequently use this strategy.

How To Change Oil In Lawn Mower Without Drain Plug?

If a lawnmower doesn’t have an oil drain stopper or plug, utilize a vacuum oil pump to drain/remove the oil inside the dipstick tube and use a vacuum oil pump. Then use a dipstick pump for an oil change to drain the oil.

Warming up the oil will help it flow more manageably, so run the lawnmower for approximately 5-10 mins. To warm it up. It uses a dipstick oil change pump to drain the engine oil from the lawnmower with a tiny tube. After that, replace it with new engine oil.

Why Does An Oil Drain Plug Get Stripped?

The threads of an oil plug or a pan threads are usually stripped due to past overtightening. Drain plugs have a torque rating and should be adhered to during reinstallation. Destruction of the oil plug thread or oil pan can occur if torque value is ignored and overtightening occurs.

One of two states is usually described as a “stripped” oil drain stopper/plug or oil pan plug. These problems vary from each other in terms of context and viable solutions. Destruction of the thread of an oil pan’s drain hole will be the first of those problems. A drain plug or oil pan bolt cannot be adequately torqued because of this damage. This issue frequently leads to continuous oil leaking and should be addressed soon. Failure to address such problems might lead to engine damage due to excessive oil loss.

How To Remove Rounded Or Stripped Oil Drain Plugs?

The procedures for resolving such different problems are distinctive. The following are the procedures for removing rounded or stripped oil drain plugs:

Stripped Threaded Drain Plug: A drain stopper with threads that are stripped can frequently be removed by turning it counterclockwise using a socket or a wrench. However, to get any residual threads to grip, adding a little bit of outward force may be required to the plug.

With a Rounded Off Top Drain Plug – The extraction of an oil drain stopper/plug w/ such a round head necessitates a particular approach. In this state, removing an oil drain plug usually requires a unique socket termed an extractor of a bolt, w/c has spiraling interior grooves.

How To Drain Oil Without Removing Drain Plug?

Topsider is a tool allowing the replacement of oil without having to remove the stopper from the oil pan. Topsider operates by squeezing the oil out of the dipstick tube with a hose.

Also, an Oil Suction & Gun is a good way of removing oil from a motor that doesn’t have a drain plug. To use the gadget, place the tub into an engine’s fill hole and pull the lever to suction the oil out from the engine. It can pump a lot of oil in a single pump.

Can Oil Filter Be Changed Without Draining Oil?

Yes, oil can certainly be replaced without draining the oil. A filter change does not affect the location of the oil.

You can certainly replace your oil filter without draining the oil. A filter change does not affect the location of the oil. If any oil leaks from the filter, it’s what’s caught beyond the anti-drain-back gasket. Depending on your car, you could lose anywhere between half a quart to a whole quart when changing the filter. There is no wrong with doing so, and it benefits you.

How Do You Measure A Oil Drain Plug?

To obtain such basic information, use a tape measure to measure the plug. Then, using the wrench, determine the plug’s width and use the wrench’s aperture to indicate the width.

Do the measuring at the most comprehensive portion of the threads. If your plug is 12mm in diameter, you’ll need to seek oil plugs/stoppers in the “M12 x 1.25 to M12 x 1.75′′ size range. The “M12” refers to the diameter of your OEM sump plug measured from the widest point of the threads.

Which Way Do You Unscrew A Oil Drain Plug?

Crawl underneath the vehicle and look for the engine oil screw towards the front. When plugging in the socket, use the wrench to adjust the plugin counterclockwise.

Once loosened, you can remove the plug. The hot oil will evaporate as soon as it is poured out. Always keep in mind that bolts are loosened by twisting them counterclockwise. Lefty-loosey, righty-tightly It may seem insignificant, but things like that are helpful when under the vehicle.

How Can I Remove a Stuck Oil Drain Plug?

There are essential steps to follow written below to remove a stuck oil drain stopper/plug from a car. If not, use a lubricant, then the final alternative is to get an expert’s assistance.

Allow time for your car’s engine to warm up – If you can take a few minutes to go around the road or let your motor warm up for a bit, that will be enough time for the parts of your engine to warm up. Climb beneath your car after a few mins and find the drain plug, which you should turn counterclockwise. You should be able to take out the plug from the oil pan more quickly if the engine is still warm.

Make use of a hammer – Mechanics frequently use this strategy. Sometimes all you need is a hammer to smash whatever you’re working on theoretically. Spray the oil plug with penetrating oil and let it remain for several hours. Then, using a tiny hammer, tap the plug/stopper counterclockwise to confirm that it is loosening.

Tools for the Job – Socket wrenches are the most common type, pull out a handle socket wrench & locate a socket that fits your oil plug. You’ll be able to obtain some more torque if you utilize a more extended handle.

Gator Hand– The tiny teeth on a gator grip will assist you in removing the drain cap from the oil pan. It’s as simple as wrapping it around an oil drain stopper/plug & rotating it counterclockwise.

Using Lubricant for the First Time – You’re starting to consider your possibilities but aren’t having much luck. Take some grease and grease the oil drain stopper/plugin thread and around. Together with the temperature or warmth, this will make it easier to remove the oil drain stopper with the additional equipment stated before. The final alternative is to seek expert assistance.

What Are The Steps To Change Your Car’s Oil?

