How to Remove a Stripped Oil Pan Bolt Head

by Kenny Soward
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Changing the oil in your car requires that the oil drain bolt be removed and replaced frequently. In the process, the oil drain bolt threads may be stripped or the oil drain bolt head may be damaged. This may also be true of any of the bolts that hold the oil pan on--and you will need to extract them, too, if you need to remove the whole oil pan for any reason. While a mechanic should be able to remove the stripped oil pan bolt, knowing how to remove a stripped or damaged oil pan bolt yourself can save you some time and money.

Step 1

Place an oil collection receptacle beneath the oil pan of the car.

Step 2

Hammer a bolt head extractor onto the damaged oil pan bolt--if the oil pan bolt head is damaged--and twist the bolt free using an appropriately-sized ratchet. This may free the bolt from the oil pan or could break the bolt head off, leaving the rest of the bolt stuck in the oil pan.

Step 3

Grind down any protruding parts of the bolt with a hand grinder if the bolt is still stuck in the oil pan.

Step 4

Punch a center point into the remaining bolt with the center punch.

Step 5

Drill a pilot hole through the center of the bolt with the drill and 1/8-inch metal drill bit. Do not drill further than the length of the bolt, keeping your depth at around 3/4 of an inch.

Step 6

Drill a larger hole into the bolt using the drill and a slightly larger 3/16-inch drill bit. Repeat this process with the 1/4-inch drill bit. The heat and vibration may break the bolt free and allow the piece to come out as you drill.

Step 7

Choose an appropriately-sized straight bolt extractor from your bolt extractor set and insert it into the hole you have created.

Step 8

Tap the extractor firmly into place with the hammer, and twist the extractor counter-clockwise to remove the remainder of the stripped oil drain bolt.

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