Leaky Aluminum Drain Plug Gasket

Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
5
Location
Wisconsin
I’m not a metallurgist but how would annealing aluminium improve the seal? I was under the impression that softer metals are better for this purpose and wouldn’t annealing harden the metal?
Actually the opposite, annealing softens the aluminum, increase its ductility:
I'm not a metallurgist either, but several years ago I was struggling to seal up brake calipers and a local friend who is a metallurgist suggested I anneal the washers I had. Worked like a charm and I learned a lesson about generic copper washers that may or may not be properly annealed for sealing.

How do you feel about plastic drain bolt washers?
Never used one.

There is no reason you cannot reuse a drain plug gasket that is in good shape. Again, this has been done hundreds of millions of times without issue. That's a lotta evidence. I have no stats, but my guess is more have been reused at least once than not.
Lack of stats isn't how evidence works.
It's best practice for any mechanic who's worth a **** to replace copper / aluminum crush washers. These mechanics love lub-jockies that re-use these gaskets since it generates more work for them.

Aluminum / copper form a seal by being crushed. Sure when properly torqued there should be enough crush left for a second use, maybe.... maybe not. For less than $1 a year why is this even a debate?
What's next, reusing condoms?
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
12,875
Location
Los Gatos, CA
Lack of stats isn't how evidence works.
It's best practice for any mechanic who's worth a **** to replace copper / aluminum crush washers. These mechanics love lub-jockies that re-use these gaskets since it generates more work for them.

Aluminum / copper form a seal by being crushed. Sure when properly torqued there should be enough crush left for a second use, maybe.... maybe not. For less than $1 a year why is this even a debate?
What's next, reusing condoms?
To answer your question, a good used warsher works just as well as a new one.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
6,840
Location
Caldwell Idaho
59235.jpg

This works like magic.
 

AutoMechanic

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Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
9,351
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Any drain plug I touch with a washer gets a new one for installation. Especially the Subaru vehicles that I work on daily. If you reuse one of those it will leak. Now if it’s something like a Ford or Chevy where it has that rubber on it I don’t replace those because they aren’t made to replace, instead if the rubber is loose or gone I replace the whole drain plug as that is our protocol at work.
 
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