Dealership vs. Jiffy Lube


#1

So I had my 2002 Honda Civic in for my free state inspection at the dealership where I bought it. At the same time I said to go ahead and change the oil (it was due). The service advisor came out and told me that there ?might be a problem with the oil pan?. He said that the oil plug was a non standard Honda part and asked where I had my oil changed last. When I told him Jiffy Lube he said that they replaced it with a larger plug than was necessary and that they would try and fit it back in. If they couldn?t it would cost around $600 to replace the oil pan because the threads were ruined.



So I went to Jiffy Lube and the manager said that they only use one size plug for Hondas and that the oil pan is aluminum and the plug needs to be changed each oil change to avoid stripping the threads quicker. He figures that the dealership was trying to weasel some money out of me.



Now of course I can?t examine it until the oil is changed next, but is this really a problem with Hondas? The manager at JL said that Hondas are known for these aluminum oil pans that tend to wear out. The car only has 70K miles on.


#2

It sounds very suspicious. Either or both the dealership or Jiffy have screwed up your car. I would have difficulty believing either one.


#3

I worked for Honda at the Dealership and we were all warned about the delicate drain plug. That being said all that was required was normal care and there were no problems. Experienced techs (myself being one) even use our air rachets on the drain plugs. Now this is a quick way for a newbie to get in a lot of trouble but if you know what you are doing it works, never stripped a plug or had a customer like you come back with my signature on a bugged up oil pan. I don’t recommend beginners use thier air rachet on the plugs.


#4

They are more prone to stripping than most, but that’s only because the entirely unskilled labor they employ at Jiffy Lube and other such places tend to overtighten them-- if someone competent is doing your oil changes it shouldn’t be an issue.

The question is whether they just forced in a slightly oversized plug or if they actually properly retapped the hole. If they did the repair correctly, it shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t really understand what the issue the dealer was talking about-- obviously if they let you drive off, the plug was holding oil right? Or did they refuse to change the oil because they saw that it wasn’t the original plug?

Frankly, the solution to all this is to find yourself a good independent mechanic. Quick oil change places in general usually use very inexperienced help and the dealer sounds like they’re basically overpriced parts changers. Any decent independent mechanic should be able to easily repair your oil pan for a fraction of what they were quoting you to replace it.


#5

On my old Honda Accord the oil pan drain plug WASHER was required to be replaced with a new one at each oil change. Don’t know if current Hondas are the same…I bet they are, however. I think Jiffy Lube screwed up (no pun intended.)


#6

So far, there is no proof anything is wrong…It has been my experience that Jiffy Lube / Grease Monkey employees are no worse than the people who typically staff dealership lube racks…You don’t think a MECHANIC changes your oil at a dealership do you??

An air ratchet on a drain plug?? BS alert…


#7

Neither JiffyLube nor the dealership sounds 100% right on this one. I’d ask someone else (an independent mechanic) to look at it and see what he says. If the dealership is right and the threads were ruined, it’s time to start talking to the JiffyLube manager’s boss or write a letter. If the dealership is exaggerating the repairs necessary, I would call them and tell them what the mechanic said (and ask to speak to the manager, not just the service writer).
It may take a while to get this resolved, but in the process you’ll find out for sure whether to visit that dealership or Jiffylube again.


#8

Two things bother me about this post.

One is that the dealer is telling you you need a new oil pan. Stripped plug threads only require retapping oversize and an oversize plug. Done properly, it’ll be problem free for life…or until another Skippy Lube gorilla gets hos mits on it (hint, hint,…skip the Skippy Lube joints in eth future).

Two is that the Skippy Lube manager says they oonly use one size plug for Hondas…AND have a problem with “aluminum pans that tend toe wear out”. Is he saying they don’t put the same plug back in? And he’s clearly saying that his Skippy Lube place has a problem with stripping threads on Honda pans.

I agree that an independant owner-operated shop is needed here. And should be patronized for future oil changes.

You do NOT need a new $600 oilpan!!!


#9

I will say it again that’s how I did it,no reason to BS. Don’t use your highest torque wrench and have a feel for what’s going on,why should I BS? I used a air or electric tool any chance I got,you guys twirling those hand rachets got left in the dust.


#10

… dealer is telling you you need a new oil pan. Stripped plug threads only require retapping oversize and an oversize plug. Done properly, it’ll be problem free for life…or until another Skippy Lube gorilla gets hos mits on it (hint, hint,…skip the Skippy Lube joints in eth future).

Dealers tend to follow this pattern. They don’t like to fix a part if they can replace it with new. An independent tends to say, the repaired part is as good or maybe better than the original. Still the dealer had blinders and looks to make the car the same as new, not as good as new or better.


#11

Yeah, I know. And it has always bothered me.


#12

They will only wear out if the person doing the oil changes is overtightening the oil drain plug or omitting the gasket.
The plug does not need to be changed but the gasket should always be replaced. The gasket allows a certain amount of give and this prevents “pulling” the threads for the drain plug.
The same amount of torque applied to a drain plug will have a different effect on the threads depending on whether the gasket is new or a re-used one.

As to whether you need a new oil pan, that depends. If the JL used an oversized plug and the area where the threads are located (commonly called a bung) does not have much material remaining in that area then I would say a new pan is advised.

The statement by the JL guy that replacing the plug each oil change will avoid stripping the threads quicker is utter bunk.
He needs to tell his guys to shed those Hormel hams on the end of their arms and quit forcing the issue.


#13

I worked for Honda at the Dealership and we were all warned about the delicate drain plug. That being said all that was required was normal care and there were no problems.

I agree…We owned 2 hondas…both well over 200k miles and many many oil changes…never ever had a problem with the drain plugs.


#14

My daughter’s 2002 Civic has a pleasantly sufficient amount of material. The hole is actually bored horizontally more so than vertically, with a deep thread depth. I like the design, and even in aluminum it’s quite robust.

Of course a gorilla can overcome even Honda’s best efforts. But there’s plenty there to tap…and evem helicoil if necessary.


#15

If I were you, I would replace the drain plug with a valve. You will have to buy one that fits the new hole though. Fram makes drain valve kits that I like. They are sold under other brands too, but in any case, you will need to make sure the one you buy is the same size as your current drain plug.

Don’t go back to Jiffy Lube for anything. They should be replacing the crush washer at each oil change, not the plug itself.