Helpful links on how threads got stripped and by who:

Seems to be a common problem with some shops, where they don't take good care.

2004 Ford Taurus SES, DuraTec V6, 115,000 miles

Oil change performed at dealership.

He indicated the oil pan threads are "almost gone".

Says this could lead to a very big leak and a small leak over time (I think there is a small leak).

Nevertheless, he says it will cost:

  • $275 for a new oil pan

  • $75 for a new gasket

  • few hours labor, $90/hr

This sounds like a lot.


Are there methods to restore the existing threads on this oil pan?

How easy is it to remove the oil pan on this car?

Is it Ok to get these parts from a junk yard?

Any other solutions I am unaware of for this problem?

Also this might be the answer to my older question.

  • 5
    I've never heard of oil pan threads becoming stripped except when somebody cross-threaded the plug bolt putting it back in. If all the oil change services have been done at the dealership, they should be replacing it for free, since they would have to have been the ones to ruin it by doing something stupid. Aug 25, 2013 at 6:24
  • 1
    R..: Thanks so much. I talked with them and told them exactly that and that they need to replace it at their expense. He says to come in so they can asses it. said he wants to see if he can drill out and put in new threads or if not will replace the pan. but yes, it has always been this dealership so it was obviously them. He started saying it is aluminum so they can wear and tear but I do not think that is the case as people have them for much longer in good condition. Sounds like he realizes this.... Aug 28, 2013 at 1:00
  • 1
    Glad to hear. :-) Aug 28, 2013 at 3:03
  • @R..: please see my new question:mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/6988/… Aug 30, 2013 at 22:30

2 Answers 2


Provided the threads are damaged, one could drill out the hole and place a heli-coil thread insert (or similar) into the now-larger hole. Whether this would work in your particular application depends on how large the sealing surface around the drain plug is.

One company markets a threaded bushing to repair oil pan drain plugs that performs a similar function.

If it were my car, I wouldn't want to do this without pulling the oil pan off the engine, to make sure that any metal chips from the drilling operation don't remain in the oil pan, as they could do damage to the engine.

So from a comparative standpoint, either way you need a new oil pan gasket, and either way you'll be paying for the labor of removing and re-installing the oil pan. The heli-coil approach has the additional labor of preparing the hole and installing the heli-coil, plus very likely the minor additional cost of a new (larger) drain plug and gasket.

For my money, I'd go with a replacement oil pan. If you can find a decent salvaged pan and save some money that way, great.


A web search for universal oil drain plugs yielded several results. There are several types. One type is shaped like a mushroom with a wing nut on the top. Insert the stem in the drain hole and tighten the wing nut which expands the stem and seals the hole. Another type has a toggle bolt that is inserted in the drain and an attached rubber cap that covers the hole. As I have no experience with them I would talk to the counter guys at several local auto parts stores and see if the have any recommendations.

  • does it need to be replaced every oil change? Aug 20, 2013 at 0:37
  • 2
    Many of these rubber types are intended as "emergency" (i.e. temporary) repairs, and would need to be replaced every oil change.
    – mac
    Aug 21, 2013 at 13:21
  • @mac:thanks, wonder if the dealer was nice enough to put something like that in or just tightened it as much as possible... Aug 25, 2013 at 4:26
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    Personally, I'd be pissed if i got my car back from the dealer and found a universal rubber "rescue" plug in my oil pan, but that's just me.
    – mac
    Aug 26, 2013 at 13:10

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