What Size Socket For Oil Drain Plug?

Fasteners such as nuts and bolts may be tightened or loosened by using a socket wrench to hold the head of the fastener and turn it. To tighten different-sized fasteners, you may add a variety of sizes of sockets to the long handle. In certain cases, a ratchet handle is attached to the socket wrench, making it possible to use the instrument without lifting it. It’s critical to select the correct socket wrench for the task based on the type of hardware involved. The most common type is the ratcheting socket wrench, often known as an everyday ratchet. Instead of removing and repositioning a wrench to spin the socket, a ratchet’s reverse ratcheting mechanism allows the operator to swivel the tool back and forth.

Your car’s “lifeblood” is engine oil. Whether or not your automobile lives a long and happy life is directly related to how well you maintain the oil in your vehicle. Every time you start your automobile, the engine oil does its best to keep it operating smoothly. Engine oil serves three basic purposes: lubrication, cooling, and protection. In the first place, oil serves to keep engine parts from slamming together. It takes less than seven seconds for the engine’s oil to finish lubricating the bearings, crankshaft, and pistons.

During a certain lubrication cycle, the oil also absorbs heat generated by the engine’s activity. Before emptying the oil from the pan, remember that the oil absorbs heat from the surrounding environment. Finally, the most important role of engine oil is to keep the engine itself safe from harm. Because of this, your engine will last longer if you replace your oil regularly. This post will acknowledge everything regarding What Socket Size Is Required For An Oil Drain Plug?

What Size Socket for the Oil Drain Plug?

The socket size for the oil drain plug is 3/8 inch (0.9 centimeters). The four common socket sizes are: 1/4 inch (0.6 centimeters), 3/8 inch (0.9 centimeters), 1/2 inch (1.3 centimeters) and 3/4 inch (1.9 centimeters).

Socket For Oil Drain Plug set

Sockets come in a variety of forms, including six-point (hexagon), eight-point (double square), and 12-point (hexagon) (double hexagon). You may damage the tool and your hands if you use a too big socket. To accommodate bolts that protrude, certain socket wrenches are deeper than usual. Choosing the socket wrench size to use is an important step before beginning any activity, such as changing the oil in your automobile. To allow the engine’s spent oil to drain, you’ll need a socket wrench to pry out the drain plug.

The first step is to start the automobile and let the engine warm-up. As a result, the oil is thinner and more easily drained. Afterward, firmly put the parking brake on and secure the jack supports under the car. Find the drain plug under the car, which should be warm due to the hot engine, and pull it out. Fit the socket wrench over the drain plug nut and crank it counterclockwise with a 3/8-inch (0.9 cm) socket. You may drain the engine’s used oil by unscrewing the oil drain plug. It would be best to place a bucket and a few sheets of newspaper under the engine to capture any oil spilled.

Are all oil plugs the same size?

No, all oil plugs are not the same size. There are just a few standard sizes of drain plugs, so there is no universal plug size.

When looking for the oil drain plug on your car, look for the lowest place on the oil pan related to the very bottom of the engine. On some pans, the plug isn’t always on the bottom. However, you’re more likely to see this outside, where it is better protected from rubbing against a pothole or speed bump. Getting to the plug is frequently a different story than finding it. It means that plugs can get tucked up against all other engine and chassis components, making it difficult to remove them with the proper tools. Unlike when changing your oil filter, you won’t need a specific tool to perform this. A ratchet is the most convenient tool for removing a plug, but you may require an extension to get to and unscrew this piece.

If you notice that the oil level in your engine is falling, you should first check the oil drain plug for leaks. For starters, place a piece of cardboard under your vehicle’s engine and leave it there for the night. It’s a sure clue that there’s an active leak if you notice oil streaks or puddles on the cardboard the next morning. When you’ve jack-knifed the automobile or driven it onto ramps, use jack stands. Next, locate the oil plug and check the area surrounding it for evidence of leaks. If you can’t tell because it’s too dirty, try cleaning it and seeing if the freshly polished metal of the pan starts to distribute oil. The leak may take some time to fix.

What Wrench Should I Use For An Oil Change?

To remove the most common drain plugs, you’ll need a 13mm or 15mm wrench. Usually, you need to use a combination wrench for oil changes.

The combination wrench is the most commonly used instrument to replace motor oil. This type of wrench provides an open and a closed-end. Use the open end to remove your wrench and place it on the nut. Then, flip the tool over and use the other side to remove the nut’s corners. To remove the most common drain plugs, you’ll need a 13mm or 15mm wrench. As with most things automotive, these two lengths are frequently employed.

