My 2002 Saturn wagon, with 112k miles, has somehow had the oil pan nut stripped. One shop would not change the oil because they were afraid the nut would not go back in. Two places have told me a replacement pan costs $250 to 300. Online I see prices more like $50. Should I just buy one myself?
You don’t need a new oil pan. Damaged threads can be repaired by retapping with an oversized tap and installing a new oversized plug. Call around and see if you can find a shop who will do it for you.
There is an additional, cheaper option.
A mechanic can repair the oil pan by using a Helicoil or similar approach.
If your regular mechanic is not willing to do this, keep searching via the phone to find a shop that will do it.
And, whatever you do, don’t return to the shop that changed your oil the last time, as they are most likely the source of your problem. In order to save a few cents, some shops (ALL of the quick lube places) will fail to replace the crush washer/gasket on the oil drain plug when they change the oil, thus leading to overtightening.