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#912309 - 06/02/07 06:51 AM Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug
tiger-bailey Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 4
Loc: albuquerque, nm
I purchased a used car that had the oil changes done at Wal Mart. They used some type of blue sealant around the drain plug, and I can't get the drain plug off. Anyone experience this? Thoughts on how to get it loose without breaking something?

TIA.
Rob

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#912310 - 06/02/07 07:07 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: tiger-bailey]
AcuraTech Offline


Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1562
Loc: St. Paul, MN
The plug was probably just over tightened, the waxy stuff they use doesn't have any clamping force. UNLESS the plug was stripped already when they changed the oil and they applied some sort of sealant to keep it from leaking, which also could be what you are seeing.

My recommendation would be to get a half inch ratchet and a six point socket (to prevent the drain plug from rounding), and start yanking away until it gives. Hopefully the oil pan threads aren't stripped.
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*The above post is not to be construed as professional advice. For entertainment purposes only.*


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#912311 - 06/02/07 07:11 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: AcuraTech]
AcuraTech Offline


Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1562
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Also remember, leverage is your friend. Longer ratchet = easier to loosen. However, if it takes anything longer than a standard wrench or ratchet to loosen a drain plug, be worried.
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*The above post is not to be construed as professional advice. For entertainment purposes only.*


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#912312 - 06/02/07 07:52 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: AcuraTech]
01rangerxl Offline


Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 9265
Loc: Birmingham, AL
Be prepared to need a new plug and have to chase the threads in the oil pan. It was probably sripped and rather than tell the owner of the car, they used a lot of sealant.
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#912313 - 06/02/07 09:30 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: 01rangerxl]
televascular Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 196
Loc: New Jersey
It's even possible that they were too cautious and used medium-strength threadlocker on the drain bolt. Kinda the polar opposite of quick lube joints, eh?

It's overkill, but maybe that's what the blue stuff is.
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#912314 - 06/02/07 09:46 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: televascular]
Squishy Offline


Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Orillia, Ontario
All the Wal-Marts around here use that blue stuff. It's not sealant in the traditional sense, nor is it threadlocker - it's a tamper seal. They put it on so that they can tell if you or another shop messed with the drain plug after they changed the oil. I guess they found out that a lot of people were blaming them for an oil change faux pas after a little shop screwed up, since they (Wal-Mart) have bigger and deeper pockets.

As for the overtightened plug...yeah, they'll do that. Breaker bar then a chaser should do the trick. If it's really bad, you might need an oversized plug.
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#912315 - 06/02/07 09:48 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: Squishy]
01rangerxl Offline


Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 9265
Loc: Birmingham, AL
Ahhhh...the mystery is solved. That is pretty smart on Wal-Mart's part...now if they could do something about the people who return used oil in new oil bottles.
_________________________
2002 Ford Ranger XLT | 3.0 V6 / 5-Speed Automatic / 2WD | 216K miles
1994 Ford Ranger STX | 4.0 V6 / 5-Speed Manual / 4X4 | 199K miles

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#912316 - 06/02/07 09:50 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: 01rangerxl]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11079
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
wal-mart isnt the only place that does it. when i worked at sears we were required to torque drain plugs to spec with a new seal, and apply the tamper-seal.
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#912317 - 06/02/07 10:03 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: bdcardinal]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8165
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
They did it at a car dealership here too on my car before I purchased it. I always wondered what it was, thanks for the explanation It didn't leak so I didn't think it was a sealant masking anything.
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#912318 - 06/02/07 10:07 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: ThirdeYe]
Squishy Offline


Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Orillia, Ontario
Hmm, another thought - if the tamper seal is still intact, would it be possible to take it to Wal-Mart and make them deal with it? After all, they provided the proof themselves of who is really at fault.
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#912319 - 06/02/07 10:14 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: Squishy]
bdcardinal Online   content


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 11079
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
they arent the only ones that use blue. and yes you can use it against them, however if they are like most other shops, an oil change is only warrentied for 90 days, if at all. espeically if you let an oil change interval go for a long time. we had someone claim that their motor froze and it was our fault since we worked on it last. it still had a perfect tamper seal from us, unfortunately the oil change was done 2 years prior.
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#912320 - 06/02/07 10:25 AM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: bdcardinal]
Squishy Offline


Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 287
Loc: Orillia, Ontario
Yeah, but if he has the receipt from the previous owner and goes at 12:20 while the service manager is out to lunch, maybe he could harass one of those high school lube kids into dealing with it. Admission of guilt from the lube guy and some belligerent rambling when the service manager gets back might net you some results. I doubt a calm man-to-man talk would get you anywhere at Wal-Mart; a dealership or father-son garage, maybe.
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99 Ford Escort
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#912321 - 06/02/07 07:14 PM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: Squishy]
alanu Offline


Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 384
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Lube shops tend to use a sealant or a rattle can of primer or a thick coat of paint to prevent a drain bolt from loosening off. Kind of a safe precaution measure for the inadequate experience from the kid that changes the oil.

More than likely a cheap plastic gasket was used too. They are the worst gaskets available!!! Why are they used??? CHEAP! CHEAP! CHEAP! Odd thing is when a drain plug falls out an engine costs alot more than a 5 cents plastic gasket.

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#912322 - 06/02/07 08:06 PM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: alanu]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8165
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
I had a plastic drain washer/gasket put on by a local dealership here, and when I went to drain the oil, the plug came off simply by using my fingers, that's how loose it was. I don't know if it was because of the washer, but my oil pan was wet because of it too. -smiles happily at my stash of 60 OEM Honda drain plug washers- Much better
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#912323 - 06/02/07 08:52 PM Re: Wal Mart Blue sealant around drain plug [Re: ThirdeYe]
T-Keith Offline


Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 4870
Loc: MN
I worked at a Wal-mart TLE back in college. First, Squishy is correct, it is just to tell if someone worked on it since the oil was changed. It also serves as a visual check that the plug has been tightened.

Secondly, alanu, believe it or not, but the plugs and gaskets Wal-mart got were the best quality and the closest to OEM of ANY lube shop I've seen. You'll have a hard time finding such a good selection at an auto parts store. In fact all of the auto parts store ones I've seen are generic junk. Not only that, they are the only shop that I know of that doesn't use oversize plugs(self tapping plugs that destroy your oil pan) Now that doesn't mean that some untrained employee won't use the wrong gasket on your car.

Bottom line is you will have bad service at any shop, including the dealer, so do it yourself.
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