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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a new 2011 Versa HB for my granddaughter and have been getting the oil changed at local lube centers for her. During the last two oil changes I've been told that I have an oil leak. My wife drove the car down to a local Nissan dealer today to see what the problem is. They told her that it needs a copper crush drain plug washer and offered to do an oil change right then. It just had an oil change last Monday using pure synthetic oil so I wasn't about to have it done now. Instead my wife purchased 6 of these washers for me. So now I'm looking at these odd-ball looking washers and the first question that comes to mind is, what side of the washer goes against the oil pan? Does anyone out there have any idea which way the washer goes on the drain plug? It looks like one side actually screws on to the thread and I'm kind of guessing that the is the side that goes against the oil pan side but don't know for sure...
 

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Something doesn't look right.
Where did these come from? The crush washers should be flat copper (or aluminum or plastic) and be the same side to side.
That is, you should be able to put them on either way. The one pictured looks to be for a special application.
I've used hollow ones that are open at the outside, but really any (respectable) auto parts store should be able to get you the proper washer(s).
 

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[B]Something doesn't look right.Where did these come from? The crush washers should be flat copper (or aluminum or plastic) and be the same side to side.[/B].
That was what I thought when I got the washer at the dealer, but after install the washer flattens. I think it is a feature for the owner to know when to stop torquing the plug.
 

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imo, once you get the right washer, never change it again. Even though my mechanic has changed them while under warranty, I never ever have after the warranty ran out. Never had an issue with any of my cars or vans
 

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it's a crush washer. It's good for one use and then your suppose to replace it again. I don't do this though. I just leave it on there until I see a leak. Then I would swap it out at the next oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I hope the image below helps you.

The image is fine I know how it goes on now (and just the opposite of what I thought). Thanks Miquel.

The first two oil changes there was no leak. I suspect the during the third oil change the washer fell off or they lost it. For those who may be interested; as an anal engineer that I am, I did more research as to why they use this washer in the first place. Seems the outer surface of the oil pan is not always smooth or perfectly flat. The copper washer is a somewhat soft metal and when its "crushed" into place it fills the uneven surface between the bolt and oil pan. I also have to believe the thread tolerances of the bolt and bolt hole are somewhat sloppy and it could let oil (albeit very small amount) leak out. I'm fairly sure that the same washer can be used several times without a problem. However they only cost $1.02 each at the dealer.

Anyway, thanks to all..:seeya:
 

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That was what I thought when I got the washer at the dealer, but after install the washer flattens. I think it is a feature for the owner to know when to stop torquing the plug.
Ok, I'll buy that.

Looking closely, I can see it's a clam shell type of design. Should work OK then.

I made some out of aluminum some time back. After machining, I took a torch to them in order to anneal (soften) them.

If you're careful with how tight you go and be sure to clean any debris, these will last for practically as long as you own the car.
 

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I have done approx 10 oil changes on my Versa so far. The first two or three times I replaced the strange looking crush washer with a new one from the dealership. The last seven times or so, I just left the old one on there and no leaks whatsoever.

There may be some trick for getting the old washer off of the bolt, but for me it was a real PITA. The crushed washer hangs up on the threads as you try to take it off. I spent more time trying to get if off the bolt than with the oil change, that is why I just stopped replacing it. I have a couple of new ones laying around, and if I get a leak, I will know to replace the crush washer after x number of oil changes.

No guarantees with a shop done oil change though. Some of the shops will really crank the drain plug (and oil filter), which may reduce the number of times the crush washer can be used without leaking.

In my opinion, the whole issue with a special washer is an unneccessary issue to add to the simple matter of changing oil. How many billions of oil changes have been done over the years without leaking and without having to resort to a goofy crush washer. If Nissan can't get a bolt and oil pan to match up correctly without having to resort to a strange washer to avoid leaks, I question their Engineering, quality control, or supplier quality.
 

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The image is fine I know how it goes on now (and just the opposite of what I thought). Thanks Miquel.