Additionally, it would be best if you had a torque wrench that you can use to provide precise torque or an impact wrench that can remove lug nuts. Because you won’t have to drive your car to something like an auto repair shop anymore to get your oil changed, it’s a lot more satisfying to do it yourself. In addition, the more you learn about automotive mechanics, the better equipped you will be to deal with any problems that may arise in the future.

Pneumatic impact, hydraulic torque-wrenching wrenches, and breaker bars are some of the other typical techniques for driving sockets. For example, striking wrenches with square drives and hydraulic impact wrenches are two lesser-known hybrid drivers. Hydraulic power is typically used in military tanks and numerous rail car applications. Modern sockets are hexagonal, or “6-point,” about the points where their six solid-sided facets meet. Using a male-to-female square connector, these are linked to the driving tool (called the square drive).

How Do I Change The Oil In My Lawn Mower Without A Drain Plug?

You can change the oil in a lawnmower without a drain plug using a vacuum pump, tilting the lawn mover, or using the dipstick method.

You’ll need a vacuum oil pump to remove the oil from the dipstick tube if your lawnmower is like mine and lacks an oil drain stopper. Run the lawnmower for 5 to 10 minutes to warm the oil for best results. An oil change pump with only a short tube helps me drain the lawnmower’s oil. It is possible to re-fill the engine with 10W-40 or 10W-30 oil once the old oil has been removed. Because I can use it to replace the oil in both my Jet Ski and my automobiles without replacing the drain plug, I adore my oil drain vacuum pump. Definitely worth the money. After a year of weekly lawnmower use, the oil, as shown above, had become a dark brownish-black color.

You should change the oil every six months if used heavily. Part synthetic engine oil from Castrol Magnate is what I use. As long as it’s good for my automobile, it’s okay for my 4-stroke lawnmower. Unfortunately, it seems like I’ll have to change the oil every six months now. If you’re picky, fully synthetic engine oil is an option. On the other hand, let’s be honest: most lawnmowers don’t have powerful engines.

Although it is generally discouraged, it is possible to tip a lawnmower over to empty the engine oil. After starting, the lawnmower will emit a strong odor of burning oil for a few minutes. This engine oil lubricates pistons, rings, bearings, and valves in 4-stroke engines. When a lawnmower is tipped over, oil can accumulate in several locations. Running for an extended period may result in hard starting and smoke billowing from the exhaust pipe. To do an oil change, warm the engine up for 5 to 15 minutes, then switch it off and remove the oil filter.

For your safety, you should remove the spark plug lead. Next, drain the oil from the lawnmower by removing the oil filler cap and tilting it over. When installing an exhaust system, place the muffler high and the oil drain tube low. The engine may be hot, so use caution. A friend or family member may make the process much easier. Put some 10-40 4-stroke engine oil in after draining the engine completely. Always check the dipstick to ensure the crankcase is not overfilled.

Can I loosen an oil drain plug?

You can loosen the oil drain plug by spraying penetrating oil on the oil plug and leaving it to sit for several hours.

Just let the car warm up before trying to remove a jammed oil drain plug. You may accomplish this either by leaving the vehicle idle or taking it out for a brief trip. After that, choose a solid place to put your automobile. Next, locate your oil drain plug and rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise till it loosens, using any hydraulic jack high up on the automobile. Because of their usefulness and adaptability, socket wrenches are the most commonly used equipment in vehicle repair. As a multipurpose tool, it may be used for many different things. Socket wrenches are best for removing the oil drain stopper. To remove a jammed oil drain plug, use a socket that is the correct size for the oil drain plug. Use a longer-handled socket wrench to get greater torque for your task.

Don’t give up hope if the second step doesn’t work. The oil drain stopper can also be tapped with a hammer. The plug may be unfastened by gently tapping it in the appropriate direction and the correct manner. It would be best if you did not damage the teeth of the oil drain stopper. Then, using a socket wrench, try again to remove the oil drain stopper. Lubricants are useful in these cases since they operate like magic on a stuck object. It works as a solvent for sludge and rust, so rust removal products are so effective. Spray it on the oil drain stopper and wait for it to reactivate. You can use a socket wrench or other tool to attempt to remove the oil drain stopper after a little time has elapsed.

