I was changing my oil today, after finishing and cleaning up I realized that I had forgot to put the washer back on the oil drain plug. Would leaving it off cause any long term problems with my car?

Putting it back on would require me to redrain the oil from my car, which I would like to avoid if possible.

3 Answers 3


The washer is there to prevent oil from leaking. So if you mind having some oil leaking, I'd recommend redoing the job.

  • Do you have any idea on how much oil might leak? A couple drips a week? Or something much greater? Jun 9, 2018 at 0:29
  • 3
    @MorganKenyon i’d expect it to constantly drip. Just drain it into a clean pan and reuse.
    – Ben
    Jun 9, 2018 at 0:55
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    I've seen something like that to leak out at a rate of about a quart a week. Lots of oil. Jun 9, 2018 at 1:30
  • Just don't get lazy and try to tighten it more to stop or slow down the leak. That is how the threads in the oil pan can get messed up and make for a bad day.
    – Milison
    Jun 9, 2018 at 3:19
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    If the engine is cold and you are VERY quick, you can remove the plug - block the hole with your thumb and fit the washer to the plug with your free hand and then refit it ! Then top up as necessary. However, if you don't want a mess to clean up and there will be some then drain it... Answer is good, +1
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 9, 2018 at 5:01

And why would you need to re-do the job? Remove the drain plug ... put a finger over the drain hole ... in the meantime put the boring on the plug and then replace and tighten. Top off the oil! Boom! Done!

  • Welcome to Mechanics Stack Exchange! Good answer! That's exactly what I would do. It could be stated more clearly and nicely though. In theory, answers should answer the original question in full, not correct or object to other answers. Dec 14, 2020 at 18:34

I did this exact thing today, and I thought about just plugging it with my finger, but I was worried it would just go everywhere. It Worked! Only a small amount came out, barely enough to put back in, but it was messy. LOL!

NOTE: This was my first time changing my own oil. I did buy other products to make it easier, but with my schedule it's tough to fit in an oil change, and the investment is worth it.

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