Reader Question: Rounded-off Fill Plug?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Michael asks: I have a rounded off fill plug 97 RAV4. Is there another way of filling and if not best suggestions of removing it please…

My reply: This one’s easy! What you reequire (best toothless mountain man voice) is a pair of vise grip pliers; use these to get a grip on the rounded off drain plug bolt and turn it out. It shouldn’t take much effort. Then replace it – obviously – with a not-rounded-off plug.

If it’s hard to get a vise grip on the plug, another field expedient option is to find a socket that’s one size down or close enough and tap the thing onto the rounded-off plug and then turn it out normally. But the vise grips ought to work and should be easier.

When you replace the plug, be sure the new one is correct and if the original had a bronze or other gasket that you use a new one with the new bolt, too!

. . .

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  1. And one other contingency would be to grind the head of the bolt in such a way that you create two parallel flat surfaces on the side, for your vise grips to grip.

  2. It helps if the smaller socket is impact rated and a 6 point, or a black finish hard metal. Ordinary socket won’t work too well.


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