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Pontiac Repair/Coolant block drain plug


Hello Todd, I own a base model 1994 Buick Park Avenue with the 3.8L engine. The coolant drain plug in the block above the oil pan is leaking. My problem is I can not find a way or a tool to reach it in order to remove it. Is there a special tool or procedure to remove it? I am stumped on this one and I consider myself to be a pretty competent do-it-yourselfer. Thank you for your time.

Hi Rennie:

From what you said it sounds like a Core plug that is leaking. Also known as a soft plug. depending on the echaust manifold configuration on that engine you may need to remove the manifold to gain access to the plug?? Depending on which one it is usually there are 2 on each side of the engine. in order to remove it all you need is a punch and drive it into the block and then pull it out with a pair of vise grips you will have to pry on it to get it past the hole in the block. if you got some of the big box parts stores they have tool rentals and you may be able to get a driver and replace the plug the issue is access again not much room to swing a hammer in there let alone a driver tool. a viable fix is a rubber expansion plug to go in place of the soft plug. they sell them in all kinds of sizes you can get one for the side of the hole/bore in the block and replace it with one of those. basically it's a ruber plug with a washer on one side inside the engine and a larger washer and nut on the out side you insert the plug and tighten the nut and what it does it expand the rubber plug to seal up the hole in the block. it's is not going to last another 20 years like the original did but it will last for a while it's quicker and easier too.  Good luck :-)

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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