2011 Cruze LT Turbo - well maintained - last oil change Dec 2017 at local dealers - only place car maintained and all oil changes there. On hwy and large warning sign and audible - stop car and engine. Out of town GM dealer says oil plug fell out - engine finished - need new one - $5-6,000+. Ouch!!

Servicing dealer refused to accept liability! Am being told over-tightened plug (stripped/cross threaded) or not tightened properly will undoubtedly be the cause - obviously servicing dealer issue and they should accept responsibility and do the "right thing" by repairing!

Anyone know of any other reasons why plug might fall out?

  • i would sue the dealership that left it loose. A nice letter from your lawyer to the dealership will get you a response.
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 20:12
  • 1
    Also make posts about your issue on social media sites, GM pays close attention to these.
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 20:30
  • Yup, time to consult an attorney
    – Norm
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


As someone that works in a service shop, there is only one way that plug will simply fall out, if it was left loose, or was loose due to someone completely destroying the threads; over-tightening, or cross threading and removing it and refitting it after knowing the threads are badly damaged. if it was cross threaded it would leak and come out with difficulty the first time. there is just no way it will fall out if it was fitted correctly.


I would expect that someone finger tightened the drain plug then went to get a wrench to tighten it completely and was distracted by something so it never got tightened. I've known two people to have a similar thing happen to them, and on one I got to inspect the oil pan (the oil plug was long gone) and the threads were fine, undamaged, and accepted a new drain plug properly tightened.

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