The first two oil changes there was no leak. I suspect the during the third oil change the washer fell off or they lost it. For those who may be interested; as an anal engineer that I am, I did more research as to why they use this washer in the first place. Seems the outer surface of the oil pan is not always smooth or perfectly flat. The copper washer is a somewhat soft metal and when its "crushed" into place it fills the uneven surface between the bolt and oil pan. I also have to believe the thread tolerances of the bolt and bolt hole are somewhat sloppy and it could let oil (albeit very small amount) leak out. I'm fairly sure that the same washer can be used several times without a problem. However they only cost $1.02 each at the dealer.

Anyway, thanks to all..:seeya:
As a Metallurgical Technologist, I hear ya [wife calls me Perfecto:(LOL!] Easy solution to use the softer sacrificial cheap material, than bugger up the oil pan [which also not as robust as they used to be] Enjoy!
 

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lol I must be the laziest slob on earth because when I went to the auto parts store to get my oil and filter I asked about the crush washer as I was going to change it out as well. I ended up getting a quick disconnect plug. so next time I change my oil all i need to do is push and turn the spring loaded end of the oil drain plug, let oil drain, turn and release the plug and I'm done. so in theory i'll never have to remove another drain plug again
 

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I purchased a new 2011 Versa HB for my granddaughter and have been getting the oil changed at local lube centers for her. During the last two oil changes I've been told that I have an oil leak. My wife drove the car down to a local Nissan dealer today to see what the problem is. They told her that it needs a copper crush drain plug washer and offered to do an oil change right then. It just had an oil change last Monday using pure synthetic oil so I wasn't about to have it done now. Instead my wife purchased 6 of these washers for me. So now I'm looking at these odd-ball looking washers and the first question that comes to mind is, what side of the washer goes against the oil pan? Does anyone out there have any idea which way the washer goes on the drain plug? It looks like one side actually screws on to the thread and I'm kind of guessing that the is the side that goes against the oil pan side but don't know for sure...
I know im late with this but most of the Nissan drain plugs have a thin copper crusher set into the drain plug isn't it? and as far as i know they can get chewed up over time but I haven't changed mine for seven years in my driving. for a crush washer that thin to fail and leave a PUDDLE of oil means... to me... it wasn't a crush washer.
 

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I have done approx 10 oil changes on my Versa so far. The first two or three times I replaced the strange looking crush washer with a new one from the dealership. The last seven times or so, I just left the old one on there and no leaks whatsoever.

There may be some trick for getting the old washer off of the bolt, but for me it was a real PITA. The crushed washer hangs up on the threads as you try to take it off. I spent more time trying to get if off the bolt than with the oil change, that is why I just stopped replacing it. I have a couple of new ones laying around, and if I get a leak, I will know to replace the crush washer after x number of oil changes.

No guarantees with a shop done oil change though. Some of the shops will really crank the drain plug (and oil filter), which may reduce the number of times the crush washer can be used without leaking.

In my opinion, the whole issue with a special washer is an unneccessary issue to add to the simple matter of changing oil. How many billions of oil changes have been done over the years without leaking and without having to resort to a goofy crush washer. If Nissan can't get a bolt and oil pan to match up correctly without having to resort to a strange washer to avoid leaks, I question their Engineering, quality control, or supplier quality.
I agree that keeping it simple is the best approach. Gorp was onto using aluminum as the washer. Seems that Toyota has been using the aluminum washer with a custom coating on each side. I've used the Toyota washers for a long time and never had a leak. Just got my first leak on the Versa with the copper crush washer. Yes, I did not change it after every oil change. I also agree with Soone 4x4, that Nissan needs to look at their bolt and oil pan match up in the 21st century.
 

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it's a crush washer. It's good for one use and then your suppose to replace it again. I don't do this though. I just leave it on there until I see a leak. Then I would swap it out at the next oil change.
Hmmmm... I would change it every time. I do it on my 370. Besides, it's all of 59 cents. Why wouldn't you?

And the "leave it on until you have a leak" ? Nothing personal but ....WOW.

EDIT: btw, I'm in the parts business. And that price is the resale price. Exact Nissan part.



(And, sorry for opening an old thread.)
 
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