I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 72K miles. I have had the oil changed routinely every 4/5 k miles at the same garage ( a yearly AAA award winner). This time they informed me the threads on the oil pan were becomming cross threaded and this was a known fault with the aluminium oil pan. The cost to replace or rethread is $300 / $200. Is this a common problem with this model? Should’t Honda be responsible for using aluminium for the oil pan and drain?
No, Honda should not be even remotely responsible for anything like this.
Aluminum or not, if the drain plug has issues this comes solely from the practices of those who change the oil. If it gets cross-threaded it is from the carelessness of those who change the oil. If the threads get pulled, it’s the same thing. If the oil drain plug is removed and replaced properly it will never have a problem or “wear out.”
AAA “award winner” is meaningless. What kind of a shop is this? A locally owned independent shop? Or a big-name national chain shop?
In any case, repairing the threads is not a big deal, though I doubt it should cost $2-300.
AAA "award winner" is meaningless.
All it means is they guy pays his AAA dues.
@cigroller is correct. The AAA shop is at fault. This is NOT a Honda problem. The person doing the oil change is careless.
There are countless thousands of these aluminum oil pans out there that have no problem with their oil pan drain plugs. All it takes is one careless “oil changer” to wreck the threads. That’s what happened here.
I’ve never used one of these drain valves, but it’s an option for you. It installs into the oil pan threads permanently, so it doesn’t need to be removed with the chance of further thread damage.
You would need to make sure that your drain plug is located in an area with enough clearance to accommodate the valve.
There are literally a dozen ways to fix this problem. None of them cost $200 except replacing the pan and that is seldom if ever necessary…
Over-tightening the plug or cross-threading it is not Hondas or your problem. It’s the shops problem…
In addition to over-tightening or cross-threading, this problem could be the result of failure to replace the crush washer when reinstalling the drain plug. You might be surprised at how many shops will save 35 cents by re-using the old crush washer, even though that type of false economy that will likely result in over-tightening the drain plug and ruining the threads.
Bottom line–You need a new shop that will not try to deflect blame for their ham-handed methods. These “award-winning” guys are trying to make you pay through the nose for their mistakes.
Guys . . .
I can mostly . . . but not entirely . . . agree with you about damaged threads being solely due to careless mechanics
On my brother’s Mazda, which was my car before I gave it to him, the transaxle case is aluminum.
After several years of regularly servicing the fluid and filter, the female threads in the case, for the pan bolts wore out. 3 of the bolts literally fell out, because there weren’t any threads in the case to grab on to.
I never cross threaded or over tightened them. I bought the car with extremely low miles, and I guarantee you I was the only one who ever touched that transmission. I always torqued the pan bolts.
Yet the threads in the aluminum case eventually wore out.
While buggered up/worn threads are usually due to some hack, sometimes it just happens up, without anybody being at fault
It could be that galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals is a factor here. The pan is aluminum, but the drain plug probably is not. Aluminum is extremely susceptible to this problem.
But db4690, you’ve probably pulled uncountable number of oil pan drains and I notice your example is a transmission pan. The transmission pan bolts are probably relatively small and fine threaded, like and M6 or M8 by 1.0 or 1.25. Oil pan drains are twice that size with much coarser threads. That’s a lot more aluminum to bust up than on those tiny, fine threaded things.
And if it was actually cross-threaded (as the OP noted) - well, cross threaded is cross threaded. And once you’re up to something like an M12x1.75 or bigger, pulling those threads is nothing more than ham fisted over-torque.
If there’s a problem with the threads then the shop that has been doing the oil changes all along are the ones responsible; aluiminum or not.
A AAA award means nothing other than someone is ponying up dues faithfully. PR at its finest.
No harm asking, but I doubt either Honda or the shop will fix this for you gratis. This isn’t much of a problem to fix. Not fixing it on the other hand could result in an expensive big deal. If I had this problem I’d ask an inde mechanic to fix it for me. There are various solutions, and the best one depends on the condition of the parts involved. One simple method might be to install an oversize drain plug.
There’s even self-tapping drain plugs available with no special tools needed. Five bucks or less and done inside of a minute for a problem created by them and made worse by trying to hit you for 200 bucks to fix it.
This leads to thoughts of other services that may have been performed and not done in the way it was assumed they were being done.
I had the same problem. Garage used a self-threading plastic bolt. Only problem needed a new bolt with each change. Bolt was < $10.00.
Worked for me.
I absolutely agree that the source of the problem is the one(s) doing the work, aluminum or not. “Wear” on those threads is due to repeated overtorqueing. Cross threading is due to improper care in starting the plug.
As regards the “fix”, definitely helicoil it IMHO. There is absolutely no reason to replace the pan.
Overtightening of the drain plug is the cause.
There is a thread insert called Time-Sert that works fine for this pan and it takes 15 minutes to install. I believe it is 14mm x 11.5 the same as Chrysler drain plugs that strip all the time. Most every shop that does oil changes carries this already.
Perhaps the oil change guy will get a torque wrench for xmas.