How to Take Off a Stuck Oil Drain Plug With a Power Drill

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Oil buildup and dirt particles can easily damage the threads on your oil drain plug whenever you replace it after changing the engine oil. This, in turn, can ruin the plug's head if you try to force the plug out with a wrench or socket the next time, making your repair job more difficult when there is not much room for other tools. A power drill and a couple of tools more, however, might do the trick and help you get your car back on the road faster than you think.

Things You'll Need

  • Easy-out bolt extractor kit
  • Floor jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • 2 wooden blocks
  • Power drill
  • High-speed-steel drill bit
  • Scratch awl
  • Park your car on a level surface.

  • Raise the front of your vehicle with a floor jack, place a jack stand on each side under the vehicle's frame for support and lower the vehicle onto the jack stand.

  • Block the rear tires with a couple of wooden blocks and apply the parking brake.

  • Choose a medium-size easy-out screw from the set you bought and notice the tapered tip on the screw.

  • Choose a high-speed-steel drill bit that would make a hole on the stuck oil drain plug big enough for 1/8 inches of the easy-out screw tip to fit in.

  • Install the drill bit on the power drill and the easy-out screw on the handle that came with your kit.

  • Crawl under your vehicle and make a puncture mark on the center of the oil drain plug using a scratch awl. This will help to start the drill bit on the stuck bolt.

  • Plug in your power drill and drill a hole on the center of the oil drain plug about 1/8 inches deep. Turn off the power drill.

  • Screw in the tip of the easy-out screw into the hole you just drilled, putting a little bit of pressure on the handle to push in the tip of the screw into the hole as much as you can.

  • Rotate the easy-out screw counterclockwise. If the easy-out screw tip went deep enough, its thread should catch against the hole on the oil drain plug, forcing the drain plug to turn along with the easy-out screw. If necessary, drill the hole on the oil drain plug a little deeper, until the easy-out screw is able to remove the stuck drain plug.

Tips & Warnings

  • Easy-out bolt extractor kits are available at most auto-parts shops.

References

  • "Modern Automotive Technology"; James E. Duffy; 2003
  • "The Haynes Ford Enigne Overhaul Manual"; Brian Styve and John H. Haynes; 1991
  • Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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