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Unable and unwilling to pay someone to do simple maintenance on my van, I have started doing my own serviceing.
Just changed the oil and filter, everywhere I look I am told I must change the sump plug and washer.
But no one says why.
On my first van (many years ago) a Bedford CF, I changed the oil and filter 120 times.
I never changed the plug and as far as I remember after about 75 changes I changed the washer.
When I sold the van there was no sign of any oil leaking around the sump plug.
The sump plug on my VW is a very substantial steel plug and it has a steel washer.
There is a lot of thread in the sump, quite well made.
So why do I need to throw away a good quality plug and washer, it dont make sense to me.
I tend to use common sense, I put back the original plug and washer, and if it dont leak, it is going to stay there until the next time.
 

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its precaution
just think if the old one leaks you have to drop the oil again,dont forget the proper oil is as dear as gold!!,do you want to risk loosing any!!!
 

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If I have a washer I'll replace it, if not I'll reuse the old one, they never leak. As for replacing sump plugs a complete waste of time and money.
 

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with the alloy sumps the thread becomes brittle from people not adhering to the proper tightening torque, thus pulling the soft thread out when you remove the plug.Once it's stripped, it will just spin and spin and sometimes you can't remove it to insert a helicoil. Thats why you replace it. If you think every time you tighten the plug, you are not only crushing the washer thinner, you are also grinding abit of the sump away too. I have seen this so many time working on these vehicles
 

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Agree with above always replace sump plug as the washer crushes and beds when torqued to correct setting and so no over tightening like would happen when using old plug which would put more stress on sump thread
 

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I can understand replacing the washer (altho in reality its not essential) but the sump plug:* doesn't matter if it's a new or old plug if someone's going to do it up too tight and damage the threads.

:confused:
 

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I can understand replacing the washer (altho in reality its not essential) but the sump plug:* doesn't matter if it's a new or old plug if someone's going to do it up too tight and damage the threads.

:confused:
Agree it is only the washer that needs replacing but VW have designed plug where the washer is part of the bung so:(
 

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If I have a washer I'll replace it, if not I'll reuse the old one, they never leak. As for replacing sump plugs a complete waste of time and money.
Totally agree. I do all my own services, weres the logic on replacing a sump plug? Washer yes if you have one but not the plug.

:ILU:
 

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The logic comes from the fact that the washer is not removable from the plug without prising it of (very difficult) so it would not be possile to get a new washer over threads of plug and achieve same seal and torque so for a quid or whatever they cost do as VW do
 

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What's cheaper....A plug that costs £1.41+vat, or a new sump at £90 odd+vat , a load of time and hassle, plus the oil,etc.... There's no point in arguing about it, let people do what they want....I've been a VW tech for nearly 23 years so i think i know a bit more about the reasons and what happens and why
 
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