Is it ok to drive without the cooper washer on the drain plug for the engine oil?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Patrick, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Came back from the dealer yesterday after an oil change for my 97 960.
    I looked under the car and noticed there was no (copper) gasket around
    the drain plug.

    Don't all Volvo have one??? If so, can I drive the car without one?
    There is no leak right now.

    Patrick, Oct 18, 2003
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  2. Patrick

    Martijn Guest

    It must be there!!
    Martijn, Oct 18, 2003
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  3. Patrick

    Bob Noble Guest

    I think I'd worry most about just how hard the drain plug was screwed in
    to prevent any leakage. It's likely possible to torque that plug in to
    a point where leakage is not happening - but will the plug ever come out

    If you're sure that there's no gasket in place, I'd get back to the
    Dealer and ask just what his Service folks are playing at. Having been
    in the business in a previous life, it's for sure that the fellows you
    hire to change oil are at the entry point into an entry level job, and a
    sadly large number make it no further and may even cause some serious
    problems while they're still out there in the shop.

    bob noble
    Reno, NV, USA
    Bob Noble, Oct 18, 2003
  4. Patrick

    brackenburn Guest

    Perhaps you can relax, Patrick. The 960 oil drain plug does not have a
    copper gasket. It's an aluminum gasket, and may be difficult to see when
    the plug is installed. Look closely using a bright light.

    Good luck.
    Andy I. P.s. The 4-cylinder engine has a copper gasket for the oil drain
    plug, but then the plug screws into a steel oil pan.
    brackenburn, Oct 18, 2003
  5. Patrick

    Rob Guenther Guest

    The main thing to be concerned with on a 960 is overtightening. We took our
    960 to an oil change centre once (not even an infamous jiffy/mr/quick etc
    lube), it looked good. Underfloor access to the car, well lit, very clean,
    they used a Volvo oil filter etc... Except they caused 550 dollars in damage
    when they stripped the aluminum threads on the oil pan.
    Rob Guenther, Oct 19, 2003
  6. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Brackenburn, glad to know it's aluminium, but it ain't there! I went
    under the car and after unscrewing the drain plug a bit, I can confirm
    there is none. The plug wasn't easy to unscrew, but I managed.

    In your expert opinion, could I leave it like that as long as there is
    no leakage, or would it be best to add the missing aluminium gasket?

    Patrick, Oct 19, 2003
  7. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    Thanks Bob. Unfortunately, going back to the dealer was not an
    option. Did that many moons ago and it just ended up making things
    worse. I had much worst done to the car by certified Volvo
    technicians... The worst is you have to pay $80+/hour to get your car
    damaged by professionals.

    Like I said in my other post, I went under and, no, there is no
    gasket. Since you are familiar with this business, can I wait until
    spring to get that corrected if there is no leakage?

    Thanks for your opinion.
    Patrick, Oct 19, 2003
  8. Patrick

    James Sweet Guest

    If it's not leaking leave it alone, but make sure you install one the next
    time the oil is changed.
    James Sweet, Oct 19, 2003
  9. Patrick

    Bob Noble Guest

    As to waiting until "Spring" for your next oil change . . .

    Seems to me that you're talking about a wait of 4+ months before you do
    something about that missing gasket, Patrick. Would you normally push
    the mileage on the oil that far - particularly in winter (if your locale
    makes winter a consideration, that is)? If you drive relatively little,
    *and* your winter gets cold, a change generally ought not go beyond 90
    days. Top quality oils currently in use are pretty forgiving, but even
    they need to be brought up to operating temp regularly to get rid of the
    volatiles that collect in the crankcase. Your call.

    bob noble
    Reno, NV, USA
    Bob Noble, Oct 19, 2003
  10. Patrick

    brackenburn Guest

    Hi Patrick,

    I'm no expert! but I wouldn't on any account risk wrecking that beautiful
    straight-six engine by driving it with no gasket on the oil drain plug, even
    tho' it didn't leak the first time. (As has already been pointed out,
    overtightening the washerless plug to try to prevent leaks can destroy the
    threads of the soft aluminum oil pan.) I'd contact that incompetent
    dealership and demand that they deliver to you the necessary aluminum haste!

