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Mazda3 undercarriage bolts overtightened and b0rked

It’s been 5000 since my last oil change, which was done at a quickie-style shop, so i’m changing my oil this weekend. got under the car, and on this one you have to remove this undercarriage piece to get at the oil filter. all of the bolts that hold this on are totally stripped out and broken from their clip things, so when i turn them they just go and go and go round. I’m sure that this was due to extreme over-tightening at the last oil change (since they didn’t mention it was a problem for thsm), since it was the only time i have neglected my car enough to hit a quickie oil change shop. what should I do? I’d like to complain to them, although at this point I have a car up on ramps with the oil drained out … so i can’t exactly ask them to help me out right now. ack! should this be their responsibility anyway? Or should i just take my lumps for using one of the quickie oil change places?

You can fix the issue now, complain later, or fix the issue and not use this place again. I vote for #2. I am not so sure the manager of the shop will take responsibility for the bolts, unless you have used that place exclusively, and you may be wasting your time in complaining.

If you’re talking about the plastic shield under the car, back when I used to work at a quick lube we had tricks to get at the oil and filter without removing that shield at all. In which case the bolts may have seized into place just from never having been removed. That is of course if this is the particular splash guard i’m thinking of, some absolutely have to be removed but if I remember correctly i’m pretty sure it’s possible to get to your drain plug and filter without doing so.

On other plastic shields i’ve had to remove i’ve seen those plastic retainers break just simply due to age and the plastic becoming brittle. You don’t mention the age or mileage of your Mazda but it’s possible that nothing wrong was done and they still broke anyway.

Are the retainers you are speaking about simply the open ended clips that essentialy provide about a half a thread of retention? Personaly I think your complatin is with the car manufacture as these clips are not as robust as a threaded piece welded to the frame (like a full on skid plate retainer is). These things are certainly not over engineered and you should develope both a method of dealing with broken clips and keep a supply in the car ( unless you take the plate off at home and then go get an oil change), then put the plate (or cover) back on yourself.

yeah, i have like 60k miles on it, so i dunno…the metal clips don’t appear to be rusty, but the nuts that should be fixed to them are spinning with various degrees of ease.
As for replacing these clips…do I find these only at like the Mazda dealership parts department? Or can I get something close enough at a car parts store? home warehouse store?
If i had a welder, i guess i could just solder the nuts fixed again, OR i could resign myself to having to wrench on one side and socket on the other to get this undercarriage piece off in the future. I think unless I was some sort of ninja, the undercarriage pretty much has to be removed to get the filter changed. at least that’s what the instructions say…maybe i don’t have creative enough tools? small enough hands? a few people on the mazda forums say they can do it without removing the piece, or not removing it all the way, but that sounds like a good way to get oil dripped all over this piece as well as my garage floor.

hmmm, to me they look like a tiny money clip (less than 1" square) with a hole through and a nut ‘fixed’ to one side. the nut wasn’t just welded, since it is still fixed but now spinning freely. certainly a threaded frame piece would be better, i agree. as my above comment, do i need to buy replacements of these at the mazda parts? or would a car parts store or home improvement store have these? Or something close enough such that i don’t need to double side tools on them in the future to get them on and off?

I believe that the retainers are plastic toggles with buttons that expand and retract the toggles. Such pieces hold the fender wells and under hood trim in place. They are somewhat fragile.

Now that I have hit submit I see from your last posting that my assumption was wrong. The clips you speak of are available at most any parts store and it would seem that if they are stripped the quick change place is likely at fault. But for the price they charge you can’t really expect much from them.

Sounds like cheap hardware you maybe able to find at any hardware store, or in the help section in the auto parts store.

thanks all - am getting it figured out. i’m sure by the time i have some new clips on there and can drive it again i’ll have forgotten all about how mad i was when i first discovered the bolt clips were b0rked :smiley: beware the $30 oil change…besides, after all this i’ll be such a pro, it’ll hardly take me longer than the 20 minutes or whatever they advertise! plus with the fully synthetic I wont have to worry about it for another year or so! yeah!