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2007 EX-L Front Wheel Drive with Navigation.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, another tale of woe. A few years ago I had my oil changed at a Honda dealership. I was told that the oil pan drain plug had been tightened to tight and I was either going to need a new oil pan or a new plug. The new oil pan would be $500.00 and the new plug would be $75.00. I got hold of the service manager and asked him what was going on. He talked to the tech and he said the same thing that the bolt had been tightened to tight. Well, I had it changed at Honda but they really thought I had taken it somewhere else for the last oil change. Okay, so I ended up getting another plug. I took my car in a few months ago to Valvoline for an oil change. When I took my car in for an oil change to Valvoline this time this week, I was told there was a leak with oil coming through the plug and that the bolt had been cross threaded. I asked them what to do now? They went ahead and changed my oil and put in a pin for the pan. Then they told me the pin was just temporary and they sent me to a garage that was reputable and wanted them to diagnose if the bolt could be rethreaded or if it needed a new oil pan. So this morning I took it to the garage and they told me there is no way it could be rethreaded. It had to have a new oil pan. The manager at Valvoline came to the garage and spoke with the mechanic. So Valvoline owned up to their mistake and they will pay for the new oil pan ($800.00). The manager at this garage told me it was dangerous to drive my car with this pin plug that Valvoline had inserted and that they would never let a customer drive out of their garage with that on as a plug.

I spoke with another mechanic at another garage and he told me that if both parties had done the oil change correctly when tightening the bolt this would not have happened. Valvoline said my 2007 CRV with 136,xxx was old and that is why it had been stripped. That mechanic disagreed with Valvoline's reasoning. But Valvoline is paying for the new oil pan so that does say they are guilty, right?

Just confused and I am hoping someone can get me some insight to what has taken place. Apparently the original oil drain plug was damaged by these two businesses. By the way, I will not be getting my oil changed again by the Honda dealership or Valvoline.
 

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When the oil change is done right (with out cross thread or over tightening),
the drain plug will last forever.
Just use a new crush washer every time.
I don't know if oil change places will change the crush washers.
I have had the name brand garages change my oil
only to find out it began leaking after I left there.
Brought it back and they just tried another plug.
No good. Well, they just came up with excuses. Blamed me.
So, I just left there vowing never to go back. I do my own oil changes now.

My temporary solution was to use a large amount of Teflon tape
(the kind plumbers use) to make up the difference
It works because there is not a lot of pressure there.
I could have re-tapped the hole for a larger bolt.
Or just keep using Teflon tape. Or Use a slightly larger bolt.
They have these in some auto parts stores just because this does happen.
Or could use a heli-coil to fix the threads. Or could have replaced the oil pan.
I am cheap. So, went with the over sized bolt.
It just needed to be re-tapped using the right size to fit the new bolt
Worked. And never looked back.

It is a good thing that the oil change place is paying for the fix.
I would have never guessed it.
You are a lucky person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honda put in the heli-coil after they changed the oil. So that is what was in the oil pan when Valvoline changed the oil. So perhaps that can be replaced only once? I don't understand why it can't be rethreaded. Valvoline must have really given it too much of a twist. I am very surprised that Valvoline is paying for their mistake.

Thank you for your reply.
 

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Heli-coils are not suppose to come loose when installed right
If they did then the bolt would be loose
But worse would be the likelihood the coil is in the oil pan
That could cause all sorts of trouble.
Hopefully it just fell outside when they went to take off the bolt
or replacing the oil pan will get it out??
 

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The Honda dealer should know better than to overtighten the bolt. They work on Hondas all day long, and know that they use soft metal (aluminum) crush washers so the plugs do not have to be tightened down so much. But all it takes is one newly-minted mechanic in a rush to crank it down way too tight. Or worse, someone was in a rush and used an impact on it.

And for Valvoline to claim that the mileage was responsible? What about my '97 CR-V with 290k miles on it that was still on the original oil pan and drain bolt?

There are thread repair kits specifically for oil pans, made by Time-Sert, that are quite strong. But if they're offering a brand new oil pan, that's less chance for them to mess it up. And let's hope they know that the bolts holding on the oil pan take very low torque, or they'll strip out the threads in the block. They're bolting into aluminum, and the gasket is rubber--not much torque is needed.

What a mess...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
My reply to Avisitor:
Oh my, now I really wonder what has truly taken place. I am hoping the garage that is putting in the new oil pan can give me more information once the old oil pan is replaced.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Honda dealer should know better than to overtighten the bolt. They work on Hondas all day long, and know that they use soft metal (aluminum) crush washers so the plugs do not have to be tightened down so much. But all it takes is one newly-minted mechanic in a rush to crank it down way too tight. Or worse, someone was in a rush and used an impact on it.

And for Valvoline to claim that the mileage was responsible? What about my '97 CR-V with 290k miles on it that was still on the original oil pan and drain bolt?

