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How to Change the Freeze Plug on a Buick 3.8 Engine

by Jericho McCune

The Buick 3.8-liter engine is commonly found in GM mid-size and full-size sedans, including Pontiac and Oldsmobile models. The engine contains two freeze plugs, one one either side. They are located between the core plugs on the engine block. Removing the freeze plugs is relatively straight forward. But take care not to push the freeze plug into the engine block because it will make removal much more difficult.

Step 1

Position a punch at the outside edge of the freeze plug. Tap it with a hammer so that it rotates on its middle. When the edge of the plug clears the engine block, grip it with a pair of pliers and remove it from the engine block.

Step 2

Wipe the inside of the hole with a small piece of emery cloth. Wipe forward with quick strokes to make sure nothing gets trapped inside the engine.

Step 3

Coat the edges of the new freeze plug with a thin layer of shellac.

Set the freeze plug firmly into a seal driver. Push the seal driver against the hole in the engine block, then turn it counter-clockwise until the freeze plug is seated.


  • Brass freeze plugs last longer than steel freeze plugs because they don't rust.

Items you will need

  • Punch
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Emery paper
  • Shellac
  • Application brush
  • Seal driver

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