Is it normal and usual wear and tear for the threads where the oil plug screws into the pan to just come off at 140,000 miles on a 2002 Honda Civic that has had oil changes every 3,000 miles? I am being told I need to replace the oil pan at $150 for the pan and $200 for the labor.
Its not normal. It usually happens because someone over-torques or cross threads the drain plug.
The drain plug gasket should be changed periodically. The hole in the pan can be drilled and tapped for an oversized drain plug if the current one is in fact damaged, This would be a lot less expensive than a pan replacement, and it would be good for at least another 140,000 miles.
I would do the drill and tap if needed and find a different mechanic to do the oil changes, one who installs the drain plug with a torque wrench.
Let’s do some math…
140,000 miles / 3,000 miles per change = almost 47 changes.
It only takes one ham-fisted goofball one time to damage these threads by cross-threading or over-tightening, an unusually common problem at quick-change oil change places. Once damaged, it is only a short matter of time before the threads completely pull out, and your left with a gaping hole.
No, it is not normal. I had a 1990 Toyota P/U, 325,000 miles on it, changed oil every 4,000 miles. I did every oil change except two early on. Never had a problem with the oil drain plug or threads. Same with the '88 Supra I bought from my dad. 250,000 miles, changes every 3,000 miles, no damage. He had his oil changes at his mechanic’s shop. Stayed away from quick change shops.
I advise you to stay away, too. They have poorly trained wrench monkeys, high turnover rates, and very low pay.