Tips for removing oil drain plug?
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  1. #1
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    Tips for removing oil drain plug?

    Help - I can't get the oil drain plug out. Last change was at the dealer. I don't know what they put the plug in with, but I sure can't get it loose. I usually use a box wrench and tap on it with a hammer if it still doesn't loosen. This time tapping didn't work - so I resorted to whacking. I tried with the engine cold and again with the engine hot. Even tried with the engine hot and tried to run water on the plug to see if it would contract. Still no luck.

    Any suggestions before I take it back to the dealer?

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  3. #2
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    if its that hard to remove, take it to the dealer. an impact wrench should get it off...which is what they used to put it on it seems. this way, if something "bad" happens, its definately their fault.

  4. #3
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    I second that. If they put it in let them get the thing back out. If you end up rounding the head off or worse if the threads are stripped you'll have a hell of a time convincing them it was their fault. Its worth the extra money for the oil change as insurance, even though you probably don't feel like giving them another dime right now...

    Ask them to use a torque wrench this time...

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadetree_1.8T

    Ask them to use a torque wrench this time...
    yeah...and have them replace the drain plug with a new one.

  6. #5
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    Thanks. Taking itin tomorrow. The corners are a little rounded now, but wrench still goes on pretty solid.

  7. #6
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    Ditto. This just happened to me, and I had my tire-rotating guys loosen it so I could change my oil as normal.

    (and yes..shamefully..it was my fault it was on too tight)

  8. #7
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    I had that happen to me too. With the car on ramps, can't get enough leverage on the wrench, as opposed to being underneath it with the car on a lift. I ended up using a breaker bar to loosen it. I also invested in a torque wrench, so it's at proper tightness, but no longer PITA to get off when I changed the oil again. Thinking about getting a Pela oil extractor, and no more crawling around. Good luck!

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip
    Thanks. Taking itin tomorrow. The corners are a little rounded now, but wrench still goes on pretty solid.

    get a socket that fits it and you will not round the corner off.

  10. #9
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    To prevent this problem in the future (since you are going to do your own changes) I have to highly recommend the FRAM SureDrain (this is the only endorsement you will ever see from me for a FRAM product... run from their filters like the plague).

    This way, you install the 'drain' in you pan once... that's it. That connection is never touched again. All there is, is a cap and a drain tube. If you're a patient person (it takes 5 times longer to drain) it's great. Spill-less, and easy. You can use you fingers to remove the o-ring sealed cap. Plus it doesn't protrude or hand down like other valves.

    Three years on my car and Amandas Jetta and still sealed like a drum.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  11. #10
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    Hey Pass, I thought about that. But, when I called Advance Auto about it, the guy tells me its a good product but it tends to leak. So, I went with a regular plug

  12. #11
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    I'm not sure who is tightening your drain plugs, but pounding a steel plug into an aluminim pan with enough force that you can't get it back off is WAY TOO FRIGGIN' TIGHT!! I thought the torque spec was around 20-30 ft pounds? Tell your dealer to send his techs back to the zoo if they want to be gorillas.

  13. #12
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    its an aluminum plug in an aluminum pan, they should not be put on that tight to begin with !!!!!!!!!!!

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwaller71
    Hey Pass, I thought about that. But, when I called Advance Auto about it, the guy tells me its a good product but it tends to leak. So, I went with a regular plug
    I have them on bot me Jetta and Passat, and have done 8+ changes on both, and they are both perfect. Never a drop leaked out. So there's one more data point for you to decide.

  15. #14
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    A 6 point wrench vs a 12 point will make it easier.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03Black1.8t
    get a socket that fits it and you will not round the corner off.
    This is exactly what I did. A properly sized socket and a breaker bar did the trick for me. Oh yeah, and buy a Pela. best investment I've made.

  17. #16
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    What is a Pela?

  18. #17
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    First off, it should not be that tight by any means! I tighten mine with a torque wrench to proper spec and I know how easy it is to break it loose when I have to take it out. I do it with the car on the ground -- no ramps or anything -- with a shortish 3/8" drive wrench & socket. Point is, if I can get enough leverage with such a small wrench in such a tight spot, using a box wrench with the car on ramps and not being able to break it means it is way, way, way too tight!

    I'm gonna look into the FRAM SureDrain (OMG, a FRAM product on my German car! ), if it works well I may as well not bother with this nonsense at all.

    Personally, I'm not sold on oil extractors (i.e. Pela). It's counter-intuitive to me. The stuff you are most concerned with, the deposits that will settle on the bottom, can't possibly be taken out of your engine with something that sucks the liquid upwards as opposed to the way the downward flow of liquid encourages them to leave your engine. But that's just me.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasTRE
    Personally, I'm not sold on oil extractors (i.e. Pela). It's counter-intuitive to me. The stuff you are most concerned with, the deposits that will settle on the bottom, can't possibly be taken out of your engine with something that sucks the liquid upwards as opposed to the way the downward flow of liquid encourages them to leave your engine. But that's just me.
    ill try to enlighten your intuition

    the dipstick reaches the lowest possible part of the oil pan, otherwise what use would it be as a measurement device? so by bottoming the suction hose, you do get at least 95% of the oil in my experience. additional precentages of oil come out by snaking the tube down into the oil pan while continuing to pump. its sort of like vacuuming out your oil pan, imho.

    if you are really concerned about removing as much oil as possible and still want to drain from below, I hope you are only jacking that car up under the driver's side. if you are draining the oil on ramps, a significant amount will be left in the puddle that forms in the back of the oil pan(the oil drain on the 1.8t is on the pass side, NOT towards the rear of the pan). even then, there is a lip before the drain hole which will trap some remaining oil. even still, using a quick change drain plug (like the fram) will effectively increase the size of this lip, trapping even more oil.

