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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So this is kind of a twofer. We just took my fiance's car in to a local Honda dealership to have them do the airbag recall and change the oil while they're at it since i don't have time to do it right now. I was planning to try running some Engine Restore in her car, as its starting to consume more and more oil these days as it gets up in mileage. It's also loud as sh*t, so i was hoping maybe the additive might shut the valves up a little. But that could just be wishful thinking. Anyway, I wanted to run the additive using full synthetic, so we asked (on multiple occasions) to have them change the oil with full synthetic oil.

She got the car back today, and the total bill was only $40.32. The breakdown shows that's the oil itself was only $16 of that. Granted, I don't think I've ever had a dealership change my oil in my life, so I'm not too familiar with their pricing. But that seems waaaay low! That's like cheaper than I can buy it at the store. This can't possibly be full synthetic right? This can't even be a blend. Not from a dealership! See attached receipt.

So the other thing is that they supposedly said that the oil drain bolt wasn't fitting tightly in the pan. I'm relaying all this info from my fiancee, so hopefully there's nothing missing. I asked her if they had mentioned anything about stripped threads or even threads at all, and she said no. They apparently are recommending we "upgrade to a larger bolt", which then requires us to replace the entire oil pan... For $900+. So is this just some complete scam? I've never heard of anything like this. Even if the bolt was "loose", why wouldn't you just recommend replacing the bolt alone? It's factory spec'd to fit in the pan. And they should have confirmed whether or not the threads were stripped.


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The picture tells me that the pan bolts are damaged. So the tech/dealer was wise to recommend a repair.


Seems to me, he recommended installing an oversized drain bolt on the pan. The alternative was a new oil pan. (Of course, on a car that old, a junkyard part might be a cheap middle ground, too...check at a junkyard or on Copart.com)

$16 for the 5W-20 oil is less than ~ $4 a quart. (Ours takes 4.5 qt) True, doesn't seem like a synthetic to me either. I see an 'express' oil change was requested, that's the 'get em out quick' service BTW.


If the engine is using oil I'd get another change in 4K miles and specify 5W-30 (thicker) oil, not necessarily synth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The picture tells me that the pan bolts are damaged. So the tech/dealer was wise to recommend a repair.


Seems to me, he recommended installing an oversized drain bolt on the pan. The alternative was a new oil pan. (Of course, on a car that old, a junkyard part might be a cheap middle ground, too...check at a junkyard or on Copart.com)

$16 for the 5W-20 oil is less than ~ $4 a quart. (Ours takes 4.5 qt) True, doesn't seem like a synthetic to me either. I see an 'express' oil change was requested, that's the 'get em out quick' service BTW.


If the engine is using oil I'd get another change in 4K miles and specify 5W-30 (thicker) oil, not necessarily synth.
I've never heard of anyone recommending changing the size of an oil pan bolt in any vehicle, let alone a service tech from a dealership recommending such a repair. They're supposed to follow OE specs like gospel and always have in my experience with other dealerships. Unless I'm missing something, he'd be installing a non-OE pan, with no warranty... all just to get a bigger bolt? Sounds crazy if you ask me.

If the pan was damaged, why wouldn't he say the pan is damaged? Why frame it as the bolt being loose? Bolts don't shrink, so either the threads are stripped or the bolt has been swapped out for the incorrect size.

The use of full synthetic was not to stop oil consumption in and of itself. It was to go with the use of Engine Restore. As I understand it, you're not supposed to use conventional oil with that oil additive. Besides, the detergents in synthetic would serve to clean up the surfaces in preparation for the Engine Restore anyway, which acts similar to a penetrating oil getting into the micro scratches of the cylinder walls and head.

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you're missing the point. I'm sure alternative drain plugs exist. In fact, i read about a valve version just a week or so ago. My point is that no dealer service tech in their right mind would install aftermarket parts on a customer's car. I've never heard of this.

