Menu

1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles

Why You Should Never Over Tighten A Drain Plug!

Share on:
  1. step : Tightening a Drain Plug (0:15)
    • Use hand tools, not air tools
    • Tighten the plug until it contacts the seal washer
    • Over-tightening can lead to cross-threading and a stuck drain plug

Hi. I'm Mike from 1AAuto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

This is an oil pan we've taken off our vehicle. When you're installing a drain plug, you should never over tighten it and we're going to show you why. It's just a threaded insert that's in a sheet metal pan. So if you go on the inside and look, it's just a little threaded insert. There's not much to it. So when we thread the bolt in, the drain plug – get that started. This one's even a little bit messed up from being used. You can see it. It just threads down. On the outside it's starting to contact a little seal washer so it's getting tight. I'm going to get it tight. I'm just going to go a quarter turn more. That's all you need to do because if you over tighten it or use an air tool or too long of a wrench, you can strip these threads out.

So I'm going to try to over tighten this and see if we can break it. So I'm putting a lot of force behind this. I can feel that it's not really getting tighter anymore. It's actually getting looser as I pull it. It's no longer getting tighter. It's just spinning. It's actually spinning really easily. So I can just spin this all the way around. It's not tightening more.

All right. That's not good. So let's see if I can remove it once it's been over tightened. Uh-oh. So I can't. It's actually cross-threaded itself. This drain plug is stuck in the oil pan now. You'd have to either try and drill out this drain plug or the easiest thing is to replace the whole pan, but now that won't either unscrew or screw in. That's why you should always be careful when you're tightening your drain plug and don't overdo it.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Wrenches - Metric

  • Complete Metric Wrench Set

  • Wrenches - SAE

  • Complete SAE Wrench Set


Check Engine Light? Why the Gas Cap is a Common Cause!

Check Engine Light? Why the Gas Cap is a Common Cause!

Check engine light came on right after a fill up? Check out this 1A Auto video too see some of the causes of this common trouble code.

Search Videos
Go To Top


Same Day Shipping

Orders ship same day when ordered by 2pm ET. Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.


Guaranteed To Fit

Providing you the highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.


USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations every day, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.


Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos specific to year, make and model guide you step-by-step through your repair.

Loading...