Why Your Car’s Oil Drain Plug Leaks: Causes & Fixes

To keep your engine running smoothly and for as long as possible, changing the oil periodically is a must. Thankfully, it’s not that complicated, and with the correct equipment and knowledge, any average car owner can do it in under half an hour.

What Causes oil leak from the drain plug

Leaks from the drain plug of an automobile can be caused by a number of things. Before we go into why this happens after an oil change, let’s have a look at the many reasons.

Improperly tightened drain plug.

The most typical cause of this issue is a failure to properly tighten the drain plugs. Common among do-it-yourselfers and inexperienced mechanics. The plug will leak oil if not tightened correctly.

All of the engine oil could spill out if the drain cap is very slack and were to fall off while driving. The engine will sustain irreparable damage if this occurs. Unless you’re screwing the plug in by hand and completely forgot to use the socket, this is a very unusual occurrence, therefore there’s no need to panic.

Overtightening drain plug

We can’t stress enough how important it is that you secure the drain stopper. That being said, be careful not to overtighten it. Please remember that if you overtighten the drain plug, you risk damaging the threads and creating an oil leak.

Worn-out or dried seals

A washer, seal, or both may be used by the drain plug to keep the engine oil contained within the crankcase; the specifics of this arrangement will vary from one vehicle type to another. The gradual drying out or wear and tear of these gaskets, seals, or washers can lead to tiny oil leaks from drain plugs. Lots of people experience this with their older cars.

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When oil drain plugs on cars and motorbikes leak, these are the most typical reasons why. To put an end to this oil leak, let’s examine the precautions that can be taken.

How do you prevent oil leaks from drain plugs?

It is crucial to prevent oil from leaking out of the drain plugs to avoid a disastrous engine failure caused by insufficient oil. Prevention is always preferable to treatment. Hence, rather than fixing the drain cap, it is preferable to prevent oil leaks.

Just use the large spanner after you’ve carefully guided the drain plug and screwed it in place by hand. Doing so will protect the crankcase thread from being worn down. Also, be sure you choose a large socket so you don’t accidentally remove the drain plug.

Finally, make sure the plug is snug but not overly so. In the section that follows, we will examine the signs that indicate a possible oil drain plug leak.

What are the Symptoms of an oil leak from a drain plug?

The signs of an oil drain plug leak are as noticeable as those of a headache. Oil puddles under the vehicle when packed are a common indicator of an oil leak from the drain plug. Furthermore, there is a scarcity of oil.

  • Oil puddles
  • Greasy oil drain plug
  • Loose oil drain plug


Oil leaking from the drain plug can be caused by a number of things. Whenever you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, identify the root reason and suggest a remedy. As a typical automobile owner, you may find the process either very straightforward or quite difficult.

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To fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again, follow the instructions above. Get a professional technician to investigate and resolve the issue if identifying the primary cause proves to be too daunting.

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