    Good Luck.
    Andy I. P.s. Don't use a copper gasket.......... not good to mix with
    aluminum (a risk of "galvanic action").
    brackenburn, Oct 19, 2003
  11. Patrick

    Roger Mills Guest

    I would demand that they supply *and fit* the missing washer - and replenish
    the oil which they will inevitably spill when they remove the plug.

    If it is designed to have a compressible washer - but you don't have one -
    the chances are that the plug will eventually unscrew itself and fall out.
    You will then lose all the oil and wreck the engine.

    Roger Mills, Oct 19, 2003
  12. Patrick

    wah Guest

    chances are that the plug will eventually unscrew itself and fall out.

    i don't believe that.
    wah, Oct 19, 2003
  13. Patrick

    Roger Mills Guest

    Feel free to believe it or not!

    However, something very similar *has* happened to me - so I know that it
    *can* happen.

    In my case, I replaced the copper washer on a plug in the bottom of my
    carburettor with a fibre washer. The plug fell out, the petrol ran out, and
    the car stopped.

    Inconvenient - but at least it didn't wreck my engine. Losing all the oil

    Roger Mills, Oct 19, 2003
  14. Patrick

    Bill Stehlin Guest

    If not there, take it back immediately. Otherwise, when you do have
    trouble down the line you'll have no way to prove the dealer screwed
    it up. Demonstrate now they left off the required gasket, and
    therefore probably overtightened it (even if appears to be OK now) to
    preserve your claim for later. If you tell them you loosened it to
    check, be careful not to overtighten at all (even if it leaks a bit)
    or they'll claim you screwed it up.
    Bill Stehlin, Oct 19, 2003
  15. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    I'm using Mobil 1 synthetic. Supposed to be good gor 6 months or
    6,000 miles. Before when I was using dino oil, I used to switch every
    3 months or 3,000 miles.

    Can someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that
    with synthetic you can double the time/mileage compared with dino oil?

    It makes a year that I switched over and I'm please.

    Off-topic: I know it sounds crazy, but switching fuel from regular to
    super has reduced the problems with my 240. I was getting some
    non-sense "check engine" about temp sensor or AMM. After spending
    money on new parts and multiple visits, I went back to using super and
    my babby runs fine.
    Patrick, Oct 19, 2003
  16. From a point at sea, to the circles of your mind, this is Patrick:
    I was listening to a rep from Castrol Oils a while ago. He was saying
    that the oil change interval should not be assumed to be any longer,
    but that synthetic oil will not have degraded so much at the change.

    Of course it was his job to sell as much of it as he could.


    Stewart Hargrave

    A lot faster than public transport

    For email, replace 'SpamOnlyToHere' with my name
    Stewart Hargrave, Oct 19, 2003
  17. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    I was under the impression that some car manufacturers were suggesting
    that you could wait 12 months or 7,000 miles before changing your
    synthetic oil.

    What is the recommended interval on a new Volvo (S40, S60, S80) as
    per the owner's manual?
    Patrick, Oct 19, 2003
  18. Provided the oil does not become contaminated, then your changing at 6 k
    miles is fine. If you are doing short trips, not getting up to temp, stop
    start driving, then drain and replace as you would with "dino" oil.

    Despite the magic properties of these synthetic oils, they cant prevent
    degradation of the oil, especially if they are exacerbated by contamination.

    Hamish Alker-Jones, Oct 19, 2003
  19. Patrick

    James Sweet Guest

    I'm surprised it didn't start a fire! I'd rather have the oil drain out and
    wreck the engine than the gas drain out and burn up the whole car.
    James Sweet, Oct 19, 2003
  20. Patrick

    Jack G Guest

    Check your bill, I can almost guarantee there is an entry for about $1.50
    for a gasket - it is supposed to be changed every time the drain plug is

    Jack G, Oct 19, 2003
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