As a matter of fact, i took my Grand Cherokee in to a Jeep dealership just last week for a few different things, one of which was for them to investigate a rattle that began in the exhaust after the last time they serviced my car. While they did located and identify the source of the rattle, they absolutely refused to do anything about it because i have aftermarket exhaust installed. My aftermarket exhaust is a standard Corsa bolt-on cat-back exhausted, made specifically for that car, the same exact exhaust in fact that Mopar sells in their performance parts store (it's just rebranded). And i had it professionally installed at a performance shop. But more importantly, the rattle didn't exist until the dealership serviced my vehicle. Yet they wouldn't do anything to fix it.

So that's my whole point. Dealership service tech dont recommend repairs with aftermarket parts. That's not something I've ever heard of in my life. It seems really suspect.

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My elderly mother had the same "we need to replace the oil pan due to stripped plug" song and dance on her 2010 CRV. She had been going to Walmart for her oil changes and the dealer blamed them for over tightening the drain plug. Instead of paying the $900+ for the oil pan replacement, she went back to Walmart and asked them to pay for the repair. The manager at the Walmart garage asked to take a look at the car and then showed my Mom that the bolt was not stripped, it did tighten as expected and all is well. They were all very professional and upfront with my Mom at Walmart. This was over a year ago and there have been no issues with leaks, etc.

Having heard a second incident of "we have to change out the oil pan" raises my suspicions that there is a boat payment due.... h/t to Click and Clack.

Anyhow, while this was going on, I did some research on how this could be repaired without replacing the pan and I came across the ecopulgsystem system as an alternative. Looks interesting and I just might do it on my own 2007 CRV.
 

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I've never heard of anyone recommending changing the size of an oil pan bolt in any vehicle, let alone a service tech from a dealership recommending such a repair. They're supposed to follow OE specs like gospel and always have in my experience with other dealerships. Unless I'm missing something, he'd be installing a non-OE pan, with no warranty... all just to get a bigger bolt? Sounds crazy if you ask me.

If the pan was damaged, why wouldn't he say the pan is damaged? Why frame it as the bolt being loose? Bolts don't shrink, so either the threads are stripped or the bolt has been swapped out for the incorrect size.

The use of full synthetic was not to stop oil consumption in and of itself. It was to go with the use of Engine Restore. As I understand it, you're not supposed to use conventional oil with that oil additive. Besides, the detergents in synthetic would serve to clean up the surfaces in preparation for the Engine Restore anyway, which acts similar to a penetrating oil getting into the micro scratches of the cylinder walls and head.

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They did say the pan was damaged. Maybe not directly, but they said it. If the drain plug is loose in the hole, the threads are stripped. Probably after some quickie lube minimum wager ran it in with an impact wrench. From the sound of things, they were offering to save you some money and re-thread the hole to a larger size and change the plug so it can be tightened without having to replace the oil pan for almost $1K. And if they replace the pan at the dealership, it will be with Honda parts unless you take them something different. They may not install aftermarket parts even then because of warranty issues.

And if your valves are noisy, they need to be adjusted. Additives aren't going to help that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
They did say the pan was damaged. Maybe not directly, but they said it. If the drain plug is loose in the hole, the threads are stripped. Probably after some quickie lube minimum wager ran it in with an impact wrench. From the sound of things, they were offering to save you some money and re-thread the hole to a larger size and change the plug so it can be tightened without having to replace the oil pan for almost $1K. And if they replace the pan at the dealership, it will be with Honda parts unless you take them something different. They may not install aftermarket parts even then because of warranty issues.

And if your valves are noisy, they need to be adjusted. Additives aren't going to help that.
You are also missing what I'm saying in the OP. The emphasis isn't on the fact that they're trying to push a pan replacement, it's on the fact that they're trying to push a LARGER drain bolt replacement. Which subsequently would require a new pan. That is how it was worded to my fiance.

I explicitly questioned her on whether or not they were saying the pan was damaged or pan needed to be replaced, and she said no. She says they were only saying the bolt was loose and it needs a larger bolt, and because of using a larger bolt the pan must be upgraded. That's a very strange recommendation. I also explicitly asked her if they ever mentioned anything about any parts being "stripped", and she said no.

