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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. Noticed I had oil leaking from my engine today. It's been parked for 2 hours, leaked a puddle the size of a quarter so far

Got under the car, found it's leaking from the bolt on the oil pan from where you drain the oil during a change. I tightened that up pretty tight; any idea why it's still leaking? Need a new bolt or something?
 

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Check to see whether the crush washer has been crushed beyond reuse. Some oil change joints over tighten in addition to reusing the crushed crush washer. I have reused mine with no issues but ymmv and they are inexpensive. Sometimes the crush washer is crushed to the point it even looks like part of the bolt head requiring one to pry it off with a small screwdriver but even then I have not seen a leak. Clean up the bolt then check for any residue washer then install with a new washer and just tighten it reasonably tight with a wrench
 

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ditto on the crush washer.

Also, there were reports some time ago about cracks developing in the oil pan metal around the opening. It could be caused by a combination of weakening of the metal and/or repeated overtightening of the drain plug. In any event, the cracks would lead to dripping that appeared to be coming from plug, but in fact weren't. If you do remove the plug to check the crush washer, look carefully around the fitting for signs of cracking.
 

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Some shops try to use a rubber gasket when they don't have the crush washer I've had that happen a number of times 100% leaky drain plug every time. I trained one shop that if they don't have a new one use the old one 99.9% of the time the old one will work for a few changes. I get 3-5 changes out of a crush washer as long as I don't wrench the **** out of the plug like it needs to hold Earth in its orbit or something.
 

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if you had the oil changed recently they may not have tightened it correctly.

but more likely they lost, left off, the crush washer which seals the bolt to the pan.

or it could be so old and used it just doesn't seal any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm, from what I can tell now and remember from changing the oil my self last time, there was no crush washer on the bolt! Maybe it hasn't been there all along?

Anyway, found this, this is what I would need right?

Buy Dorman - Autograde Oil Drain Plug Standard M20-1.50, Head Size 17mm 65221 at Advance Auto Parts

I won't lie, I really don't feel like draining all the oil, replacing the bolt, then putting that oil back in (just changed the oil a month or so ago) so I'm going to see, if I buy the bolt, if a local shop will just do it cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tried to tighten the bolt up, just spun in place and went from somewhat tight to a bit loose as I spun it around. That was at about 7 PM. Just checked it 5 hours later, big puddle out on the garage floor. Definitely looking to get that bolt tomorrow and hopefully just pay a local oil place to do it for me quick.
 

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I buy the crush washers by the ten-pack at the automotive store. I sometimes get Subaru OEM brand, sometimes not. The important thing is to use a new crush washer each change. That prevents all oil from leaking whatsoever, at least at the drain bolt.

Now, they can get the drain bolt to not leak, why can't they make the rest of the engine as tight as the drain bolt seal so over 90% of us don't have engines dripping with oil from the heads and valve covers?

From what I recall, the flat portion of crush washer goes against the drain nut, the curved portion against the pan, although a new crush washer placed either way and sufficiently-torqued will most likely NOT LEAK A DROP OF OIL, better than we can say for the remainder of the engine, i.e, heads and valve covers!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I figured the bolt would strip well before the pan itself? If that's the case, shouldn't it just need a new bolt? Bolt and gasket are 3 bucks.

Also, I didnt' strip the bolt (At least, not today anyway) - When I went down to tighten it, it was already spinning like that
 

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Not being there myself, I could not say.
1 Lucky Texan could be right, in which case it is more than simply changing to a new bolt.
 

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I doubt it's the bolt that is stripped (should have chosen my words more carefully). The pan is definitely softer material than the bolt... so it might be helicoil time - or maybe an oversized plug.

Find out soon enough!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gah, and I thought this would be an easy fix! Not sure how I went about stripping it?

You guys think if I go to a place like Jiffy Lube they'd figure it out? Or is this a mechanic-appointment type of situation?
 

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I figured the bolt would strip well before the pan itself? If that's the case, shouldn't it just need a new bolt? Bolt and gasket are 3 bucks.
In theory, yes. I don't know the specifics about Subaru, but it is my understanding that it is common for auto manufacturers to make the pan bolt of a softer metal so that it will strip before the pan threads. So, I would try a new pan bolt.

If that doesn't work, then the easiest next step would be an oversize replacement bolt designed to cut new threads.

Needa Parts/M12-1.75 15 mm. head steel oversize oil drain plug (652136) | Oil Drain Plug | AutoZone.com
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In theory, yes. I don't know the specifics about Subaru, but it is my understanding that it is common for auto manufacturers to make the pan bolt of a softer metal so that it will strip before the pan threads. So, I would try a new pan bolt.

If that doesn't work, then the easiest next step would be an oversize replacement bolt designed to cut new threads.

Needa Parts/M12-1.75 15 mm. head steel oversize oil drain plug (652136) | Oil Drain Plug | AutoZone.com
Ah, very nice! Is the bolt on these oil pans going to be M12 like in the link?

I think what I'll do is buy the replacement bolt at a local Advanced Auto, take it to a local oil place to try replacing, and see if it works. If they say it doesn't, or I check and it's still loose, then I'll try this oversize bolt idea. Love it thank you everybody
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Actually, let me ask this - could I simply get the oversize one right off the bat, that way even if it isn't the problem, it'll create new threads and fix it anyhow?
 

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Unless I had a personal relationship to someone there - I'd stay away from Jiffy Lube for this and find a good indie shop I think.

someone here may be able to suggest a place near your city if you post it.
 

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Jiffy Lube will most likely install an oversized self-tapping bolt. Not a good long term solution. Take is to a local shop that you trust, should not be an expensive repair.
 
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