How To Remove An Over Tightened Oil Plug? – The Ultimate Guide

The oil that keeps a vehicle lubricated is sealed with an oil plug. This oil is kept in an oil pan plugged tightly by an oil plug so that the oil does not pour out of the pan. You have to regularly change the oil so that you can keep your vehicle safe and out of harm.

But, sometimes, this oil plug may get jammed and will not budge no matter what you do. Then you might wonder how to remove an over-tightened oil plug?

Read the rest of the article to learn what to do with an over-tightened oil plug.

How To Remove An Over Tightened Oil Plug?

There are two ways to fix an issue like this. Either you can try your hand at this all by yourself, or you can call a mechanic and get their help. Call for help will cost you more money than you would want to spend on this issue. Lets us see what you can do by yourself.

Clean The Plug

Firstly, you need to clean the area of the issue. Meaning you have to clean the oil plug and the nearby area before you start working on it. Remove all oil and dirt will a clean rag. It will help loosen up the plug. This could easily be your solution.

Warming Up The Vehicle

The following easy method is heating the vehicle. This is the most straightforward way to loosen up the plug.

Start with turning on your vehicle and let it steam for a while. When your vehicle is warm enough, park it on stable ground. Do not work while anything is hot to the touch. Use a hydraulic and lift the car above ground level.

Now, get down under the vehicle and look for the drain plug. All that is left to do is turn the plug counterclockwise and clockwise, and it will loosen up.

Apply Lubricant Or Rust Remover

If there is rust surrounding the plug area, it will be stuck and hard to unplug. It would be best to have a rust remover or lubricant to solve this issue.

Apply rust remover to the affected area and wait for the rust to start to dissolve. Now, spray a little oil on the oil plug and wait a few more minutes. This is all it takes for the plug to loosen up. Last but not least, turn the plug and take it out.

You can easily take out all the oil inside the oil pan and change it as you need. Look for a premium oil to spray on the oil plug, which will loosen the plug and solve half your problem. 

Do not be stingy and buy a good rust remover as well. Find one that prevents sludge from forming on the plug after the rust is dissolved.

Apply Socket Wrench

As an owner of a vehicle, having a socket wrench is a must. This is because it is an essential part of maintaining an automotive. They are very flexible to use as well as have multiple uses.

That is why you should keep a fitting socket wrench in your toolbox for your oil plug so that you can use it to loosen up the plug whenever you need to. 

It is recommended that you use a long-handle socket wrench for this job to give you extra torque.

Hammer Time!

The next step after doing all the things above would be to use a hammer to get the plug to loosen up so that you can take it out. This step is to be taken only if the others have not worked.

Always be gentle with the hammer when tapping with it on the oil plug. Be careful not to damage the plug teeth with the hammer. 

As mentioned earlier, only use a hammer when all else fails, and you do not want to call a professional just yet. This is your one last shot before hiring someone to do it for you.

Related: Worst Motor Oil Brands To Avoid With Their Best Alternatives 

When To Get A Mechanic

When you cannot get your overtight plug to loosen up by yourself no matter what method you tried to use, give up the hassle of trying to do it yourself and hire a professional to do it for you. No matter the cost, do not hesitate to call a mechanic as this is very important.

Tell your mechanic everything that you already tried and failed at so that they may stay informed before starting their work. Your mechanic will help fix your problem no matter what.

Reasons Why Your Plug Got Over Tightened

There are a few reasons why you may face the problem of an over-tight oil plug where the plug is so tight that you cannot even turn it. It can happen mainly because of three things: sludge blockage, rust may have occurred, or someone overtightened the plug when they were done using it.

These reasons can seem simple enough and yet cause a huge problem.


If you do not touch or remove the oil plug for a long time, it will get jammed because of rust. This is how rust will make it hard for you to lose the oil drain plug when you need to.

This usually happens with old vehicles or to people who did not change the engine oil as needed. In this case, you need to use a rust remover or lubricant to remove the rust off of your oil drain plug to loosen it and take it off.


If you do not use a high-quality 100 percent sludge protection engine oil, the oil will seep out and form sludge around the oil drain plug, causing it to get stuck. If this happens, it will become hard for you to take off the plug. 

This also happens because of not changing the engine oil for an extended period. You do not want that to happen. So, change the engine oil as much as you need to avoid this issue from arising. 

Over Tightening

The most straightforward problem to fix, however, is over-tightening the oil drain plug. If you are not experienced enough, you may cause the problem yourself. But, there is nothing to worry about as it can easily be solved using simple tools.

You will find it hard to loosen the plug if you over-tighten it. Also, doing this might destroy the pitch of the screw. When that happens, you cannot unscrew it any longer, and you will need to buy a new plug.

Related: Can I Mix 5w30 With 10w30?-The Ultimate Lubricant Guide

Best Tools To Use

If the methods mentioned earlier do not work, and you do not want to hire a professional, you should get bolt extractor tools. It helps remove rust easily. 

There are different models out there for this tool in various sizes. Choose the correct one for yourself, and you are good to go. Make sure you get a carbon steel bolt grip extractor.

Some Extra Tips To Avoid Issue

Now that you know how to remove an over tightened oil plug try avoiding the problem to begin with. 

Tighten the oil plug optimally to avoid causing this problem. If you overtighten it, it will become harder to loosen it. Overtightening excessively will make it so that you might need to get a new one altogether.

Plus, always get a high-quality oil for sludge protection. If there is no sludge, there will be no issue.

If you have more questions in tour mind you can check this video:

Some More You Need To Know

What Tool Do I Use To Loosen An Overtightened Oil Plug?

The simple answer to this question is to use a socket or box wrench to loosen an overtightened oil drain plug. Always get a wrench with a long handle. If the hexagon on the oil drain plug head is already in good shape, a wrench will work fine.

If somehow the corners of the hexagon have rounded off, you should use a shallow impact twist socket or a gator grip one.

Could I Heat The Surrounding Area Of The Oil Plug Using Something Like A Compact Gas Flame?

No, it would be best never to heat the surrounding area of the oil plug using something like a compact gas flame. Nothing about doing this is safe for you. 

However, you can clean the plug area and turn on your engine to warm it up. This will surely help your case. But, do not touch anything with your bare hands while they are hot to the touch.

What Would Be The Easiest Way To Remove An Oil Drain Plug?

The easiest way to remove an oil drain plug is to use a socket wrench or a box wrench to loosen the overtightened plug. Make sure that you are loosening the plug in the right direction, or you might tighten the plug even more.

How Do I Remove An Oil Drain Plug With Its Hexagon Head That Has Rounded Off?

Use a gator grip or shallow impact twist socket to remove your oil drain plug with its hexagon head that has rounded off. If you use a socket or box wrench, you will not get the same results.

When Do I Call A Mechanic To Fix An Overtightened Oil Plug?

If you cannot loosen an overtightened oil plug even after trying all kinds of methods, you should know that it is high time you called a mechanic.

Final Words

Changing the engine oil of a vehicle is essential for all vehicles. But, if you cannot loosen the plug at all, you might be asking how to remove an over tightened oil plug?

The answer to this question is written in this article. So, if you are facing this problem, then hurry along and read up, or you might end up damaging the oil plug, or oil pan, or even hurting yourself by accident.


You may also like:

Leave a Comment