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Old 03-05-2019, 01:23 PM   #1
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default Oil drain plug gasket

Since my last oil change, I've noticed that oil has been leaking from the plug on the oil pan so I bought a new OE gasket off amazon to use next time I change the oil. Eariler this morning when I was changing the oil though, looking at the plug there was a white plastic on the underside of it. Is that what's normally there or is that an old gasket? I tried getting it off but it was either really stuck or isn't meant to be removed. The new gasket fit pretty good in it so I assumed it was just the guide for where the gasket sits. Once everything was back together I think it might still be leaking, but I also forgot to wipe everything down after draining the oil so it might just be from when the oil was draining. I'll keep an eye on it for the next few days. Does anyone know what the plug is supposed to look like though? Trying to make sure I didn't double up on gaskets cause then it'll almost certainly still be leaking

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:15 PM   #2
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

looks like you are doubling up on gaskets - looks like the white one is the old dried up cracking and leaking gasket. - (Dummo's opinion which is not worth much usually)

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Old 03-05-2019, 02:34 PM   #3
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Double gasketed. Just keep on monitoring the level, SOP for us Saturn S-series owners.

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Old 03-05-2019, 03:05 PM   #4
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1997 SC2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

If it's really old, the normally pliable rubber will harden, becoming almost plastic-like and it can fool you into thinking it's supposed to be there. I've made that mistake on other gaskets, including the oil plug!

If it's hard to get out, try using a razor blade to space it away from the plug. From there you can probably "unscrew" it by moving it with the plug threads.

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Old 03-05-2019, 06:56 PM   #5
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeebins View Post
Since my last oil change, I've noticed that oil has been leaking from the plug on the oil pan so I bought a new OE gasket off amazon to use next time I change the oil. Eariler this morning when I was changing the oil though, looking at the plug there was a white plastic on the underside of it. Is that what's normally there or is that an old gasket? I tried getting it off but it was either really stuck or isn't meant to be removed. The new gasket fit pretty good in it so I assumed it was just the guide for where the gasket sits. Once everything was back together I think it might still be leaking, but I also forgot to wipe everything down after draining the oil so it might just be from when the oil was draining. I'll keep an eye on it for the next few days. Does anyone know what the plug is supposed to look like though? Trying to make sure I didn't double up on gaskets cause then it'll almost certainly still be leaking

Thanks for the help.
The white nylon gasket must be removed before installing a replacement. You can use the OEM style rubber that you buy through Dorman or you can use a nylong gasket. Either gasket is not a lifetime part and must be replaced periodically, best bet is every other oil change.

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Old 03-05-2019, 09:25 PM   #6
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2000 SL2
2000 SL2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Rock Auto has them in packages of 10 for pennies each. I bought 50 in one shot. Take no chances, it is always that 10 cent part that takes you out.

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Old 03-05-2019, 10:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Interesting, how come, in over 50 years of car maintenance, and a whole lot of 3k oil changes, so how come I have never had any oil pan gasket disintegrate and I haven't ever replaced those gaskets?
Mine always seal tight and don't leak.
What's all the fuss about replacing them like every other oil change??
Do you truly find this is a real problem, and needs this extra attention?
I never have.
Owned probably 20+ cars and trucks, one has 331K on a vortec 350, and I consistently drive about 30k per year....so conservatively have well over a million miles on my driving record and no gasket issues. Ford, Dodge, Chevy's, Audi, Fiat, MGA.....

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Old 03-05-2019, 10:54 PM   #8
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Interesting, how come, in over 50 years of car maintenance, and a whole lot of 3k oil changes, so how come I have never had any oil pan gasket disintegrate and I haven't ever replaced those gaskets?
Mine always seal tight and don't leak.
What's all the fuss about replacing them like every other oil change??
Do you truly find this is a real problem, and needs this extra attention?
I never have.
Owned probably 20+ cars and trucks, one has 331K on a vortec 350, and I consistently drive about 30k per year....so conservatively have well over a million miles on my driving record and no gasket issues. Ford, Dodge, Chevy's, Audi, Fiat, MGA.....
A few have copper crush washers and last a good long time IF NOT OVER TORQUED. The nylon and rubber have a very definite service life and the nylon will outlast the rubber ones. You would be surprised just how many of the supposed leak tight drain plugs are leaking as the car runs down the road.

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Old 04-03-2019, 05:47 PM   #9
gveinot
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2000 SL2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
Interesting, how come, in over 50 years of car maintenance, and a whole lot of 3k oil changes, so how come I have never had any oil pan gasket disintegrate and I haven't ever replaced those gaskets?
Mine always seal tight and don't leak.
What's all the fuss about replacing them like every other oil change??
Do you truly find this is a real problem, and needs this extra attention?
I never have.
Owned probably 20+ cars and trucks, one has 331K on a vortec 350, and I consistently drive about 30k per year....so conservatively have well over a million miles on my driving record and no gasket issues. Ford, Dodge, Chevy's, Audi, Fiat, MGA.....
My 1999 Ford Escort had a better system and I never had to replace it. The 2000 Saturn SL2 has an indent on the bottom of the pan and it ends up damaging the gasket after 8 oil changes. All garages keep gaskets and for a few cents, just put on new ones. I don't think some of my past oil changes at some garages even billed me for for some.

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Old 09-06-2019, 03:06 AM   #10
Zeebins
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

The double gasket definitely started leaking at some point. I was sure to remove the old one this time. It was not easy to get off, I ended up having to cut it
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Old 04-03-2019, 03:04 PM   #11
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

Little update for this thread,

It's been about 500 miles since I changed the oil with the new gasket and even though it's double gasketed, it doesn't seem to be leaking at all. The bottom of the oil pan and around the bolt is all dry. Normally every 500 miles or so I'd be about 3 diamonds low on the dipstick but currently it's not even half a diamond low. Seems pretty good to me. I already have another gasket to put on when I change the oil again so I don't have 2 on the bolt but for now it seems to be doing okay.

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Old 04-03-2019, 05:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil drain plug gasket

It is surprising how much oil you "burn" with a slight oil smudge around the drain bolt.

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