Hi: I am trying to change the oil on my '92 accord (for the first
time), but the drain bolt is so tight it seems as thought it's
virtually welded onto the pan. NOTHING has worked so far. Not a box
wrench, not a socket head, nothing. The mechanic who used his air gun
to tighten the bolt at the last tune-up has given entirely new meaning
to the term "over-torqued". Any ideas on how to get this off without
ruining the threads? It appears to be a 17 mm hex nut with good sides,
i.e. it isn't rounded...yet!!! Thanks. - Paul S.
If you don't already have a 17MM 6-point socket, go and find a GOOD
one...DON'T get the cheapest thing you can find! 1/2" drive is
preferrable. Also, get a 1/2" "Breaker Bar", a socket wrench that doesn't
ratchet, the longer the better. AutoZone may loan them to you (you have to
deposit with your Credit Card). Try to loosen it this way. MAKE SURE THE
SOCKET IS SNUG!!! If there's any play at all, try a different / different
brand of socket. If you still can't break it loose, get a rubber mallet
and whack the end of the breaker bar with the mallet until it starts to
If you plan to keep doing your own oil changes (which I would do if the
mechanic uses a air wrench to tighten that bolt), the craftsman 1/2" breaker
bar works quite well. It, and I'm sure there are comparable ones by other
companies, is about fifteen to eighteen inches long which will give you
plenty of user supplied torque.
Hi: Thanks for that advice. Yeah, I was going to use a torque
wrench...in fact, a really great electronic (digital) one which I just
got as a gift. Should be fun...a lot more fun than getting the bolt
off. - Paul S.
Thank you...that certainly gives me a better idea what to look for.
A couple more related questions:
1) since I found it easier to remove the front driver's tire to do the
oil work, does anyone happen to know what the recommended torque spec
is (in ft. lbs) for the lug bolts on a '92? What about an '04 accord?
2) how about the torque on the new drain plug, once I get the old one
Thanks again. - Paul S.
Do you have ANY idea how fragile the drain bolt threads are?
If the bolt is _that_ tight, there's a good chance the threads are
distorted and are binding. In other words, the pan threads are damaged.
Once you break the bolt loose, you'll probably find it won't spin off
freely, and you'll have to crank it around with a wrench until it's off.
If you find this happens, that butcher of a mechanic of yours needs to
cough up the cost of a fix.
Hi Tegger: Thanks again for your input...you really helped me with
that bad Honda battery issue (I ended up getting an Optima "Red Top"
at Walmart which is working great), and now with my drain bolt saga. I
know what you mean about the "ouch" part.....I have a real fear that
the bozo who got trigger happy with his air gun might have cross
threaded the bolt and ruined the pan. I recall all too vividly
shelling out $350 USD for a new oil pan on my old Jetta back in the
mid '80's when a similar event occurred at the dealership. In that
particular case, I eventually got Toyota to cover my cost. Looks a bit
like deja vu now with the Accord, though the last oil change was not
done at Honda. I'll hope for the best and see what happens after I
finally get the bolt off. - Paul S.
The good news is the drain bolt threads are pretty tough. The bad news is
the ones in the pan are not. I'd guess you may need a new oil pan after
getting this thing out.
Who the hell uses an air gun to put a drain plug in?
This is the reason I trust nobody with my car. To these guys, quick is
always better than right. Add 5 minutes to get the torque wrench out, and
set it. Tighten the bolt. They look at it as 5 minutes of lost earnings.
BTW, I don't use a torque wrench on mine. After xx years of doing this, you
can feel how tight it should be. And ALWAYS use a new crush washer on the
I'll use my 24v impact driver to take lug nuts off, but they always go back
on my hand and are torqued by hand. When I get new tires, I take the wrench
with me, and make the mechanic just hand tighten them. I have had too many
warped rotors from the grease monkeys hitting them with an impact driver.
Hi G-Man: Thank you for the rant....I fully agree with everything you
said about not being able to trust other people with your car. Of
course that's not always the case, but usually so. At least in my
painful experience. I stopped by Honda and picked up an OEM drain bolt
and washer...their washer just looked more substantial than the
generic ones. I am a bit frightened of an impact gun since I've never
used one before and don't want to warp anything. If worse comes to
worse then there IS a guy about twenty miles from me whom I sure could
get the bolt off, assuming everything I try with it comes to naught. -
perhaps someone used thread locking material to keep it from coming
loose and really didn't pound it on like that. I think the torque
spec for our civic is 21ft/lb. I'll make another vote for a good 6
point socket ... and be careful.
And, one last jibe, are you turning in the correct direction?
Righty, tightly, lefty, loosey
Or, clockwise to tighten, counter clockwise to loosen. Except, on Nash
Ramblers built before 1968, on the driver's side wheel spindle! They
used left hand threads on many cars built before 1970, on the Left Side
of the vehicles, on the wheel spindles.
But, really, when we are laying down on our backs, often we become
And the driver's side lug nuts on old Chryslers. The first car I drove was
my mother's '64 Dodge, and when it had a driver's wheel flat I thought I was
just too weak to get it off. Then somebody told me about the threads....
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