Oil Pan Drain Plug Washer: To Change or Not to Change, that is the question?
When changing the oil in a car or truck, most always, you will pull the drain plug or bolt (unless you have installed a Fumoto Valve*). This allows the dirty oil to exit the oil pan into the recycling canister. As the oil is exchanged, we install a new filter and replace the oil drain plug. With that, there is a washer that goes between the bolt and the oil pan. The oil bolt gasket or washer is necessary because it creates a barrier that withstands the pressure and vibration that would alternately go onto the plug itself. The washer comes in many different materials: copper, rubber, metal, aluminum, nylon or a combination of these. There are even “crush gaskets” that are meant to mold to the bolt/pan connection. These are used to make it easier for mechanics to be able to hand tighten the bolt. The crush gasket becomes fitted to the bolt/pan connection so tight and conformed that there are less likely to be leaks. It will have grooves or marks on one side, from whatever pattern it was “crushed” into. Some technicians faithfully replace the gasket with every oil change. Some say that you can use the crush gasket twice if you flip it from the first position so the seal on the pan is still unscarred. Still others, will never change the gasket for the life of the vehicle. Here at Bud’s we believe that changing your drain plug washer when needed will prevent your car from being the star in a Shakespearian type tragedy.
What do you do?
Do you change your washer or not?
Do you flip it?
Let us know in the discussion on our Google+ page. HERE
*A Fumoto Valve is a nipple valve that stays in the plug hole of your vehicle all the time. You simply open the valve on the nipple and it will let the oil out. You can connect a hose to it and lead the oil into your recycle bin and then close it when it’s empty. This saves the wear and tear on your pan and bolt connection.