Oil pan drainplug stripped this is muy second oil change at the dealership

I took 2016 town & country to the dealership for the second oil change since i purchased it from them. I just got a call telling me the drain plug is stripped and they cant get it off without damaging the oil pan which will result in a $400 charge. I said they need to take care if it because they overtightened it. This is again only my SECOND oil change since purchasing from Bill Walsh . Am i correct in my thoughts here?

To me, sounds about right if they did the first one also. AND You bought the car new.
Question: does the book allow more than one year between oil changes?

1 Like

perhaps OP didn’t purchase this new? At least, I certainly hope that is the case. 2 oil changes in 3+ years is not good practice at all…

I agree that the dealership should take care of this is they are the ones that did the last oil change. I would present them with paperwork and receipt showing that they did the last oil change and tell them to make it right.

I would also note, that removing a stripped drain plug should not cause any damage to the oil pan. There are a couple ways to accomplish this, and none should involve any damage to anything but the already damaged drain plug.

1 Like

Hah, I beat You to it. I edited mine before Your post made it here. :smile:
And You are right in the rest of Your post as well.

1 Like


I had a similar situation some years back at a Ford dealer with an Aerostar. I was waiting while the oil was being changed. The service writer came into the waiting area with a long face and told me that the drain plug had been over tightened and they couldn’t get it out. I had the service writer take me to my vehicle. I got the service records out of the glove compartment and proved to them that the dealer had performed the last oil change. This was in the mid afternoon. I told the service writer that I was calling my wife to come get me and that I would be back at noon the next day and I expected that the oil would be changed and the drain plug issue resolved. They managed to get the drain plug out and have my Aerostar ready the next day.

I bought the van at the end of July 2018 certified preowned. The first oil change i had done was january 2019 this would be the second since i bought it. It is also still under factory warranty at this time.

1 Like

Sorry to say, but then all betts are off. There could easily be damage done to it during it’s earlier life. I don’t think any warranty will cover this. This can be a case of “who did what and whatnot”.
This being a CPO car, I would probably try to make a deal with the dealer, but be prepared to pay the full price as they have - more than likely - no responsibility to do it for free. It won’t help You if You go into the shop, guns blazing, be gentle.

1 Like

I disagree with @anon86613489.

If you are at the same place that did the oil change in January, then they should cover this. They were the last ones to touch the drain plug- it either should have been replaced last time, or not overtightened.

I do, however, agree that you should be gentle. No blazing guns is good advice. Show the paperwork, and see what they will do.


I am just being matter of fact and firm the service manager seems to agree with me. If there was damage it should have been noted during the last oil change. Also it’s too tight they will strip it and damage the pan to get it off who put it on last one of their techs so …

the operations manager is supposed to call me back within the hour…

If this was the same dealer then the oil was changed by the service department and before that the used car department, ask the manager which crew is worse?

If they performed the last two oil changes they seem to be guilty of damaging the oil pan or at least ignoring the damage during the last two services.

Yeah I think they should fix it. You would think there would be a happy medium between leaving the plug loose so it falls out and so tight that the threads are ruined. Maybe too much to expect. I do not use a torque wrench but just do it by feel and have never had a problem. On my Pontiac, no one else ever changed oil except at the transmission shop by mistake. When I went to change oil, I had to put an extension on my ratchet to loosen the plug again. They must use an air wrench or something or don’t know their own strength. Tight and then a quick tug will do it like spark plugs.

A CPO used car gets the oil changed before being sold as such. If the plug was stripped at the time, then it should have been disqualified from certification or it should have been fixed. So, the ball is back in the dealer’s court to fix it one way or another. Just stand firm.

UPDATE the dealership took care of everything and created a loyal customer out of me


Good for the dealership. It’s not rocket science to fix a damaged drain plug, that sort of thing happens all the time, but w/parts and labor, can still be a little on the expensive side. On the technical merits of the argument I’m leaning more towards @anon86613489 's post above, i.e. since you purchased the vehicle as a used car, the drain plug could have been damaged before and the used-car selling dealership wouldn’t be responsible to fix it. The management likely figures first that their staff should probably have noticed the problem during the last oil change, and second they now have a loyal customer. You’ll buy another car there yourself, and refer friends and relatives, so the expense for resolving the problem is really an investment that will pay dividends that exceed the expense.

This is an example where common sense wins out over pure logic. Like the episode when the Daleks (Dr Who sci-fi tv show) were in a war with another robot race. Stalemate, the two opposing forces were both computers and therefore equally logical, neither could ever get the upper hand. Common sense was needed to resolve that problem too.

Im not sure I would have become a loyal customer after this incident. Sure they took care of it, but they simply took care of their own mess. A mess that should never have been created. If they Ham-Fist an oil drain plug, Lord knows what a service event that calls for some form of modest skill would yield. lol

There’s no way of knowing who overtightened the plug. This is a used car and it could have been wrenched down way too hard in the first oil change of its life. Eventually the problem surfaces.

Much like undetected cancer, it can become terminal at some point.

1 Like