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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have had the oil changed at the dealer a couple of times. I finally decided to do it myself.

Bad decision.

But anyway, here is what I learned, in case anybody is interested.

The oil drain plug has a 10mm head. This is bad. In my uneducated opinion. Its too small, and so if over-tightened you may have trouble removing it. And that's what happened to me - the dealer cranked the plug in too tight, so when I put my 10mm socket on it and tried to remove it, it rounded off the head and did not move. (I was using a cheap autozone 10mm socket, not a quality 6 sided socket, for the record)

I finally got a pair of vice grips and clamped them, NOT on the head, but on the rim around the head which is the size of a quarter. When I did that, I was able to remove it easily. But to be honest, this method was not exactly the first one that occurred to me, and I wasted probably 5 hours messing with it.

I am putting in a new, NON GM oil drain plug I bought at Autozone, which has a 1/2in head on it. I anticipate it will be MUCH easier to remove a couple years from now when I do this again.

Oh, the size of the drain plug is M14-1.5

This means the diameter of the plug is 14mm, and the thread-to-thread distance is 1.5mm. The length of the plug isn't specified.

I actually ordered some plugs from amazon and will look at them when I get them. One is magnetic. I may wait and use it. Right now the car is sitting up on ramps, no oil, no filter, no drain plug installed, waiting for me to finish the job. I'm lucky and have a second car, so I can leave it like this until I get the new stuff (premium oil filter ordered because they only have a standard filter at autozone).

Please see attached pictures. plug in oil pan.jpg plug out of oil pan.jpg new plug to use.jpg
 

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A quality 6-point socket would have probably prevented the damage. I'd have probably stayed with an OEM plug.
 

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I am putting in a new, NON GM oil drain plug I bought at Autozone, which has a 1/2in head on it. I anticipate it will be MUCH easier to remove a couple years from now when I do this again.
Glad you got this resolved!




Fumoto F-106 Engine Oil Drain Valve


Preventing something like this is the reason I decided to install the above F-106 Oil Drain Valve rather than standard plug back onto my Gen1 a couple of oil changes back!;)
 

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Glad you got this resolved!




Fumoto F-106 Engine Oil Drain Valve


Preventing something like this is the reason I decided to install the above F-106 Oil Drain Valve rather than standard plug back onto my Gen1 a couple of oil changes back!;)
Ha, my favorite..........of course, my REAL favorite is
TOPSIDE :D
 

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Jiffy Lube is much easier. Or Kwik Kar. Or a Chevy shop. What ya gonna do with the old oil and filter?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Old oil goes to neighborhood car mechanic who takes used oil. I"ll throw the filter in the trash. Isn't that what they do with the filters at the auto shops? If there's something special that should be done with the old filter please advise. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Glad you got this resolved!




Fumoto F-106 Engine Oil Drain Valve


Preventing something like this is the reason I decided to install the above F-106 Oil Drain Valve rather than standard plug back onto my Gen1 a couple of oil changes back!;)
I almost ordered it, but then I had a thought. Won't the design prevent all the oil from draining? The oil below the hole in the plug, which is probably 4mm above the bottom of the pan - it can't drain. So you're always going to leave some old oil in, aren't you?

I actually run a bit of new oil through the engine with the drain open to clean out as much old oil as I can.
 

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I stopped doing my own oil changes years ago. The 2-3 or 4 five gallon buckets of old oil occupied a corner of my garage for months on end, painful to dispose of properly and then the filter in the garbage just didn't seem right. Of course back in the days of 2 ICE vehicles and frequent oil changes the waste accumulated quick. Nice to know that professional service centers have a proper method to recycle these materials. By the way Stoddard and Sons which is featured in the video is a SW Michigan company! Now my Volt gets an oil change once every 2 years. Not worth the hassle to DYI it.
 

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Old oil goes to neighborhood car mechanic who takes used oil. I"ll throw the filter in the trash. Isn't that what they do with the filters at the auto shops? If there's something special that should be done with the old filter please advise. Thanks.
The filter should be crushed to extract the oil and the can recycled. Throwing hazmat in the trash is part of the problem not the solution.
 

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The filter should be crushed to extract the oil and the can recycled. Throwing hazmat in the trash is part of the problem not the solution.
Agreed. I take my oil and filters to a recycling center about 3 miles away from where I live. They have a crusher to extract the oil. I would think Houston would have many recycling centers that do the same thing.
 

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A quality 6-point socket would have probably prevented the damage. I'd have probably stayed with an OEM plug.
Agreed. The 10mm plug is just fine; the problem was the dealer. The guys that changed the oil were scared that the plug will fall out so they over-tightened them to the point of stripping the threads. I don't remember the torque rating right off hand, but it's not much, something like 18 flt-lbs.

