VW Drain Plug / Washer Question ???

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So I had an older KIA that was the first vehicle I owned that specified a crush washer on the drain plug. It usually came with the filter, so no problem I used it.

Eventually I was changing oil in my 2018 Passat VR6, and at every oil change VW specified a new drain plug each time. The plug had a crush washer on it as an integrated part. Okay, so I bought and used those no problem (although I resused one once without any issue and am aware others do routinely). I figured VW must have had a reason, so I did it.

I decided to do a 5k OCI on my relatively new 21 Jetta so I duplicated the parts sheet that the dealer listed from the complimentary 10k change. The parts list included a drain plug and a separate crush washer. I asked the parts guy about it when I picked it up, and he said that was indeed the "preferred" plug arrangement for my car, although there was an "alternative" plug available. Again I figured VW must have had a reason so I went with it.

Last night I did my change, and upon removal of the old plug indeed the dealer had used the exact same plug/washer set up when they did the 10k change. The crush washer came right off upon removeal. Here is why I'm confused though. If the crush washer is a separate part (it is) why do I need a new drain plug to go with it for every oil change? VW spec's it, and the dealer used it, but I can't understand why I wouldn't just need the new crush washer going forward.

Any VW guys know? It's only a 3 dollar an OCI difference but it's got me scratching my head.
 
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I had a post on this a while back (I think it was here)

I got the same story from a local dealer about the “preferred drain plug” however the official ETKA and the service express sheet shows the drain plug with integral washer.

Not crazy about the crush washer and also the two plugs are different lengths.

Not sure why the call for a new plug with crush washer But if one could find the alleged TSB for the substitution it may say ( no one has yet produced it for me)

I’ve been using the specific plug from the ETK.
 
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They'd like you to buy a new drain plug rather than just a washer. Penny collectors they are. Just snip off the integrated washer and replace with a copper washer you can buy online or at any auto parts store. The length of the drain plug really doesn't matter.

I'm half expecting tamper-proof, chipped drain plugs to appear.
 
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Back when I was a youngster I was a huge Volkswagen diesel fan. The issue was the same back then with the drain plugs in that VW's parts catalog listed only a drain plug with captive washer in their IPC. Of course everything else on the car had a separate sealing washer so it only made sense to remove the captive washer after a few uses and replace it with a generic 14mm x 20mm soft, annealed sealing washer. Here's a list of numbers from my old record book and to this very day I think I still have a half-dozen drain plugs in my stash just waiting for the return of the TDI to greatness.

N 908 132 02 - M14x1.5x22 drain plug w/sealing ring (the parts catalog listing)
N 013 849 2 - M14x20 soft annealed copper sealing ring (used on oil lines and various other applications)
N 013 849 5 - M14x20 soft annealed aluminum sealing ring (used on oil lines and various other applications).

So these drain plug washers can be had in either aluminum or copper and cost mere pennies to replace. There's no benefit to buying a new drain plug for every oil change and in fact is quite wasteful in my opinion.
 
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They'd like you to buy a new drain plug rather than just a washer. Penny collectors they are. Just snip off the integrated washer and replace with a copper washer you can buy online or at any auto parts store. The length of the drain plug really doesn't matter.

I'm half expecting tamper-proof, chipped drain plugs to appear.
Copper washers take more force to seal.
 
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Copper washers take more force to seal.
Pull a little harder. The hardness difference is very little between copper and aluminum. And if you are too weak to compress an aluminum washer, get a lead washer. They used to use lead gaskets on watch casebacks for their great sealing capacity.
 
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Pull a little harder. The hardness difference is very little between copper and aluminum. And if you are too weak to compress an aluminum washer, get a lead washer. They used to use lead gaskets on watch casebacks for their great sealing capacity.
On my Touareg a new copper washer wouldn't seal, even at double the factory torque. Any tighter and the aluminum pan was at risk.

Back to aluminum, no problem at the factory torque spec.
 
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On my Touareg a new copper washer wouldn't seal, even at double the factory torque. Any tighter and the aluminum pan was at risk.

Back to aluminum, no problem at the factory torque spec.
Weird. Copper is very malleable and should easily make for a good seal. I've been using copper and aluminum washers interchangeably without problems. I throw aluminum washers out after one use, copper washers I flip over and reuse at least once if they still look good. I do sand them before reusing rhem.
 
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If the drain plugs are made substantial enough then I don’t understand the reasoning here.

Ford has those plastic plugs that get replaced. I can see the reason for that though it would creat less waste if they just stuck with a regular drain plug.
 
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In the case of the 1.4t it is not even necessary to buy the sealing ring since every OE filter I've bought had one in the box. So if you use the OE filters and have the drain plug without the captive washer, then I see no reason the buy a new a new drain plug every time, though as noted I have been unable to find the TSB or other document for the substitution.

The 1.4t has a steel lower oil pan of typical construction, for me the sealing ring is not large enough in diameter to cover the transition from the threaded portion to the pan itself. I prefer the larger washer on the plug with captive washer. Were I going to use a separate washer I would likely use the aluminum washer from a Honda. Several aftermarket sources also sell "reusable" drain plugs with separate washers.

Here is the Service Express Sheet:


And here is the drain plug with captive washer:

Screw_N90813202.jpeg


Screw_N90813202_2.jpeg
 

KCJeep

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That must be the alternative the counter guy mentioned. I believe that's the one that was actually spec'd on my Passat.

I just did a 5k drain and full so did not buy a filter, interesting its included.
 
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I've never changed a washer on any vehicle I ever owned . Never had a leak either . Lucky ? Maybe so .
 
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My guess is packaging/inventory decision. For BMW the washer is included with the oil filter which also includes two new rubber gaskets.
 
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I've never changed a washer on any vehicle I ever owned . Never had a leak either . Lucky ? Maybe so .
Depending on the specific design, a washer may develop a ridge when getting torqued down. This happens when the washer has a larger diameter than the drain plug's head. As long as the washer remains thick enough, I suppose one could hammer it flat and sand it smooth and use it again. Copper is very malleable - as is aluminum but copper is a much stronger material.
 
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I had a VW Jetta for 17 years from brand new in '97 till 2014 and put 375K km on it, replaced drain plug once for one with magnet, just out of curiosity. I reused washers all the time usually using one for 10+ oil changes, just flipping it to the other side and wiping it down. Never a drop of oil from drain hole. You can get a copper or brass washer from Home Depot or so and keep reusing it like I did.
 
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On our 2016 Passat I use a Dimple magnetic drain plug and use a new copper washer. 5K OCIs, no seepage whatsoever.

One thing to be careful with, the OD of the washer must be small otherwise the outside edge hangs on the recess on the pan. Sometimes when I pull the plug the old washer stays in place. If you don't pay attention it's easy to double stack a new washer on top of the old one.

Scott
 
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Depending on the specific design, a washer may develop a ridge when getting torqued down. This happens when the washer has a larger diameter than the drain plug's head. As long as the washer remains thick enough, I suppose one could hammer it flat and sand it smooth and use it again. Copper is very malleable - as is aluminum but copper is a much stronger material.
I don't understand why you quoted my post .
 
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