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How to Remove a Stripped Oil Drain Plug

by Serena Styles

Changing your vehicle's oil on your own is a cheaper alternative to paying a shop to do it. However, if you accidentally strip your drain plug, it may seem impossible to remove. Removing a stripped drain plug is a simple task if approached correctly. All that is required is a few tools and 10 minutes of spare time.

Step 1

Order a new drain plug for your vehicle prior to removing the stripped plug so you have a replacement on hand.

Step 2

Secure a pair of round-jaw vice grip pliers around the stripped drain plug. Do not use flat-jaw vice grips because they will not lock around the bolt as securely.

Step 3

Turn the pliers to the left, or counterclockwise, to loosen the drain plug. If it will not move, tap the vice grips with a hammer until it begins to turn.

As you feel the drain plug begin to loosen, wedge a flathead screwdriver between the plug and the oil pan to pry it out.

Tip

  • Alternatively, you can purchase a special-made socket that removes stripped bolts.

Items you will need

  • Replacement drain plug
  • Round-jaw vice grip pliers
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Flathead screwdriver

About the Author

Serena Styles is a Colorado-based writer who specializes in health, fitness and food. Speaking three languages and working on a fourth, Styles is pursuing a Bachelor's in Linguistics and preparing to travel the world. When Styles isn't writing, she can be found hiking, cooking or working as a certified nutritionist.

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Photo Credits

  • vice grip pliers with screws image by JoLin from Fotolia.com