stripped oil drain plug - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 09:06 PM
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Post stripped oil drain plug

Can anyone tell me the best and safest way to remove a ridiculously tight stripped oil drain plug safely...have tried vice grips but only stripped it more. I have a new plug with a new copper seal....just want to get the old one out without doing any damage. Do not want to drill it out. Help!!!

Also, my "bulb malfunction" alert is going on and off and my back brake lights go on and off. Bulbs working but go out simultaneously randomly. Anyone know where the problem is???

Thanks...
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 09:28 PM
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if the drain plug is stripped really bad, personally i would just leave it alone since trying any type of tool extractor might damage the oil pan. if i was you i would just use an oil extractor like liquivac or topsider for oil changes. as a matter of fact a big number of members use oil extractor with same results as draining.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-20-2010, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattme02 View Post
Can anyone tell me the best and safest way to remove a ridiculously tight stripped oil drain plug safely...have tried vice grips but only stripped it more. I have a new plug with a new copper seal....just want to get the old one out without doing any damage. Do not want to drill it out. Help!!!

Also, my "bulb malfunction" alert is going on and off and my back brake lights go on and off. Bulbs working but go out simultaneously randomly. Anyone know where the problem is???

Thanks...
If it were my car.
One solution is to leave the plug alone and use the vacuum method as described by some members to suck the oil out via the oil filler tube for oil changes.
Another solution is based on Torque = Force x Radius
Since the plug is badly worn, the vise grip will work if you lengthen its handle with a 16" or 20" metal conduit. Raise the car properly so you can have room for the vise grip + 16" conduit. With just some little force, the plug will come loose.
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tirona View Post
if the drain plug is stripped really bad, personally i would just leave it alone since trying any type of tool extractor might damage the oil pan. if i was you i would just use an oil extractor like liquivac or topsider for oil changes. as a matter of fact a big number of members use oil extractor with same results as draining.
How would a screw extractor damage the oil pan?....Unless you don't know what your doing?

If you take your time with a screw extractor you can remove the screw with no problems. Topsider is a good way of extracting the oil........but you get more out if you drain from the bottom. Why would you go out and buy topsider just because the screw is striped?
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattme02 View Post
Can anyone tell me the best and safest way to remove a ridiculously tight stripped oil drain plug safely...have tried vice grips but only stripped it more. I have a new plug with a new copper seal....just want to get the old one out without doing any damage. Do not want to drill it out. Help!!!

Also, my "bulb malfunction" alert is going on and off and my back brake lights go on and off. Bulbs working but go out simultaneously randomly. Anyone know where the problem is???

Thanks...
Re: Bulb malfunction---I would look to make sure the bulb and holder are in correctly. Next I would look for a loose ground connection. It won't be easy. The stealers love this type of problem-----lotsa diagnostic time.

Re:Stripped oil pan drain plug. I regret to advise if it was ME, I would take the pan off try to re tap the thread. If that diden't work, call the junk yard and get another pan. However in the final analysis I would try and find the SOB that last changed my oil and I would sue the B regardless of he chance of winning.That is if you wern't that gent!!!
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:50 PM
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Take a good picture of the bolt from a few angles and post them. If you have not chewed it up too badly you may be able to grind two flat faces onto it (dremel) and then use LARGE vise grips to remove it.

If it is simply too badly chewed up and you have a clean place to work, then I would remove the lower oil pan -- be careful, it's full of oil -- and tape plastic over the opening to help keep dirt out. Then I'd pour out the oil, wipe out the lower pan and drill the bolt center out and use a reverse-thread screw extractor, clamping it into a bench-mounted vise and turning the lower pan (better torque and stability).

Then clean off all the old sealant from both halves, spray the mounting surfaces with brake cleaner/similar and wipe and let dry, then apply new sealant and reinstall. After it's cured (overnight is best) then install the drain plug and torque to 25NM (about 18 ft/lbs).

Good luck.

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#7 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:52 PM
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If it is just a rounded head and tight threads, then a pipe wrench could be the best solution - these grip only in one direction only, and are designed for turning round parts. They just need enough bolt head availble for a good bite. Get a big enough one for plenty of leverage.
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 01:56 PM
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Yup. Just get some good vice grips or pipe wrench and long enough extension so you'll have more torque. Should come off.

If not. Well... Then it's off to taking off the oil pan and going from there.

Good luck!
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 02:06 PM
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Leave it alone

and do it the proper way.
Suction.
That is why the method works for the dealer and it works for those that do it and you never have to worry asbout a stripped plug and the oil change is done before you even get the car jacked up in the air using the wrong method.
And contrary to the above ......you get more of the old oil out the suction method.
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 03:04 PM
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If you're too scared to DIY, Pep Boys will remove the stuck plug for $99.99
MB dealer will do it for $2110 ($2000 for labor, $100 for the new plug, $10 for the washer) but you'll get free cappuccino coffee in the waiting lounge. Um, wait, they also have to replace the oil, $200 for 8 liters of oil.

Last edited by mbvis; 06-21-2010 at 03:09 PM.
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