Drain Plug Washer Frozen to Oil Pan

Messages
177
Location
Alabama
We've gotten ourselves a 5-year-old Toyota Highlander V6. The first oil change after we got the car I had to hire out because I couldn't get the filter cartridge to break free. Now that that's under control and not torqued to 300 foot-pounds, I have another small issue. I noticed as I did the last oil change at home the drain plug washer is frozen or stuck HARD to the oil pan. I couldn't remove it to replace with a fresh blue Toyota OEM washer (I keep a pack of those on hand), so I just reinstalled the plug. No problems, no oil leaks. But still, I'd like to use a fresh washer next time. How do I remove a seized washer without damaging any part of the oil pan?
 
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Messages
2,058
Location
Minnesota
if you want to be super careful, find yourself a small piece of oak and use that in place of a screwdriver. Put against the washer and rap it with a hammer. The wood won't scratch the pan as a screwdriver could.
 
Messages
1,651
Location
MN
All good advice. Hopefully the sealing surface under the washer is good, if there's any grooves you may want to take some emory cloth or 250 grit and smooth it out before using a new washer.
 
Messages
17,593
Location
...
Hopefully that wasn't the first oil change for that Highlander. The only times I've ever had that situation was changing out the factory fill.
 
Messages
5,353
Location
Paramount, California
It happened on a factory-installed oil-drain-plug washer on a 2009 Toyota Corolla I owned. I think it happens because they overtighten the oil drain plug. I had originally thought they glued it, but I doubt that was the case. It eventually came off by itself after a few oil changes. It will easily come off if you pry it. If you use a small screwdriver, tape the tip so that you don't scratch the oil pan and cause oil leaks. You can also use a razor blade, but keep it completely parallel against the oil pan so that you don't scratch it.
 
Messages
17,593
Location
...
On the factory installed plugs they stick because they paint the pan with the plug and washer installed. Usually a quick tap with a screwdriver or a piece of wood will get the washer off.
 
Messages
3,195
Location
Western S.C.
There's zero reason to bother knocking the washer off, as long as it doesn't leak. Being stuck on the pan means the other side of the washer will fit perfectly against the sealing surface of the plug the next time, and not leak. I've never replaced mine, and never had a leak---but bought spare washers anyway, in case of a problem.
 
Messages
3,646
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
Originally Posted by CR94
There's zero reason to bother knocking the washer off, as long as it doesn't leak. Being stuck on the pan means the other side of the washer will fit perfectly against the sealing surface of the plug the next time, and not leak. I've never replaced mine, and never had a leak---but bought spare washers anyway, in case of a problem.
A pack of washers was literally $5 CAD shipped. I used one for the first time last weekend, it was so satisfying!
 
Messages
5,353
Location
Paramount, California
I like the Toyota OEM blue, gasket-coated aluminum oil-drain-plug washers. The OP didn't mention the type of the washer. Perhaps someone used a metal washer, which crammed into the hole. You may need to pull it with a needle-nose pliers if that's the case.
 
Messages
4,030
Location
WA
Originally Posted by maxdustington
A pack of washers was literally $5 CAD shipped. I used one for the first time last weekend, it was so satisfying!
Never understood how people will spend $30 on oil but cheap out when it comes to the plug washer and not replacing it, especially when most filters come with a new crush washer. But to each his own I guess..
 
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Messages
4,030
Location
WA
Originally Posted by Gokhan
I like the Toyota OEM blue, gasket-coated aluminum oil-drain-plug washers. The OP didn't mention the type of the washer. Perhaps someone used a metal washer, which crammed into the hole. You may need to pull it with a needle-nose pliers if that's the case.
My neighbor used the nylon washers. He says they never leak. I think he gets em for like 3 for $2 or something around that. Might have to try one some time..
 
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Messages
27,866
Location
PNW
Originally Posted by philipp10
if you want to be super careful, find yourself a small piece of oak and use that in place of a screwdriver. Put against the washer and rap it with a hammer. The wood won't scratch the pan as a screwdriver could.
Yep ... don't use metal.
 
Messages
5,353
Location
Paramount, California
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
My neighbor used the nylon washers. He says they never leak. I think he gets em for like 3 for $2 or something around that. Might have to try one some time..
I used to use aftermarket nylon washers. Then I switched to OEM ones. At one point the OEM ones were of poor quality that caused the plug to loosen. The newer ones are really good. They sell the newer OEM ones for $6.95 a ten-pack at Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Ave-Aluminum-Washer-Gaskets/dp/B07NPYW4TD/
 
Messages
769
Location
CA
Originally Posted by ZeeOSix
Originally Posted by philipp10
if you want to be super careful, find yourself a small piece of oak and use that in place of a screwdriver. Put against the washer and rap it with a hammer. The wood won't scratch the pan as a screwdriver could.
Yep ... don't use metal.
It's a highlander, not a Mercedes. A quick careful tap with a screwdriver isn't even going to leave a mark.
 
Messages
4,030
Location
WA
Originally Posted by Gokhan
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
My neighbor used the nylon washers. He says they never leak. I think he gets em for like 3 for $2 or something around that. Might have to try one some time..
I used to use aftermarket nylon washers. Then I switched to OEM ones. At one point the OEM ones were of poor quality that caused the plug to loosen. The newer ones are really good. They sell the newer OEM ones for $6.95 a ten-pack at Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Ave-Aluminum-Washer-Gaskets/dp/B07NPYW4TD/
Wow that's a super cheap for OE quality! Why use anything else at that price..👍
 
Messages
4,161
Location
Texas
I usually use , very carefully , a very sharp wood chisel as a gasket scraper . That is probably what I would use & replace it with a new , OEM washer .
 
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