How do I know if I crushed my oil pan?

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Ok...I may have down something very stupid...years ago I used to change my own oil...but we are talking maybe 20 years ago. Well today I decide that I'm going to change my own oil on the Matrix because A)IT is actually really user friendly and B) I wanted to put my own GC in it. I also bought a Fram sure drain as it seemed like a good idea. Put her up on the ramps, undid the bolt, let her drain, put in Fram drain plug and noticed that I didnt have the right size wrench to tighten as the Fram is not 14mm. So I hand tighten the Fram sure drain and use a set of channel locks(well almost like channel locks) to tighten maybe 1/2 to almost 3/4 turn more. After driving to get some more stuff at the store I take a look underneath and see a drop of oil on the pan right near the plug. Take a paper towel and feel there and sure enough there is oil. I get all paranoid that the Fram plug is a leaker(I thought I've heard other people say that it may), drain my oil I just put in- out(Fram made a bigger mess than factory plug) and replace it back with factory plug....... I can still feel a little oil at the plug after running car...I handtightened the factory plug and used a socket wrenh for another 1/2 to 3/4 turn. How do I know if I crushed the oil pan so that it doesn't seal correctly...or maybe I have not tightened enough? [I dont know] I feel like a moron if I screwed something this simple up [Bang Head] It's not pouring out...it is just a bit about the plug
 
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You're fine. There was oil on the surface of the pan you squeezed out with the fram sure drain. just to be sure, there should be a washer in there somewhere.
 
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Did you replace the OEM crush-gasket (aka "oil pan plug washer") when you put on either the Fram or Toyota plugs? I've read some stuff in the GenVibe & MatrixOwners forums about guys' developing oil plug leaks because they either wore out the crush washer or lost it. Usually, the washer sticks to the oil pan and you have to pry it off with a small screw driver; I don't know how people are losing them... However, these washers do wear out over time (2-3 oil changes) because they're designed to only be used once. If you've been taking your Matrix to Toyota for oil changes, then they should have been installing a new gasket every time (and thus, your washer should still be good and not a reason for the leak). But, if you've been taking it to quick lube places, they might not be replacing this washer and now you've developed a leak. I'd start with this first since it's an $.89 fix. If this hasn't soured you about changing your own oil, I suggest you cruise by Toyota and pick up some of these washers for future oil changes. Hope this helps. C.T.
 
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I'm thinking what CT and elje are thinking. I don't get the "crushed my oil pan" bit??? [I dont know] I thought this was a humor thread. Shoot. Get a fresh washer, drain plug as necessary. Make sure all surfaces are clean and torque to required tightness.
 
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Another angle... The Fram Sure Drain kit comes with a copper washer that replaces the regular one. I just read about a similar situation in a Subaru forum and the problem was caused by someone installing the new washer over the old one. The guy fixed it by removing the Fram plug & copper washer, prying the OEM washer off the oil pan, and reinstalling the Fram washer and plug. He claims the leak went away after that. BTW: Fram's website says there are torque wrench requirements for "proper installation." I don't know where these numbers are located though...
 

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So if I use a new crush washer instead of the copper one that came with the fram do you think that would work? Is it really hard to damage the area around the drain plug by overtighting? I had a mechanic in the 80's tell me that I need a new oil pan because the last guy whoc changed the oil cranked the plug on way too tight so they could not get a good seal when the put the plug bag in....blowing smoke?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ucandoit: So if I use a new crush washer instead of the copper one that came with the fram do you think that would work?
It could. However, you first need to make sure that the original crush washer has been removed. If this was my car, here's how I'd proceed: 1) Check to make sure the drain plug hole is clean. Are you sure you removed the crush washer? I've heard that some Matrix/Vibe owners didn't know there was a washer there...it looked like a metal lip around the drain hole. 2) Reinstall the Fram set-up with the supplied copper washer and no Toyota crush washer. Check for leaks. 3) If still leaking, remove the Fram plug and washer, install the Toyota crush washer (flat side against drain plug/rounded side against oil pan), and install the Fram drain plug without the copper washer. Check for leaks. 4) At this point you're probably sick of draining the oil; If it's still leaking, I'd give up on the Fram plug and reinstall the OEM plug with a new crush washer. This might be the point where you'd have to take it to your dealer or a shop.
quote:
Is it really hard to damage the area around the drain plug by overtighting?
It depends; just like lug nuts, there are factory torque requirements that should be followed. However, I'm willing to bet that 90% of us don't get out the torque wrench and do it. The non-tourqed rule-of-thumb seems to be to hand tighten it and then go with a wrench another half/three-quarters turn. If you do that and use a new crush gasket (washer) at every oil change, you should be leak-free.
quote:
I had a mechanic in the 80's tell me that I need a new oil pan because the last guy whoc changed the oil cranked the plug on way too tight so they could not get a good seal when the put the plug bag in....blowing smoke?
I've heard of this as it relates to quick lube places... BTW: If the crush washer is missing and you're sure you didn't remove it or lose it, maybe the last place(s) to do your oil change reinstalled the plug without the washer and they overtightened it.
 
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