How much would a drainplug leak with no gasket?

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Sep 22, 2004
New Brunswick
I was in town today, getting some Seafoam and some Carquest premium oil filters when I figured I should get a new drainplug for the Aspire. I was thinking back when I last changed the oil on the Aspire, I don't remember seeing a gasket on the oil pan drainplug. Would not having a gasket cause a leak? The Aspire seems to be going through a lot of oil, I have to top up every 3-4 days and I really don't think it's burning that much.
When I changed my oil last time, I forgot to buy a new gasket and the old one was broken. I went w/o one and torque the plug back to factory spec. Not a drop of leak. IMHO, gasket is a safety back up, I would surely use one, but if you forget to buy one ever now and then, it is not the end of the world.
How much would it leak? Please specify torque, size and class of threads, surface area and roughness, materials of mating parts, and oil viscosity. It would probably be easier to just put a drip pan underneath.
The gasket is there to prevent the drain plug from galling or cold welding to the softer oil pan. It sacrifices itself for the longevity of the mating parts.
It depends on the vehicle.
Do you have a regular parking spot to look for drips?
I didn't have a gasket handy when I changed the oil on a Sunfire a couple years ago so I just left it off. It has an aluminum pan with a steel drain plug, and the mating surfaces were clean and smooth. I've never put one back on and it hasn't leaked a drop, and it would be noticeable since it's always parked in a garage.
I don't think there will be any problems with the mating surfaces since they're always well-oiled. I'll confirm that in a few years though.
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