Stripped threads in oil pan

I have a 2000 VW Jetta. The threads in my oil pan have been stripped for almost 6 months now. I have already had the oil pan re-tapped once, and used a self-threading oversized bolt, which has worked in the past. Since my most recent oil change, though, I’ve been leaking oil around the plug pretty badly. There’s a big puddle in my driveway. I’ve gotten an oil change at this place before; they are aware of my oil pan situation and have been using a “drain saver” plug. (I actually don’t know what this plug is, but it has worked wonderfully for the past 4 oil changes that I’ve gotten there…so I didn’t ask about it.)

Since I’ve started leaking oil again, I’ve brought my car to 2 different mechanics who both told me that the hole in the oil pan is too big to be retapped, and the only solution is to get a new oil pan. According to them, this is a common problem with Volkswagens.

I’m willing to believe these mechanics; my car has over 225,000 miles on it, and as far as I know, it still has the original oil pan. (If I’m wrong, I’ve still put around 55,000 miles on that car using that oil pan.) However, the cost of the entire job would be $650 for parts and labor, and I want to be sure that this is the only solution!! It seems a little fishy to me that the pan can’t be retapped another time. What do you think??

It does sound like the thing has had the snot beat out of it. The cause of this, btw, is nothing other than pure carelessness on the part of those who change the oil. A tiny bit of proper attention and the oil pan threads should NEVER get stripped out. There is another stripped oil pan thread running right now (

Without being able to look at it I doubt that anyone would be able to give you a good opinion. Could you provide a clear description of what you have left including measurements?

That said, I’d imagine that there is a way to rig something. Everyone has their limits beyond which they won’t rig - usually for perfectly good reasons of responsibility and craftsmanship. So have you gotten any other opinions? Perhaps you just need to find a mechanic whose “rigging” tolerance is a little higher.

VW is just like every other car out there. They don’t have a problem with oil pans. They have a problem with people using canned hams on the ends of their arms to service the vehicles.

I can’t see this being bad enough to warrant a new pan, stripped again or not. There is surely a way to repair this with a little thought.
Thread insert or whatever, there’s a way around the pan replacement.