Heat the vehicle engine/motor for 2 or 3 mins. Before starting a DIY oil change, the gunk becomes stirred up and can drain out quickly. Turn off when the engine feels somewhat warm to the touch. Then, to change the car’s oil, follow the instructions below:

  • Locate the drain plug under your vehicle. Underneath the oil drain stopper/plug, place a container.
  • Remove the oil stopper by unscrewing it. Remove the cover from the head of your engine’s oil filler hole and remove the oil filter if you can’t do it by hand.
  • Fill a drain pan halfway with oil from the filter. Dip your finger into a fresh bottle of oil.
  • Replace the old filter in the engine by screwing the new one in place. Wipe the area in which the oil drain stopper is located.
  • Reinstall the oil drain stopper/plug & tighten it with an adjustable wrench. Pour all except 1 quart of fresh oil into the oil refill hole using a funnel.
  • Run the vehicle for 30 secs after replacing the oil filler cap. Recheck the oil level after turning off the engine and waiting five to ten minutes for the oil to sink into the oil pan.
  • Continue to drizzle in a small amount of oil at a time. Pull the drain pan from underneath the vehicle and test drive it. Allow five to 10 minutes for the oil to settle before rechecking the dipstick.

Where Is The Oil Drain Plug Located?

Examine the engine oil pan’s bottom. The oil drain stopper or plug is a big nut or oil plug positioned at the bottom of the engine under the oil pan.

A single bolt should be visible around the bottom of the pan. If you can’t reach your oil drain stopper or plug readily, you’ll have to crawl under your car or jack up the vehicle. Some car types include a round stopper/plug that can be pulled to drain the oil.

What Is The Cost Of An Oil Drain Plug?

The price range is often between $100 to $350, but certain pieces of vehicles for such change/repair are expensive. The oil pan gasket change might cost from $40 to $150.

Replacement drain plugs are readily accessible if only the drainage plug (screw) is damaged. If the oil pan’s threads are damaged, you don’t have to replace the entire pan. The labor for this can be time-consuming in some circumstances.

How Tight Should An Oil Plug Be?

When using a wrench, tighten the plug very softly until stopping, and the oil plug is barely snug on the pan. Then pull the plug 1/4 degree at a turn.

It’s important not to overtighten the engine oil drain stopper/plug. When it comes to the drain plug, the best advice is to twist its finger tightly in which the gasket hits the drain pan area, then turn it a quarter degree.

Should There Be Oil In My Spark Plugs?

No, first and foremost, such a thing is not normal. Oil is never found on car spark plugs, or four-stroke engine spark plugs found in snow blowers and lawnmowers.

Only two-stroke engines, such as chainsaws and leaf blowers, gather oil on their spark plugs. Such is due to the way oil lubricates various engine types. Oil is applied to a reservoir separate from the gasoline in cars and four-stroke engines. Two-stroke engines employ a combination of gas & oil as a lubricant, mixing fuel & Lubricant into a unified liquid. This mixture is usually 50 percent gas to one percent oil. Engine oil will not deposit on spark plugs in normally operating two-stroke engines, but when oil and gas are mixed, it can happen in various ways.

How Do I Stop My Oil Drain Plug From Over Tightening?

Twisting as tight as possible by hand is recommended – crank the plug until naturally stopping, and then rotate in a quarter of a turn. Do the procedure to avoid the oil plug from over-tightening and not damage the screw pitch.

Sludge is frequently the most common cause of a stuck oil drain stopper or plug. It’s difficult to remove the oil drain cap the typical way because of its formation. So because the oil in the motor has gone beyond its oil change time, sludge accumulates around the drain plug. When the oil is exposed to specific temperatures, it begins to oxidize.

What Happens If You Don’t Tighten Oil Drain Plug?

If an oil drain plug isn’t tightened correctly, the gasket isn’t in place or is a double gasket; such will cause a leak and spill oil over the place. The plug will jiggle free and fall out eventually.

It must be adequately tightened. Another way of putting drain plugs not the right way is to tighten them over or put them on before even cleaning the gasket with clean oil. If you over-tighten the oil stopper, you may strip the threads within the oil pan.

Which Way Do You Unscrew A Oil Drain Plug?

An engine oil screw is located towards the vehicle’s front. When plugging in the socket, use the wrench to release the plugin counterclockwise. When the plug is loosened, remove the plug.

However, you may find that the oil drain stopper is too tight and will not budge when turned. If this happens, it implies the plug has been trapped and will not come out unless you take specific steps. Overtightening is the most common cause of a hard stopper/plug that refuses to open. Some car mechanics may use excessive force when clamping the oil plug without thinking it will eventually have to be loosened by somebody else.


Among the most crucial and costly components of your vehicle is the engine. A timely oil change is one of the most critical things you could do to safeguard your engine’s health and extend its life. You must assess the status of your engine oil at least once a week. Replace it and the oil filter every few months or when the mileage reaches 3000-6000 miles, whichever comes first.

The home oil change is one of the most critical aspects of do-it-yourself car maintenance. It’s a simple procedure that involves only a few pieces of equipment, and it’s a surefire way to save money while avoiding the discomfort of sitting in a stuffy waiting room reading old magazines. An essential oil change is, above all, a terrific way to interact with your automobile & take control of its upkeep. You can use the time you spend beneath the hood of the car to see if there’s anything else that needs maintenance.

The entire procedure takes about 30 mins once you’ve performed an oil change a few times and are acquainted with your vehicle’s quirks. When opposed to going to a mechanic, stockpiling oil & filters in your garage will save you both time and money. Once you’ve mastered the fundamental oil change, you’ll find that many other maintenance activities become second nature.

Robert Aksamit

Robert Aksamit

Robert Aksamit is a mechanical engineer and automotive industry expert. Robert was born in Minnesota and worked in the US automotive industry for 25 years. He is highly regarded for his passion and dedication to continually improving vehicles in response to customer feedback. Robert has a keen eye for sourcing the best vehicle components and materials on the market and is always looking for ways to enhance the user experience. As a writer, Robert covers automotive-related topics. Read more on Robert Aksamit's about page. Contact Robert: robert@promtengine.com

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