If you’ve ever gone for an oil change and been told the threads on your oil drain plug have been stripped, you know the frustration felt when told that you need a new oil pan. Perhaps you’ve made the discovery when changing the oil on your vehicle at home. Either way, oil pans are an expensive repair and one that you’re likely looking to avoid.
This guide will help you fix a stripped oil drain plug or valve using a self-threading piggyback oil pan drain plug, cold welded in place.
Rubber Oil Pan Drain Plugs
Someone might suggest that you use a rubber oil pan drain plug to solve your problem. While they do work in some cases, they are prone to leaks and aren’t necessarily the solution to a stripped oil drain plug. You’ll find that you have to replace them each and every time you change your oil. This takes more time and money than if you were to simply replace the drain plug.
The Self Threading Metal Oil Pan Drain Plug
You can purchase a self threading oil pan drain plug at most auto part stores and online as well. When shopping for a new plug, bring in the old one with you
In certain circumstances, you may have to very carefully and smoothly grind down the long end of the bolt as most of these bolts are longer than what came with the machine. If the end of the bolt is too long, it could hit components of your engine, making your small problem much, much worse.
You’ll notice that the leaking will have slowed down considerably, but not stopped fully yet. This is where the cold weld epoxy comes in.
How to Fix It
- Drain the majority of the oil from the car. This can take awhile.
- Jack the car up in the front so it tilts away from where the oil pan drain is located. Any remaining oil will pool toward the back of the pan, away from the oil pan drain.
- Clean the drain plug opening thoroughly with brake cleaner or acetone and let the car sit in that position until the oil pan drain opening is perfectly dry.
- Mix the cold weld epoxy. Squeeze equal parts of the steel and hardener on a paper plate and mix it thoroughly.
- Remove the center part of the plug and set aside for now.
- Apply the cold weld epoxyto the threads of the oil pan drain plug, both sides of the attached gasket, and the drain plug opening in the oil pan.
- Screw the oil pan drain plug into place. You can use a cheap artist’s paintbrush to apply the cold weld epoxy. Apply it to the plug, the gasket and oil pan drain opening, and around the plug once inserted.
- Be sure to thread the oil pan drain plug in straight. Make sure it’s not on an angle before you start threading it in. Tighten it with a wrench.
- Let the cold weld epoxy dry overnight or for approximately 14 hours.
- Apply some anti-seize lubricant to the center part (the Piggyback) of the oil pan drain plug and thread it into place.
- When you go for an oil change make sure they are familiar with the oil drain plug you have inserted. Explain that only the piggyback center bolt is removed for an oil change. They should not attempt to remove the whole plug.
- Anti-seize lubricant should be applied to the piggyback center bolt after every oil changebefore it is threaded back into the drain plug.