Stripped threads on an oil pan


#1

A mechanic at Mazda dealership stripped the threads on the oil pan of my 2002 Mazda MPV while doing an oil change.I now have a leak.Their solution is for me to pay them $535 to replace the oil pan. Is their a more resoable way to fix this problem?


#2

Uh, since they are responsible for the damage, shouldn’t they pay for the associated repairs?


#3

Step one is the #1 oversize plug available from parts stores like AutoZone. It has self cutting threads and might…might fix it. Step two is a rubber drain plug which squooshes out to fill the hole as you tighten the wing nut. If niether plug fixes it then step three…pan replacement. Generally speaking, a car is designed to wear out the PLUG first, not the pan. The pan is harder steel and the plug is softer metal. If the tech actually stripped out the pan…I, too, think he’d have to pay for that.


#4

Has this car had all service done at the same dealership shop?

It is often annoying to find yourself facing the results of someone elses poor service. But regarding this particular problem, oversized drain plugs are often a good solution.


#5

yes there is.

take it to a reputable local mechanic and have them give you an estimate for helicoiling the threads.

there is another system, sorry i don’t recall the name, but possibly another responder could enlighten us.

while i would second the thought that a dealer should be responsible for damage to the threads caused by incompetence, i am sure there was a reason to place blame, and you will be stuck with the bill. sorry, but sometimes there are times the threads strip out. previously overtightened and cross threaded are really hard to prove, to the point that someone else should have to pay.


#6

i specifically DO NOT recommend the autozone, self cutting thread plug idea. they are too easily put in with a ‘wobble’ which makes for a loose fit, and poor threads.

a professional installation of a tap and a new appropriately sized plug is preferable


#7

Yes-All work, with the exception of windshield wiper replacement, was done at this dealership. Looks like I’m off to small claims court.


#8

If they actually stripped the threads, what is holding the drain plug in now? Do you mean they cross threaded the plug? Do you know for sure that anything is wrong with the plug? Maybe it only needs a new gasket, which should be replaced at every oil change but seldom ever is. Last thing, are you sure the leak is from the plug and not somewhere else, like the oil filter? The oil will run to the lowest point before dripping.


#9

What material is your oil pan made of? Aluminum or steel


#10

I will never understand why oil pan replacement is often recommended when it is quite simple and inexpensive to simply tap it out to an oversize and install an OS drain plug.

If they’re the only ones that ever serviced this car, and if the threads are really stripped, then it should be on them to make good on it.


#11

not going there.


#12

It depends on the difficulty of replacing the oil pan.


#13

You can optionally have it repaired with a TIMESERT www.timesert.com.


#14

Replacing the pan is a very good solution…IF THEY PAY FOR IT. In fact DEMAND that they put a new pan in. They stripped it…they should pay for it.


#15

The service manager says the oil pan is made of aluminum.


#16

They want me to pay for it so I’m off to small claims court.


#17

Bring the receipts for the oil changes done at the dealership as well as any documentation of their recommendation to replace the oil pan. I don’t see how you could lose this one, but then again, I’m not a lawyer.


#18

have you gone anywhere else for an estimate, or diagnosis?

go hither leave the stealership, find a reputable independent mechanic.

rather than fight the dealership I would just go to a different mechanic. and take this as a lesson in trust at dealerships. (or lack thereof)


#19

I have plenty of time on my hands plus I am very familiar with the operations of the court since I used to work for them not that that in itself would be biased in my favor. The leak is not bad so I have time. I have already learned my lesson about trust in dealerships especially when their revenue is way down. I will eventually have to find a mechanic familiar with fixing this problem but I hope to have the dealership held accountable.


#20

If the threads are legitimately in bad shape there is a reason why it may not be the dealer’s fault. Steel will freeze in aluminum sometimes and removal of the plug may damage the threads. It’s no one’s fault, just that stuff happens. The same thing applies to spark plug threads in alum. heads, water pump/thermostat housing bolts, etc.
Many years ago I had to repair a carburetor on a Honda Accord and several of the carb bolts were frozen solid; and this was on a brand new, unsold car that had never left the dealer lot.

I don’t care what kind of pan it is (aluminum, steel, alloy, Taiwan plastic) tapping damaged threads out and replacing it with an oversize plug is Mechanics 101. This is a 15 minute job. Done a bunch of them and the only one that could not be repaired was one that was mangled by me in an attempt to remove a drain plug that had been installed by someone else in another state and in which they had omitted the drain plug gasket. The owner in this case was fully aware of the problem and was willing to absolve me of any responsibility for the looming disaster as they were told up front they had a real problem on their hands.

If the drain plug is leaking due to legitimately bad plug threads then why is the car being driven at all? A little vibration leading to the plug falling out is going to more than likely mean a ruined engine.
Any chance this leak could be nothing more than a missing drain plug gasket?