How To Fix Oil Leaking From Drain Plug

Many drivers often pay little attention to the oil leaking from drain plug because they assume that it’s just a small error and does not affect the performance of your engine. But it’s a misconception. Because when your car has an oil leak in any position of the parts, if you do not fix it soon, it will cause extremely dangerous conditions such as engine wear and a high risk of fire and explosion. Thus, let’s find the symptoms and know how to fix the oil drain plug leaking in this article. 

What Are The Causes Of Oil Leaking From Drain Plug?

You noticed 3-4 tiny drops on the garage floor and detected oil leaks from your drain plug. The question is what is the reason for this problem? 

Wear out the drain plug gasket: The gasket has the function of sealing the drain plug located at the bottom of the oil pan where all the engine oil of the vehicle is held to prevent oil from leaking.

oil drain plug gasket leak
When oil leaks from the drain plug, the amount of oil in the tank will decrease, the oil warning light on the car dashboard will be shown off (Photo:

Without the gasket, wear and tear of the metal parts of the oil pan will be caused by direct friction from the top of the oil pan to the bottom of the engine, and there won’t be any form of sealing at this time. Besides, a rubber gasket is responsible for sealing the connection points between the plug and the machine wall. After about 100,000 miles of driving, the gasket will show signs of aging and stiffness. This causes the drain plug not to be tightly closed and causes the car’s oil to leak out.

Over-tightened drain plug: If you over-tighten the drain plug or use the air tool or too long a wrench, you can strip the threads out or even crack the drain plug. This will damage the spacing of the threads on the pan and the structure. Cross-chaining occurs if/when the drain plug is not installed in the first place and ends up being pressed the rest of the way. At that time, you will notice the oil leaks from your car. So every time you change the oil, you should not over-tighten the drain plug because it can slip and cause an oil leak in the next change.

The oil drain plug broke: Drain plugs are made from soft metals like aluminum. Aluminum can flake off or be broken easily if you are not careful when performing routine maintenance.

Understanding The Symptoms Of The Oil Drain Plug Leaking

Most parts of the engine are made of metal. Therefore, if oil is not used for lubrication, these parts can rub against each other, creating friction that heats up and prematurely wears out. An oil leak from the drain plug is a signal that the car is having many serious problems. This situation needs to be detected early and fixed timely.

Leaking engine oil due to a deformed drain plug can give rise to all types of engine performance problems such as false ignition, engine overheating, or loss of acceleration. When oil leaks from the drain plug, the amount of oil in the tank will decrease, at that time, the oil warning light on the car dashboard will be shown off. It will tell you when the oil level or oil pressure is lower than standard. While it doesn’t automatically indicate a leak, it needs further testing.

When you notice an abnormal fluid under the car, it may be a sign that the car has an oil leak. But this statement is sometimes not true. You need to rely on the characteristics of the leaking fluid to accurately identify the vehicle’s problem. If the car oil leaks, the liquid will turn brown. Accompanying that, are some other signs such as the car emitting black smoke, smells of burning oil, etc.

>> Related post: Car Oil Leaking: The Threats and Solutions

How To Stop Oil Drain Plug Leak?

If you got an oil drain pan bolted it’s leaking, so don’t worry. We will share with you some simple fixes for this problem. Before going into detail about every method,  the first task we need to do is to locate the position of the oil drain plug on your car 

Where is the oil drain plug located in the car? 

Drain plugs aren’t always in the same spot in every car. The quickest solution is to use your car’s manufacturer’s directions. It will have detailed diagrams that can point you to the right area. Otherwise, look right in front of the transmission on the driver’s side of your car and you may spot the drain plug. Spotting the oil pan is a clue too since your drain plug will be located at the bottom of the pan to allow for drainage. Getting under your vehicle can give you a good vantage point for spotting your plug. 

It would help if you used a sturdy jack to lift your car to ensure enough room to make the process. When you know exactly where the oil drain plug is located, let’s roll your sleeve to make the process:

loose oil drain plug
If you detect signs of leaking car oil, you need to find out the cause and have a timely remedy to avoid unfortunate consequences. (Photo:

Step by step to fix the oil leaking from the drain plug

Step 1:

To make sure the process is safe you need to drain the oil into a container to prevent oil from leaking out and causing waste. You can remove the oil filter cap just to drain the oil faster. 

Step 2:

Using a suitable wrench turn the drain plug counterclockwise. If the drain plug comes off easily in a few steps this proves the plug was loose and this causes the oil to leak. Your task will tighten it with a wrench but don’t overtighten. After that, you need to wait about 6 to 12 hours to inspect whether the oil leakage happens again or not. 

Step 3:

In case, the plug still tightens following the standard, you need to remove the drain plug from the oil pan to check it in detail. Over time the drain plug can be worn or cracked, in some situations, you can use Teflon tape or plumbing putty to seal the gasket. Teflon can withstand high heat before thermal breakdown. If the cracks are too large and are far beyond repair, you need to replace a new drain plug. 

Step 4:

After inspecting the drain plug, if you don’t notice any crack or broken damage, you will need to look at the thread or gasket. The threads are always easy to miss, flat or smooth. First, you need to clean the thread before screwing it in. Or if you detect a lace phenomenon, you need to replace the washer or your drain plug. 

Step 5:

Reinstall the oil drain plug after finishing all these steps above. In this step, please note that only tighten the drain plug until it’s snug. If you over-tighten, it can damage the threads of the oil pan and again leak oil. 

Step 6:

We’re going to pour the oil engine back into the oil pan. If you recently got the oil changed, you don’t need to replace the oil again. After that, start your car and leave. If you notice there’s going to have a warning symbol below the speed meter. It’s just a faulty sensor that is causing it. Let’s run your car for about 15 minutes. 

Note: To prevent the car from leaking oil, you also need to pay attention to changing the car’s oil periodically according to the manufacturer’s regulations. According to experts, for new cars, car owners should change the oil with the milestones of 1,000 km, 5,000 km, and 10,000 km, respectively.

If the car is old and often has to operate in a dusty environment, the interval between 2 oil changes will be much shorter. Therefore, you should check the condition of the oil regularly to replenish and detect the problems in time.

>> Read more: 6 Methods for Removing a Strip Oil Drain Plug

In Conclusion

It can be seen that the steps are not too complicated, you can completely do it yourself at home which can save you both time and money. The oil leaking from the drain plug is a common error that can seriously affect the performance of the engine, even causing an explosion. If you detect signs of leaking car oil, you need to find out the cause and have a timely remedy to avoid unfortunate consequences.