How to remove & install freeze plugs

Written by carolyn barton
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A freeze plug is found in several different places, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. It will always be found on the engine block. If a freeze plug is leaking, it is easy to find by tracing the origin of the leak. Replacing a freeze plug will need to be done right away to prevent irreparable damage to the engine. Once located, the freeze plug is not difficult to replace.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Punch
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Emery cloth
  • Sealant
  • Seal driver
  • Replacement freeze plug

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  1. 1

    Use a punch or a screwdriver to remove the plug by placing the tool at the edge of the plug and hitting the other end of the tool firmly with a hammer.

  2. 2

    Use a pair of pliers to remove the plug completely. If you have already purchased a new plug, discard the old one. Keep it if you may need it to buy the correct replacement.

  3. 3

    Use an emery cloth to clean the hole thoroughly to remove any rust or corrosion.

  4. 4

    Spread a thin layer of sealant around the edge of the freeze plug where it will connect to the inner wall of the hole. Push the plug into the hole.

  5. 5

    Use a seal driver to push the plug in all the way to ensure it is properly positioned. If a seal driver is not available, a socket that is the size of the plug will work well.

Tips and warnings

  • The easiest way to replace a freeze plug is to do it while the motor is not in the car because it is often hard to reach. In most vehicles, it is possible, if inconvenient, to access the plug while the motor is in place.

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