Crush Washers for Oil Pan - Substitutes?

My Subaru's oil drain plug requires a crush washer to seal. I tried
reusing the old washer, but oil dripped out and I wound up having to
buy one anyway. Has anybody found a good substitute that can be
reused, or is at least cheaper than the $1 a washer that Subaru wants
for these.
It's not as though I don't have any ideas - copper washer, O-ring, or
even a couple of wraps of 1/16" solder would probably work, but it's
nice to hear from the voice of experience.
RWL
******* Recreate gaps in email address to reply *******
Reply to
RWL
Loading thread data ...
motorcycles use copper or aluminum crush washers, you're better off just buying a new one, can't be more than a dollar or two. Rubber o-ring or nylon won't work properly, you need a copper or aluminum crush washer. my two cents worth. good luck, walt
Reply to
wallster
My suggestion is to order your filters 10 at a time, along with crush washers, from Auburn Subaru:
formatting link
Great prices, service and people.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
Any auto parts store will have them for less than the dealer charges - I think I paid about $1 for a three pack of them (I also have a Subaru). I dunno if you can substitute a simple copper washer for the crush washer. My Volvo and other cars I've owned use simple copper washers, they are slightly cheaper. However, my Pontiac doesn't have any seal/gasket/washer on the oil drain plug, and it doesn't leak - those clever American engineers must know something that the Swedes, Germans and Japanese don't.
Reply to
Ron DeBlock
I believe Swedes, Germans and Japanese spec thinner oil pans in order to save weight. The thin metal can't withstand too much torque, so a crush washer is required. This is also why you don't want to take your fine Swedish, German or Japanese auto to the local quicky lube where the, uh, mechanic, will use his trusty impact wrench to tighten the drain bolt.
I get my Nissan and Honda crush washers on the web for $0.20 to $0.30 each. I buy them about a dozen at a time, along with the filters.
Pep boys sell them fairly inexpensively. Measure the ID and OD and see if you can find something similar. The ID needs to be very close, but the OD can be larger.
I don't understand why a felt or rubber washer wouldn't work. The oil pan isn't under pressure. At most you'll leak a few drops.
Another option is one of those quick release valves from Futomo, Fram, etc.
Reply to
AL
Saab uses a copper washer. Anneal the sucker every few times and you're golden.
Visit your local Saab dealer. I think the new ones have a rubber seal in addition to just the copper washer. Pretty sure it's a 13mm I.D. washer if that works for you.
Dave Hinz
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Yeah, they rely on the sludge buildup in domestic engines to do the job. That's why they recommend 7.5k oil changes. Why put a washer in, when it adds .02 to the price of the car. JR Dweller in the cellar
R> Any auto parts store will have them for less than the dealer charges - I
Reply to
JR North
The problem is that without the copper washer, there won't be enough tension on the plug to keep it from backing out under normal vibration.
This happened to me once, when the dealer screwed up an oil change. Fortunately, I was going at highway speed, and so the oil plug bounced on the pavement and struck the bottom of the car quite hard, waking me up in time to save the suddenly oil-free motor.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
No sludge in my Pontiac at 34K miles, and the view through the oil filler looks like a new engine. I switched to Mobil 1 at 2000 miles, and have followed the Oil Life Monitor since then. It calls for fresh oil between 6500 and 7500 miles. It uses about 6 oz. of oil between changes.
As another poster stated, the oil pan is definitely thicker on the Pontiac - it's an aluminum casting. Every other car I've owned (all foreign) have had stamped steel oil pans.
Reply to
Ron DeBlock

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.