At-home oil changes are one of the pillars of self-service auto maintenance. This is a proven way to save money and time and is a simple process requiring only a few items like a wrench.
Spending time under the car is also a great opportunity to take a quick look and see if there’s anything else to notice about your vehicle other than the exhaust.
However, do you know what size wrench for oil drain plug or what size socket for oil plug? Read this article now if you want an answer to that question.
About The Oil Drain Plug & Socket Wrench
What Is A Drain Plug?
The drain plug allows the liquid to be drained from the engine oil pan or the engine oil tank.
When necessary, the car owner must turn the oil drain plug with a tool under the engine, letting the oil flow into the pan.
After the oil has been completely drained, if the oil drain plug is not securely fixed, it may fall off easily.
What Is A Socket Wrench?
This is a tool to loosen or tighten fasteners like bolts and nuts by clamping the end of the pin. It has a long handle so that sockets of various sizes will be attached to tighten/loosen other size pins.
The ratchet handle is a feature that some socket wrenches have, enabling the wrench to rotate without being lifted.
It’s crucial to pick the correct size wrench for the specific hardware for each project, for example drain plug socket or size wrench for battery terminals.
The 4 most common standard socket sizes are 1/4 inch (or 0.6 cm), 3/8 inch (or 0.9 cm), 1/2 inch (or 1.3 cm), and 3/4 inch (or 1.9 cm).
Additionally, sockets are available with 6-point sockets (hexagonal), 8-point sockets (double square), and 12-point sockets (double hexagon) to accommodate different oil plug bolt sizes.
If you choose a too-large socket, you risk injuring your hand and damaging the tool. Also, some socket wrenches have a deeper profile than usual to accommodate the protrusion of the bolt.
What Size Wrench For Oil Drain Plug?
In most cases, the common oil drain plug size is usually 14mm in diameter. So a 3/8 inch oil plug socket size is the most suitable choice for you.
It would help if you choose the right-sized socket wrench before starting an oil change project for your car.
That’s because you must remove the oil drain plug with a socket wrench for the old oil to drain out of the engine. First, start the car to warm up the machine.
This makes the oil thinner, allowing for smoother and faster draining. Then, turn off the engine, pull the handbrake, and place the jack stand under the car.
The drain plug can then be found underneath the car and can still be warm from the hot engine.
The oil pan nut size must be turned counterclockwise once you insert the ⅜-inch socket wrench into the plug.
The drain plug should be easy to open to let the used engine oil flow out. Place a bucket and newspaper under your car’s engine to capture all leaking oil.
We recommend choosing a new seal under your vehicle’s oil drain plug for a better oil change and subsequent use.
However, they will deflate slightly when you squeeze to open and close the drain plug.
Are Oil Drain Plugs Universal?
No, since it has a thread pitch.
Although there are only a few typical sizes, there are no drain plug sizes you can use for all.
Since the pins can be reused frequently, there is no need for auto shops to replace them. Sealing rings or gaskets are disposable parts only.
How Should I Deal With A Loose Oil Drain Plug?
A loose oil drain plug is even more dangerous than driving without an oil cap. It can eventually cause an oil spill and damage your engine if left unattended.
For a timely temporary fix, weld the drain plug threads, its opening, and both sides of the attached gasket.
You can also use a JB Weld soldering technique. Then, please immediately purchase a new drain plug for replacement.
When Should The Oil Drain Plug Be Replaced?
Plugs in today’s lead-free vehicles can last about 100,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual, as this number can vary.
According to experts, the drain plug should be replaced after about two oil changes. It may expire or loosen if used continuously, leaving you with worse problems.
Oil drain plugs are sturdy and built to last several years, yet when they come loose and leak, you need to invest in a new one immediately.
That said, it’s not good for your car if you change the drain plug more often than necessary.
Even though it doesn’t hurt your engine, you will be wasting resources, time, and money. Also, be aware of the environmental stress from disposing of still-usable oil.
How Much Does A New Oil Drain Plug Change Cost?
Oil drain plugs often range in price from $95 to $400, largely dependent on the store where they are purchased. The part’s price is quite low, but the labor cost to replace it is rather pricey.
An aftermarket oil drain plug might cost anywhere between $6 and $80. The price is influenced by several elements, including the type, color or finish, warranty, brand name, and ancillary components.
Your labor costs may increase by $70 to $100, depending on local prices.
So what size wrench for oil drain plug?
All of our instructions on effectively changing your car’s oil and what size socket for oil change have been listed above.
The whole process can take less than 30 minutes once you’ve changed the oil a few times and are familiar with the characteristics of your vehicle.
Instead of going to a mechanic, you can save time and money doing it at home.
And once you feel confident performing a simple oil change, many other maintenance tasks begin to become simple.
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