6 Tips for Getting Stuck Oil Drain Plugs Free

Draining the old oil from a vehicle.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Jacks or a creepy crawler
Penetrating oil
Socket wrench
Gator grip

Oil drain plugs are what the car uses to keep oil in the oil pan. In order to change the oil, you need to first drain the old oil and to do that, you have to take off the oil drain plug. But sometimes an oil drain plug becomes stuck because the oil has not been changed in a very long time or sometimes it is simply because someone over tightened it the last time they serviced the vehicle. Below are a few tips you can try to get the stuck oil drain plug free.

1. Let the Car Warm Up

To get the car warm, either let it sit idle for a few minute or use the chance to kill two birds with one stone and run a short errand. While the car is warming up, the inner components and elements are also warming up, including the oil drain pan. Turn off the car after several minutes of idling or driving and get yourself underneath the car. Use jacks to make it easier on yourself or use a creepy crawler. Locate the drain plug and turn it counter clockwise. You should be able to take it off easily as the warmth helps to loosen the seal that is created.

2. Use a Hammer

Spray penetrating oil on the oil plug and leave it to sit for several hours. Take out a hammer, get under your car, and tap it with the hammer. Make sure you tap it going in the proper direction, which is counter clockwise. It may take a few extra taps to get it loose.

3. Use a Socket Wrench

socket wrench

Take out a long handled socket wrench and try to twist the oil drain plug off. A longer socket wrench works the best because it provides you with a lot of extra torque.

4. Try a Gator Grip

A gator grip has little teeth that will help you take off the drain plug from the oil pan. Just wrap it around the oil drain plug and turn counter clockwise.

5. Add a Little Lubricant

If you've gotten this far with the rest of your methods failing, try to take some lubricant and lubricate in and around the threads of the oil drain plug. This along with the heat or warmth will help you to turn the oil drain plug off using some of the additional tools mentioned previously.

6. Get Professional Help

Sometimes the threads have been stripped completely or the plug has been cross threaded and it is otherwise impossible for you to remove the drain plug with some of the other means. Take it to repair shop and see if they can loosen it or get it off for you.