Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

The Ford plastic drain plug works fine if you use it properly

The 3 most common mistakes users make when removing and installing a Ford plastic drain plug

The Ford plastic drain plug is used on their 2.7, 3.0, and 3.5 liter engines. They switched to a plastic plug to fix issues with a leaking metal drain plug due to different expansion/contraction rates between the aluminum oil pan and the steel drain plug.

The new plugs have tabs that lock into a circular ring on the drain pan. To remove the plug, just rotate it counter-clockwise. It’s simple. By users have made it more complicated by squeezing the tabs, prying on the tabs or trying to cheap out and reuse the old drain plug. Those mistakes will cause leaks and it’s YOUR own fault. Most plastic drain plug issues are caused by operator error, not the plug design

Mistake #1 squeezing the tabs on the Ford plastic drain plug

Do NOT squeeze the tabs.ford plastic oil drain plan plug

They don’t move and they don’t squeeze

Mistake #2 prying the tabs on the drain plug

Do NOT lift or pry on the tabs with a flat blade screwdriver; they will break off. These are NO-TOOL plugs

Mistake #3 Reusing the oford oil drain plugld plug

Do NOT reuse the drain plug. It is a one-time use item. If you reuse the drain plug and the silicone O-ring, it will leak. You’ve been warned.

Buy a new drain plug when you buy oil and a filter

Find replacement drain plugs at any autoford plasitic oil drain plug parts stores or online seller. But be cautious about buying knock-off brands. If you read the reviews on the cheaper units sold online, some are well, garbage. Some buyers say the knock-off units don’t turn in smoothly or latch properly. Some say their aftermarket plugs fell out after a few thousand miles.

So, it’s probably best to spend the extra money and buy a genuine Ford replacement. Loosing your oil plug is too risky and can destroy your engine.

Consider aftermarket options

Several companies make retrofit drain plugs for the Ford oil pan. For example, this Dorman replacement doesn’t get removed for an oil change. Just unscrew the center portion with a flat blade screwdriver. The oil drain straight down. For more information see this link on the dorman site. 

Or, consider this replacement Ford plastic oil drain plug retrofit from Femco.com

femco ford oil drain plug retrofitThe Femco plug is a direct replacement for the plastic yellow OEM plug in your Ford. Please make sure your vehicle uses the yellow drain plug before ordering. The ford yellow plastic drain plug can be replaced with a Femco® oil drain plug.

Ford trucks from 2015 onwards
Ford mustang
Ford Edge SUVs
©, 2023 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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