I've been changing my oil for 40 years and never had a problem when I was the one changing the oil. But my son brought his wife's car over because he couldn't get the drain plug off. The oil change shop had tightened it so much they partially stripped the threads and rounded off the head (which was took a 9/16" wrench). It took me quite a while with ViseGrips and other tools until I finally got it off. I had to buy an over sized self-tapping plug to fix the problem. He never went back to that shop again.
 

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I don't remember the torque rating right off hand, but it's not much, something like 18 flt-lbs.
"14 Nm" is cast into the sump. I thought that was a nice touch! See picture 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Agreed. The 10mm plug is just fine; the problem was the dealer. The guys that changed the oil were scared that the plug will fall out so they over-tightened them to the point of stripping the threads. I don't remember the torque rating right off hand, but it's not much, something like 18 flt-lbs.

I've been changing my oil for 40 years and never had a problem when I was the one changing the oil. But my son brought his wife's car over because he couldn't get the drain plug off. The oil change shop had tightened it so much they partially stripped the threads and rounded off the head (which was took a 9/16" wrench). It took me quite a while with ViseGrips and other tools until I finally got it off. I had to buy an over sized self-tapping plug to fix the problem. He never went back to that shop again.
This made me laugh because I was talking to myself the whole time saying something very simliar - "I've been changing my oil since I was 16 yrs old and never had this problem!!!" Misery loves company though. I'm glad I'm not the only one this has happened to.
 

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Sometimes I feel like I'm the only guy in the world who actually uses a torque wrench :p

Not just this car though, I had a Daewoo that had a 14mm Allen key plug. In spite of my cautions to the service department, it made it through exactly ONE dealer oil change before that had to be reamed out, re-threaded, and a "standard" bolt put in place. <sigh>.

Y'all can laugh at me but I have a good quality torque wrench that is engraved with my name. When I leave the car for service I put the wrench on the driver's seat pre-set to the right torque with the correct socket attached, and a BIG note that says "USE THIS WRENCH FOR THE OIL CHANGE". Astoundingly..... that has worked well so far.

(yeah it's a little silly, but over-torqued oil pans and tire lugs are a pet peeve of mine)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only guy in the world who actually uses a torque wrench :p

Not just this car though, I had a Daewoo that had a 14mm Allen key plug. In spite of my cautions to the service department, it made it through exactly ONE dealer oil change before that had to be reamed out, re-threaded, and a "standard" bolt put in place. <sigh>.

Y'all can laugh at me but I have a good quality torque wrench that is engraved with my name. When I leave the car for service I put the wrench on the driver's seat pre-set to the right torque with the correct socket attached, and a BIG note that says "USE THIS WRENCH FOR THE OIL CHANGE". Astoundingly..... that has worked well so far.

(yeah it's a little silly, but over-torqued oil pans and tire lugs are a pet peeve of mine)
I have never owned a torque wrench. Do you have any words of wisdom for my first purchase?
 

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I have never owned a torque wrench. Do you have any words of wisdom for my first purchase?
Google "first torque wrench" and you'll get a ton of info.
As for my experience (keeping in mind I'm not an actual mechanic so other people may know more than me and I'm sure they'll chime in)...

  • Firstly, the absolute most important thing is accuracy. If the wrench isn't accurate you might as well not use it. PERIOD!
  • Any torque wrench worth owning should have it's own case. USE THE CASE and protect the wrench.
  • Keep it clean, keep it dry.
  • Don't drop the wrench.
  • Don't use a torque wrench to loosen/remove bolts. It's strictly intended for -tightening-. Use it as intended.
  • Turn the wrench down to it's lowest setting before putting it away. This preserves the accuracy over the life of the tool.

I have a smaller (1/4" drive) TEKTON that goes 20-200 In-Lb (inch/pounds) for lighter stuff.
Just for example, mine is an older version of this one on Amazon. I believe I paid about $30-35 for that one.

And I have a bigger 1/2" drive TEKTON in 10-150 ft-lb (FOOT pounds).
Specifically I actually have this one (again Amazon link)

NOTE: If you have the money then Snap-On is the way to go but they are just out of my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have a smaller (1/4" drive) TEKTON that goes 20-200 In-Lb (inch/pounds) for lighter stuff.
Just for example, mine is an older version of this one on Amazon. I believe I paid about $30-35 for that one.

NOTE: If you have the money then Snap-On is the way to go but they are just out of my price range.
I bought the TEKTON and will use it when it gets here. I'm glad they had that video on Amazon - it seems easy now that they showed me how to set it. 14Nm, here I come!

Anybody know how many Nm to tighten a Volts wheel lug nuts?? I'm going to go crazy with this thing!

I didn't even price Snap-On, $37 for Tekton was pricey for me for a tool I'll use rarely. But after my experience yesterday, so worth it.
 

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