There are thread repair kits specifically for oil pans, made by Time-Sert, that are quite strong. But if they're offering a brand new oil pan, that's less chance for them to mess it up. And let's hope they know that the bolts holding on the oil pan take very low torque, or they'll strip out the threads in the block. They're bolting into aluminum, and the gasket is rubber--not much torque is needed.

What a mess...
Oh groan, I am hoping that these mechanics at the garage are good at their trade. You and the mechanic agree that the the milage is not the issue. Congratulations on your '97 with 290k!. You must be so bonded with your CRV.
 

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IMO heli-coils are crap for a permanent fix, it's just a spring. To properly repair without replacing the pan (which is the best repair) you need to insert a bushing like Time-sert or similar product. The reason you can't just re-tap is you need to drill out too much material to go to the next higher standard size bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IMO heli-coils are crap for a permanent fix, it's just a spring. To properly repair without replacing the pan (which is the best repair) you need to insert a bushing like Time-sert or similar product. The reason you can't just re-tap is you need to drill out too much material to go to the next higher standard size bolt.
Then Honda should have replaced the entire oil pan on their dime. Looks like they got out of that one.

Thanks!
 

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Yes they should have replaced the pan. It really isn't a big deal to replace the oil pan, $300 for the pan and less than an hour to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes they should have replaced the pan. It really isn't a big deal to replace the oil pan, $300 for the pan and less than an hour to replace.
They quoted $500.00 at Honda and that was a few years ago. But they wanted me to pay for it. This current garage is replacing the oil pan for $800.00.
 

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IMO heli-coils are crap for a permanent fix, it's just a spring. To properly repair without replacing the pan (which is the best repair) you need to insert a bushing like Time-sert or similar product. The reason you can't just re-tap is you need to drill out too much material to go to the next higher standard size bolt.
We still have to drill oversize for a Time-Sert, but I haven't ever used one to repair a stripped oil pan bolt. I had to use one for a timing belt tensioner that a previous shop had stripped out the last time the timing belt was replaced. (They did sloppy work, also attaching the lower timing belt cover with one out of four bolts, and installing it crooked so that the crank pulley shaved the bottom off of it. 🙄) The Time-Sert came with its own drill bit.

Agreed, too, that a Heli-coil isn't good for an oil pan bolt. For valve cover bolts? Sure. Low torque bolts, and they're a cheap fix. But I certainly wouldn't have tried one in the tensioner. It only torques to 33 ft/lb. but still, I didn't want a Heli-Coil to fail.
 
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136xxx is old for an oil pan plug? Now that is lame. The only time I've had problems with oil changes, or really anything, is when I've had shops do the work. Broken sensors, disconnected wires, missing parts. The dealership should know better. Aside from that, avoid oil change shops like the plague.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
136xxx is old for an oil pan plug? Now that is lame. The only time I've had problems with oil changes, or really anything, is when I've had shops do the work. Broken sensors, disconnected wires, missing parts. The dealership should know better. Aside from that, avoid oil change shops like the plague.
Lesson learned for sure!
 

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The only time I've had problems with oil changes, or really anything, is when I've had shops do the work.
Exactly! Eric The Car Guy complains about that also. I don't recall if it was his brother's Element or the Fixing-It-Forward Odyssey he's working on, but he changed the oil in what he was working on and came across yet another non-standard oil pan plug that a shop had used. He keeps spares on hand and was able to swap it out, but it makes me wonder what the heck these shops are doing. Losing a plug? Damaging it? Careless either way. Honda made these plugs to be used with soft metal crush washers so they don't have to be cranked down to some obscenely high torque. These shops just don't "get it" and a few think they know better. 🙄
 
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it makes me wonder what the heck these shops are doing. Losing a plug? Damaging it? Careless either way.
I figure they got that big old 50 gal drum on wheels with the giant funnel under the car when they spin the plug off, and gloop... there it goes to the bottom of the toxic sludge. So they claim that your plug was old and torque in whatever they can find.
 
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First clue- When Honda quoted $500 for a new pan and $75 for a drain plug, time to run away. Some dealers are better than others. You found a bad one. Hope you got this sorted, such a simple thing.
 

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I figure they got that big old 50 gal drum on wheels with the giant funnel under the car when they spin the plug off, and gloop... there it goes to the bottom of the toxic sludge. So they claim that your plug was old and torque in whatever they can find.
I would think those things have a screen at the inlet to the tank so that it catches any drain plugs that fall, but who knows if these shops might remove them to speed things up.

And yeah, definitely, I attribute it to carelessness no matter what. They could be under a "flat rate" program where they get paid per vehicle they work on, and take any shortcut possible to process more cars during the day. They also bank on most owners not knowing if the car has an original drain plug or not--all of us here know the correct drain plug, but does the average consumer know or care? Most likely not. It holds the oil in, and that's good enough.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I thank all of you for your replies. I am now going to get all of my oil changes done at this garage that put on the new oil pan. They said the same thing that the oil pan bolt should last the life of the vehicle.
 
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