The universal wrench socket is referred to because you may use it with any plug, socket, and bolt. Next, remove the plug with the gator grip. Because this is the last stage, you’ve already tried everything else and still haven’t gotten the factory oil drain plug out. Don’t be sad. Is it wrong to seek help whenever things get difficult? However, be careful who you ask for aid from. ” Make sure you’re working with a professional. It is also important to verify that the fixes made to your car are safe. It would be best to allow the person to explain what is going on and why. It may be necessary to use some machining abilities to remove this oil drain plug so that it doesn’t happen again when a new plug is installed.

What Size Is The Oil Drain Plug Bolt?

The standard oil drain plug size is M14-1.50, and the head size is 17mm.

Acknowledge these steps to remove and replace the oil drain plug.

  1. Run the engine for a few minutes to mildly warm the oil.
  2. Make sure the drain stopper is in the oil pan.
  3. Drain the oil by removing the plug.
  4. Pull it out to check if the oil filter needs to be replaced. Wear gloves and remove the oil fast if you don’t want to burn yourself.
  5. Remove the drain stopper and reinstall it in its original location.
  6. If you’re changing the oil filter, screw the new one in.
  7. Open the oil cap on the top of the engine and pour in the amount of oil stated for your car, less 5% to 10% of that amount.
  8. Inspect the oil level using the dipstick after the engine runs for a minute. Then, if necessary, add extra oil; if it’s still low, repeat the procedure.
  9. Please dispose of the old oil by pouring it into the oil containers that are now empty.

What Tool Do You Use When Loosening the Oil Drain Plug?

Use a socket wrench to loosen the oil drain plug.

It is a sort of wrench that employs a closed socket rather than an open wrench or spanner to spin a fastener, usually in the form of either a nut or bolt. Ratcheting socket wrenches, or ratchets, are the most common type. It allows users to rotate back and forth instead of having to remove and place a wrench to spin the tool’s socket. Socket wrenches have been around for a long time—a female driver that encases the male head of a fastener. Since the Middle Ages, clock keys have been used to wind them. Heads and sockets were primarily square; hex heads became more common in the twentieth century.

A Vermonter from Woodstock, J.J. Richardson, designed the ratcheting socket wrench with replaceable (indexable) sockets. On June 16, 1863, the Scientific American Patent Agency issued a patent for the gadget. The gadget was initially illustrated in Scientific American on page 248 of the April 16, 1864 edition. In American English, the word “socket wrench” refers to a wrench, not the socket. However, British English does not use the word “socket wrench.”

During the age when hand filing was the most common form of manufacturing, square heads and sockets were among the easiest to make. Modern manufacturing processes have made it possible to produce hex heads and sockets the same way as square ones. In tight spaces, hex wrenches make it easier to get the job done since fewer degrees of arc are required to get the wrench onto another set of flats. Using ratchet wrenches further reduces this issue, as the wrench only needs to swing as many degrees as the ratchet pawl catches the next tooth. The ratcheting mechanism’s rapid release function was designed and patented.

How Do You Remove An Oil Drain Plug That Just Spins?

Acknowledge the following steps to remove an oil drain plug that spins.

  1. Before removing the old drain stopper, obtain a new one from the manufacturer. As a result, swapping out the battery is as simple as pulling the old one out and inserting the new one.
  2. The round-jawed vice grip pliers are ideal for this task. Circumscribe them all around the dislodged drain stopper. However, flat-jaw vice grips aren’t as secure as other pliers since they can’t lock around the bolt as tightly.
  3. Make a left turn with your pliers, going counterclockwise. As a result of this, the drain cap may now be loosened. If they don’t move, you might try tapping the vice grips with just a hammer if they don’t move. It would begin to rotate at some point.
  4. When the drain cap loosens, you’ll know it’s working. The plug and oil pan may now be wedged together using a flathead screwdriver. This will make it easier for you to remove it.

What Happens If You Over Tighten the Oil Drain Plug?

If you over-tighten the oil drain plug, you can strip the threads.

You might damage the threads if you overtighten the drain plug. Even though it’s more difficult to accomplish, the rubber gasket on the oil filter can be damaged if you overtighten it. Sludge can cause an oil plug to become clogged or too tight. The drain stopper becomes more difficult to remove as the contaminants build upon it. You’ll need a little cunning and perseverance to remove the oil plug. The sludge usually accumulates near the oil plug when the engine oil is changed.

