[V6-12v] Oil drain plugs

Tom Christiansen tomchr at ee.washington.edu
Mon Aug 2 01:46:51 EDT 2004

At 05:50 PM 8/1/2004, apowell at colocougs.org wrote:
>About the oil drain plug...
> >The specified torque for the drain plug is 40 Nm (30 ft lb). It's
> >definitely beyond snug to me.
>What IS it about oil drain plugs that seems to compel people to tighten them
>so hard?? This is a lot more than should be necessary to tighten a copper
>washer. And it seems like anyone who changes oil tries to apply 100 lbs/ft
>to the drain plug when re-installing.

I can think of two options:

1) People are wimps who can't figure out how to use their bodies to apply 
leverage on a wrench.
2) People don't want the plug to fall out and *WAY* over tighten it.

I just changed the oil on my car. It had a thoroughly used aluminum washer 
in there. It was no trouble getting it out.

I replaced the Al washer with a copper one. It compresses fairly easy, and 
I was a bit surprised when the torque wrench said enough... I thought it 
would require more torque. I guess the copper is so soft that it doesn't 
really feel like the plug is tight. Morale: Use that torque wrench.

>All this part has to do is prevent leaks - and it's not holding against any
>pressure, just a gallon of oil sitting there.

Hold the oil in. Don't fall out. That's the main objectives of the drain 
plug. It's not rocket science.


More information about the V6-12v mailing list