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In this question, we discuss stripped oil pan threads.

I learned it is a result of user error - over tightening and cross threading, by the dealership I consistently go to. Many people have come across this and demand new oil pans.

I called the dealership and they agreed to "fix it" NO charge. (Obviously they know they made an error.)

The solution: install an over sized oil drain plug.

I said OK and left.

Did I just get "screwed" or is this a legitimate fix?

Any help is appreciated.

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    That sounds terrible. I suppose it depends on the quality of the repair. Did they re-thread the oil pan or just force a bigger plug in? If they did it right and re-threaded the oil pan they should have removed the oil pan to avoid the metal getting inside, meaning it would have been no extra effort to put a new oil pan on. They just don't want to pay anything for their mistake. Also any future people working on your vehicle might put in the wrong size plug if they ever need to replace it since it won't be the factory size anymore. That could cause stripping and leaking issues, hypothetically – Seminecis Aug 31 '13 at 1:43
  • @seminecis: yeah, I just learned this, thank you. Please put in an answer for some up votes and to help future people with this problem. – Greg McNulty Sep 3 '13 at 19:46
  • I think your answer below sums it all up and sounds good. I'm glad they cooperated in the long run. – Seminecis Sep 4 '13 at 2:37
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I would be satisfied with the repair. I would push for some free service, maybe a couple of free oil changes. Demand a refund for the service you paid for when the damage was discovered I would also demand a letter accepting blame and a promise to replace the oil pan for free if you find the repair unacceptable at a later date due to stripped threads or leaks.

  • Thanks for the info, here is how I see it now with more insight. if a letter is in question (not sure they would write out liability) I'm thinking it's better to just ask to have it done right...if I find it not acceptable later, it may also be too late and screw up the engine... – Greg McNulty Aug 31 '13 at 0:31
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UPDATE & ANSWER

After some research, I discovered that any future engine work will not be guaranteed when an over sized plug is installed - compared to having the factory supplied plug correctly installed. (Some dealerships won't even service vehicle engines with over sized plugs.)

In addition, it is much easier for these threads to fail between oil changes, as they were just jammed in.

This can cause serious engine damage.

(Also note, that when the stripped threads were originally found, replacing the oil pan was the only highly recommended solution. So if you find yourself in this situation, do not settle for anything else, as this is what they recommend themselves.)

After pointing all this out and that it might cost them a blown engine if it fails, they happily replaced the oil pan no charge.

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you have to consider that the sump is under slight pressure. Ever heard of oil pressure? Hot liquids expand to, this is why there is a recommendation with each vehicle to only put so much oil in the engine as it can blow out the oil seals, if it can blow out an oil seal there is a possibility it can blow out an oil plug if it is not fitted properly i.e. just jammed in placed, or if it is overfilled by slightly to much oil. I would demand a new sump be fitted with a new standard sized drain plug.

  • How does the total sump oil quantity affect oil pressure? Any oil pump that I've ever encountered has no clue as the the amount of oil in the sump. The pressure on a typical "georotor" type pump is generated by positive displacement multiplied by the pump RPM, and the resultant pressure derived from the quantity of oil forced into a set restriction. Beyond that there is usually a relief or bypass. In any case, the oil pressure in the "drainback" to the pan is nearly zero, or at most crankcase vapor pressure. – SteveRacer Aug 5 '16 at 10:53
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If properly installed, an oversize oil plug is a viable 'repair' and much easier than pulling an engine just to replace an oil pan with a new one. If the plug seals, it will last for many years. Sometimes these will weep or drip if not done correctly, so watch for that issue.

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