Carbon, metallic fragments, water, and fuel are found in the combustion sludge, which binds the molecules together. Sludge is formed by combining all of these ingredients. Second, you may have overtightened the oil drain plug. When a rookie is doing routine maintenance, it usually comes out. They overtighten the plug since they don’t know enough about mechanics. Because of this, the screw pitch is harmed. In this case, you’ll need to replace the entire oil pan. You may also perform some repairs to bring the area back to its former glory. When you’re done, replace the oil drain plug.

How Do I Remove a Cross-Threaded Oil Drain Plug?

Remove the cross-threaded oil drain plug using a rubber plug and repair the oil pan threads with Helicoil.

You can install a rubber drain stopper for the oil pan if you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to fix the oil pan’s threads. As a temporary repair, the rubber stopper is employed. If you don’t know which style is best for your situation, there are several options. To ensure that the rubber plug is properly inserted, tug on it and press it. The engine’s cooling fan should run twice during this time, and you should check for any leaks. One method of mending threads is to use a Helicoil. Hardened steel thread inserts, known as helicoids, are available in several sizes and thread pitches. Using a Helicoil to repair is both powerful and lasting.

For years, helicoils have been my go-to tool for repairing broken head bolts. Time-drain SERT’s bolt repair kit is the finest solution for fixing oil pan drain bolt threads. The kit includes everything you need to do a professional repair that would last for the vehicle’s life—provided no one else damages it again. Helicoils are similar to Time-Sert inserts in that you may use them to repair damaged oil pans. The package also includes new oil drain nuts and sealant washers. Because of this, you won’t have to waste time trying to match the thread pitch or find the correct bolt diameter after the repair.

What Do I Do If My Oil Pan Bolt Is Stripped?

If your oil pan bolt is stripped, replace the oil pan bolts.

It is necessary to remove and replace the oil drain bolt while changing your car’s oil. For example, a broken head or threads on the oil drain bolt might occur throughout the operation. If you need to remove the entire oil pan for any reason, you’ll need to remove the bolts holding it in place. A technician must be able to remove the bolt, but if you know how to remove the bolt yourself, you can save yourself some time and money.

Acknowledge the following steps If your oil pan bolt is stripped-

  1. Place an oil collecting receptacle under the oil pan of the automobile.
  2. Use an appropriate-sized ratchet to wrench the broken oil pan bolt head free using a hammer-head extractor.
  3. There is a chance that this will remove the bolt, but it might also break the bolt head off and leave a large portion of the bolt embedded in the oil pan.
  4. If the bolt is still lodged in the oil pan, use a hand grinder to remove any projecting pieces.
  5. Punch a hole in the retaining bolt with the center punch and insert it into the bolt.
  6. Use a drill and a 1/8-inch metal drill bit to make a pilot hole in the bolt’s center. Drill no deeper than the length of the bolt, which is approximately 3/4 of an inch.
  7. Use a drill and a 3/16-inch drill bit to make a giant hole in the bolt.
  8. Use a 1/4-inch drill bit to complete the project.
  9. The heat and vibration may loosen the bolt, allowing the piece to fall out as you drill.
  10. You can insert a bolt extractor of the correct size at this point.
  11. To remove the remaining stripped oil drain bolt, smash the extractor into place and turn it counterclockwise.

Do Oil Drain Plugs Wear Out?

Yes, oil drain plugs do wear out with time.

It is a common problem for vehicles with a lot of miles on them, so it’s possible that the threads in the pan could wear out due to the plug being removed and reinstalled every 3000 miles for oil changes. If this is true, it would be difficult to argue with the dealer about whether or not the plug was ever overtightened. Oversized drain plugs were designed to fix this problem and are commonly used in this situation. The threads in the pan wear out over time because the plug is unthreaded and rethreaded frequently, and the threads are made of thin metal.


Even the simplest components may be a source of considerable frustration. Threaded into the bottom and side of the engine oil pan, its oil drain plug is composed of soft metal (such as aluminum) and sealed with a gasket. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much power to ruin threads with a little off-kilter bolt. The frequency of stripped oil drain plugs rose over time as vehicle manufacturers switched from robust steel to lightweight stamped aluminum oil pans.

The drain plug size on your engine must correspond to the bolt size on the drain plug. To ensure that you get the correct oil drain plug, verify the engine specs in your car’s handbook or label. To keep your automobile operating smoothly and lasting as long as possible, it’s good to have the oil changed at least once a month. It is important to have the correct drain plug size for oil changes to avoid complications. We hope you must have acknowledged everything regarding the size of the socket for the oil drain plug.

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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