    i dont think the sludge issue is about which method get s the most out anyway its about not having regular oil changes with the correct oil.

    as long as you are changing your oil as recommended, you are a long way from getting sludge,whether using an extractor, or the normal way, cheers

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by modifiedA4
    ill try to enlighten your intuition

    the dipstick reaches the lowest possible part of the oil pan, otherwise what use would it be as a measurement device? so by bottoming the suction hose, you do get at least 95% of the oil in my experience. additional precentages of oil come out by snaking the tube down into the oil pan while continuing to pump. its sort of like vacuuming out your oil pan, imho.
    makes sense, but not to me 5% is a lot, and it's exactly where the deposits settle. since I care about the car enough to do my own oil changes, I might as well do it right. although I agree it probably doesn't matter, if you do regular oil changes. but why skimp on this, since I take the time to do it anyway?

    Quote Originally Posted by modifiedA4
    if you are really concerned about removing as much oil as possible and still want to drain from below, I hope you are only jacking that car up under the driver's side.
    I'm not jacking the car up at all, like I said. The car is flat on the ground, like it is when you drive it. Very simple for me, and I'm about to install a drain plug to over-simplify this very simple procedure

    P.S. Yes, I am belly-pan-less. That's why it's so easy for me.

  21. #20
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    I never use ramps, but right now with my old plug I'm leaking oil. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but it's little puddles everytime I come home from work.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwaller71
    I never use ramps, but right now with my old plug I'm leaking oil. I'm not sure where it's coming from, but it's little puddles everytime I come home from work.
    I replace the plug with every oil change, although I've reused one twice (so, 3 times total) and never leaked a drop. A new plug costs <$2. I would verify you're not leaking from elsewhere (I am).

  23. #22
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    I replaced a hose above (can't remember the name of it), and I haven't seen any other leaks around the area. But, something is wrong...obviously. I have never had this much trouble with one oil change.

  24. #23
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    Ironic, I just had this same problem today.

    Last month I went to a Valvoline quick lube placeand had my oil changed (I know I know...but it's much more convienient than doing it my self). Today, I finally had a day off work and was in need of changing the oil again so I decided I would do it again since I prefer doing it my self anyway.

    So, I have the car up on ramps, and I know the last time I changed the oil on my own, the last oil change was done by the dealer and the plug was on there pretty damn tight, I eventually got it off by lifting my self off the ground while gravity did it's work on the socket wrench with my added weight...and it eventually broke free and I punched my self in the face (yea, it hurt a lot). Well this time it was a little different, the damn plug was on so tight (and still on, never did get it out ) that my socket broke!!! The damn plug would not budge, and now I'm out of a 17mm socket because it's basically cracked in half!!

    What do I do? Sadly, I rounded the bolt pretty badly but the socket still fits on there and does grip a little bit, but how do I go proving that they were at fault for severly over tightening the plug? I have the reciept and everything, but will they say I'm SOL because I rouned the plug slightly?

    All I want them to do is change the plug (and pay for it, I know 2 bucks but I'm not the one that over tightened it) change my oil and filter with no charge...and not over tighten the damn thing again!!!

    FYI, I'm getting a fluid extractor so I'll never have to take that damn plug out again anyway!

    Any help guys?

  25. #24
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    i forgot what they're called, but they have sockets that are specifically designed to get off bolts with rounded heads.

  26. #25
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    Pela = Pela oil extractor. You suck the oil out through a tube that is inserted into the dipstick tube. Very nice IMO.

    BTW, the oil drain plugs are inexpensive if you have a newer B5. The older B5's have weird drain plugs where the threaded portion is larger in diameter than the hex side. Makes torqueing the plug off much more difficult. I had good luck with one of the black impact wrench sockets (like $3.00 at harbor freight) and an 18" breaker bar. The size of the black socket was dead on as far as size was concerned. The reason that the bolt is rounding off is because your wrench/socket is slightly larger than it needs to be.

    One of the reasons that oil may be leaking is if the oil change place didn't replace the crush washer behind the drain plug...

    -Mark

  27. #26
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    I'm wondering if my dealer uses an oil extractor. When I did the 15k change (first one I have done myself), I found a decent amount of oily goo on the inside of the belly pan, which made me wonder if the left the pan on, extracted the oil and then dropped the filter, leaving the belly pan to catch the drips. Sounds awfully messy to me, but then when I dropped the filter, I actually dropped it, slipped right out of my hands. So maybe if they did it carefully it wouldn't be too messy. I, on the other hand, made quite a mess...

    Anybody ever heard of a dealer using an extractor? It would certainly save them time not having to drop the belly pan, although they've probably got that down to a science.

    Although I was proud of myself for doing my own oil change, in the future, I'm going to have the dealer do it. I figure even with some practice, it's going to be like an hour of my time from beginning to end with cleanup and all(the first time took almost 3, but then it took me a while to get the filter loose as it was REALLY on there tight). One weekend hour is pretty precious, plus it's going to get cold here soon, so it's probably worth the $20 to $30 or so that the dealer is going to whack me for labor. But I certainly understand the guys who'd rather do it themselves. I'm not afraid of wrenching - heck, I have a Russian motorcycle...

    BigLarry

  28. #27
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    Well luckily for me the gentleman I spoke with at Valvoline is very willing to help me. I called today and explained my story and he said he would take the bolt out and would replace it with a new one...although I doubt they have any of these lying around since it's a 13 dollar part at the dealer!!!! You think I should have them reimburse me for the new plug since they were the ones who over tightened it, which eventually lead me to having to buy a new one (although I was the one who rounded it...I wasn't the one that over tightened it)?

    Hopefully this will all work out for the better.

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