Oil drain plug won’t loosen

Used a 3 foot clamp pipe as my breaker bar, man you all have some fancy tools!

I will just add that if the drain plug threads are damaged that is no reason to panic. It’s a simple matter to use an oversize drain plug without replacing the oil pan.

We had a Subaru in once that I spent 3.5 hours on an oil change. What a mess. Some guy at a Subaru dealer in OR had apparently rammed the drain plug home with an air wrench while leaving out the crush gasket.
The justifiably irate car owner (with a detailed note from us) said that dealer was going to catch hxxx and reimburse them once they got back to OR.


If this Venza has the same oil filter as our 2013 Highlander (cartridge filter inside an aluminum housing)…I hope they didn’t tighten that housing with the same effort they used on the drain plug. I’ve had to resort to a breaker bar to loosen that housing on our car…this past Saturday, actually! I do all the oil changes, so no one to blame but myself. Must’ve been feeling my oats when I screwed it on 5k miles ago.

The aluminum oil filter caps used 15 years ago were never a problem, the plastic caps are very difficult to break loose if they were installed any more than snug.

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Sometimes them plastic cannisters are a bear to take off even if you didn’t overtighten when installing. What I do is put a little grease on o ring and threads. And tighten to spec. Many times spec is molded right on the cannister.

I always lube the o ring with some trans fluid or gear oil, whatever oil I have on hand in an open container. The housing is aluminum on a 2013. No idea how I got it so tight this time with a 14-16” long 1/2” drive ratchet. But…I did…

To the OP. Use a 6 point socket and a pipe on your 1/2inch ratchet. Make sure the socket stays completely on the plug. If even that has trouble get a longer pipe! (I’m 64 and have been working on my own stuff since the early 70’s.)

I don’t know if you have fixed this yet, but my suggestion is that you get breaker bar, use a six side socket if you have one and then rock the bolt a few times, that is alternate between tighten and loosed quickly but not with a lot of force, then try to loosen the bolt.

If the bolt is hard to get out, but you don’t see any metal shavings, then use a thread restoring tap. DO NOT use a thread cutting tap. You can borrow a thread restoring tap set from most parts stores like AutoZone or Advance. Place a deposit and when you return the set, you get your deposit back.

A thread restoring tap rolls the threads, it does not remove material. It is also known as a roll forming tap. It actually hardens the threads as well. This is the best fix if the treads have not been pulled out.

If the threads are damaged beyond restoration, then you can easily go to the next size drain bolt. Your’s is a 12mm. You need to get the proper size drill and thread cutting tap for a 14mm drain bolt. That is a very common size for drain bolts. Note: if the threads are not too badly damaged, you may get away with a 1/2" drain bolt. You will only need the tap for this. The problem here is that the 1/2" is only 2mm larger and the thread pitch isn’t likely to match. Edit: use a thread restoring tap if you do this or the threads will not be very strong and may leak.