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Old 03-23-2014, 02:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stripped oil pan threads

Yesterday my girlfriend wanted to visit her grandparents nineteen miles away and I mentioned that I needed to change my oil, which we did for Bacon over there a few months ago. When I had the car inspected before purchasing, they told me that I had a few slow oil leaks, but as long as I checked the oil regularly, I should be fine, and I could repair the leaks myself when I had the time. Everything went fine when we changed the oil in Chorizo until my girlfriend noticed that I was already leaking oil. I guess that I should use my torque wrench, I do not know how accurate my idea of proper tightness is, but apparently I use The Force to know when to stop tightening, instead of using The Force to tighten.

Or a sonic screwdriver.

Apparently, an impact wrench is as appropriate as my sledgehammer.

A friend said that it is cheaper to have a shop change your oil, then they are liable for stripping the bolt, but what are the chances that a shop did this and did not tell the previous owner? It turns out that the pan is aluminum and the bolt is steel. Aren't dissimilar metals supposed to be avoided? Since the bolt is stronger than the pan, it easily strips the thread, although I showed my girlfriend the bolt for some reason. I did not see the aluminum threads on it, like the picture at:

That page mentions Fix-a-Thread Plug Saver kit, but does not say much about it, instead explaining that you can use a Heli-Coil, although it may wear out, so a TIME-SERT would be much better, but he went and used an over-sized drain plug, which is what the guy at Autozone convinced me to do. I bought a "cookie tray" oil pan and put it under my car when I parked last night. This morning it had a six-inch puddle, but the dipstick still read full. I needed to run errands because my parents were coming down for Xistday tomorrow. I planned on riding my bike until my mother gave me a grocery list that just seemed too long. The leak seemed slow enough that I felt that I would be fine as long as I made sure that I was at "full" before going anywhere, but when I had a friend ask if I wanted to hang out, I asked if I could get a ride to the store.

Eric the Car Guy (on YouTube) said that over-sized drain plugs only make the problem worse and explained that there were still good threads behind the stripped ones, so if you got a bolt with the proper thread and cut it to be half an inch longer than the old plug, you do not need to do anything else.

Ace did not have the bolt, I could not find it at, and according to this picture:

The walls of the pan are thin and there are hardly any threads in the first place. They say that Honda has had poorly-designed oil pans for decades and instead of putting in another pan that will fail, they weld a nut behind the hole, as shown on the left.

So, once again, I am doomed?

I keep telling my girlfriend that it is okay, I have two cars.

She really likes using Bacon...

I have not really done anything yet, I have the over-sized bolt, but when I go to my sister's house tomorrow for Xistday I will see if I still have my jack stands there. When I came back from Germany I could not find several things and easily could have forgotten about much more. However, I did find a note taped to car speakers that I bought, but never installed, with a price on it, so my sister may have sold as many of my belongings as she could have.

If I do not have a better option, I will not drive, and on Monday I will replace my bolt with the over-sized one. Is it even feasible to remove my oil pan, grind down the back of the drain hole, and have a shop weld a nut onto it?

For the record, recommends re-tapping the threads to the next-larger size.

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