Now, as i mentioned in the OP, there's still a possibility of miscommunication due to the fact that my fiance doesn't know anything about cars. But the one thing that sticks out in my mind that I've questioned her multiple times on is the "larger" drain bolt. She confirmed they 100% recommended a "larger" drain bolt, which necessarily means non-OE parts for both bolt and pan. What reason would a service tech have for wording it that way instead of just saying it's leaking or it's too loose or broken or something sightly more accurate (assuming it actually is just stripped threads)? The mentioning of using a larger bolt is very odd.

EDIT: I'd also like to point out that on the receipt i posted a picture of in the OP, the recommendation is specifically for an "oversized" drain bolt. That's non-OE. Unless you know something i don't about Honda parts, there's only 1 drain bolt size for these cars. /EDIT

She's never had any history of leaks down there, so I'm gonna be pissed if it's leaking now. I think the best thing for me to do is just change her oil again myself and take a good look at the bolt and pan. This Dealership didn't have the best reviews, so we were a little skeptical about going there at first. But it's the closest one to us, and the others in our area aren't exactly stellar ratings either.

Regarding the valve noise, I'm aware that the proper way to address this is with a valve adjustment. I was just saying maybe this additive might shut them up a little. That's all.

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I think that YOU are mis-interpreting the suggestion.

Larger could mean longer...or larger could mean wider (in diameter).

At this point the advice given in Post 6 seems the way to go. Monitor the pan for drips, don't say anything the next oil change and see if they say anything.


(We get the same 'recommendations' for extra work from our oil burner technicians. It seems the oil company grades them on how much 'new business' they create. We just ignore them now (or at least, wait until the next service to see if the same extra work is recommended...it usually isn't!)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think that YOU are mis-interpreting the suggestion.

Larger could mean longer...or larger could mean wider (in diameter).

At this point the advice given in Post 6 seems the way to go. Monitor the pan for drips, don't say anything the next oil change and see if they say anything.


(We get the same 'recommendations' for extra work from our oil burner technicians. It seems the oil company grades them on how much 'new business' they create. We just ignore them now (or at least, wait until the next service to see if the same extra work is recommended...it usually isn't!)
There's no need to get so defensive. I made it pretty clear that this was not a typical case, and clearly explained why in the OP. "Oversized" does not mean extra long. There's an actual definition for oversized bolts, and it is a function of the bolt diameter, not length. Furthermore, bolt length would do nothing to help a leak if the diameter was insufficient. And to suggest the length somehow became insufficient overnight is ludicrous.

I think a couple of you just skimmed through my OP and missed the key point, and now you don't like that fact that I'm pointing that out. How about we just act like adults here and just drop this before it gets out of hand. I've been under a car more than enough times to know what I'm talking about. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I'm not a novice either. I know cars fairly well, and i know Honda's fairly well. I merely posted about this to see if anyone had heard about something like this before because it seemed so crazy to me. I don't normally take my cars to have someone else change oil; i do it myself. But I've also never in my life had a dealership recommend a repair using non-OE spec'd parts, which by all accounts is what is being recommended here. Even if this "oversized" bolt *did* mean "extra long", it's still non-OE. I was simply looking for some feedback on this type of recommendation. I was anticipating 1 of 2 possible replies: either (a) you tell me about some little-known TSB or recall on oil pan bolts which have a repair involving a larger bolt and new pan from Honda, or more likely (b) you guys tell me this is a shady ass dealership and i should never return. I was not expecting you to just tell me what I've heard and what is written on the receipt is wrong and give me crap for trying to clarify it for you again.

You specifically were very helpful in my other post about brakes on this car, Carbuff2, so i don't know where this comes from. I'm not trying to argue with anyone here. I get that pan bolts are stripped by idiots often, but her car mostly get serviced by me now and there's no getting around the fact that the receipt recommends an "oversized" bolt on it which isn't OE. This should never have been a debate at all.

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