Car Mechanics (UK)
1 SEIZED SUMP PLUG If the sump plug is damaged or cannot be undone, you may have to resort to extracting the oil through the dipstick tube. A mechanical or air-fed pump can be used.
2 LEAKY SUMP PLUG If the oil drips from the engine’s sump plug are leaving a trail of blotches along your driveway, the thread which the sump plug is wound into may be damaged and can often be repaired with a Helicoil. This is where a new thread is inserted into the hole for the sump plug. DIY Helicoil kits are available and some machine shops offer this service.
3 GROUND CLEARANCE If you’re draining the engine oil on your driveway (ie, without a ramp or inspection pit) you’ll need a drain bowl or container that’s shallow enough to fit underneath your vehicle. If the ride height is low, collect some lengths of wood to drive all four wheels onto and increase the clearance.
4 OIL FILTER ACCESS Some engine parts may need to be taken off to access and remove an oil filter. On an Alfa Romeo 147 V6, for example, part of the exhaust system has to be detached. In most cases, a steady bar, mounting bracket or piece of trim may be in the way.
5 TOO TIGHT An overtightened sump drain plug or spin-on filter has the potential to be a disaster (see Step 1 for dealing with a sump plug). For a spin-on filter, you may have to crush and grip the body with water pump pliers.
6 CAUGHT INSIDE A CANISTER An oil filter contained inside a canister or housing can be problematic, especially if part of the old filter is still inside, causing the new filter to become crushed and twisted. Make sure everything is removed from inside the canister or housing before fitting the new filter.