Can and do oil pan plugs get old and ware out

Asked by Aug 31, 2017 at 06:13 PM about the 2008 Lexus ES 350 FWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The dealer told me my oil pan plug wore out and stripped so it couldn't be put back in and tightened. I asked him if it was possible the technician simply tightened it to tight, which caused it to strip. He said that it was possible, but there is no way to prove it, and most likely it just wore out. My 80.00 oil change ended up costing me 650.00 because I had to replace the entire oil pan.

18 Answers

261,475

The plug is always softer material than the pan, and the plug usually strips. Just replacing the plug itself will rectify the leaking. But sometimes the pan threads strip out over time. That's why I like to inspect my oil plug on every change and change as needed. The shop could have used a larger plug and chased the threads vs putting a new pan on BTW. But you already have a new pan. so water under the bridge.

20,915

If over tightened plenty of times, yes threads csn stretch. if it has o'ring it can be pushed out.

20,915

If over tightened, yes threads can stretch. If it has an O'ring it can be pushed out.

20,915

If over tightened, threads can stretch. If it has an O'ring it can be pushed out.

20,915

Threads can stretch. If it has an O'ring it can be pushed out.

20,915

Threads can stretch. O'ring can pushed out.

20,915

Threads stretch. O'ring's pushed out.

20,915

Threads stretch. O'ring's degrade & slide out.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
82,945

I have never had one wear out. I have no doubt this is the result of ham handed oil change jockeys cross threading the plug bolt over the years.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

yes or it could have been from the last individual who changed oil, in some cases an oversize drain plug will correct this.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

just like anything in this world it can wear out. it could have been cross threaded when it was replaced last time. and the tech that did your oil change this time just pulled it out and found the issue. there is no way of knowing. just something you gotta suck up and deal with.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
27,985

They don't wear out, they either get stripped from over tightening or cross-threaded. If the dealer was the only place you got your oil changed, then they are the ones who stripped it. Most lube and oil change places won't even remove the pan plug anymore, they just use a hose to suck out oil, safer for them mostly for this reason (plus quicker).

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
104,215

Sounds like they got to you, on my Lexus they over tightened it and stripped the threads, but didn't know it till I got home and oil was dripping out. I just got a self tapping oil plug and drained the oil, put it in then took it out and cleaned it up, put it back in then refilled the oil, last time I ever went back to the dealer for a oil change. It was still that way when it got wrecked.

185

Clearly the drain plug was over-tightened at some point. Its hard to know who over-tightened it causing the threads to strip. Most lube places don't bother torquing to factory specs. They typically use an impact wrench set way too high.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
54,515

Sometimes the threads get galled and the drain plug needs to be replaced. Over-tightening them can be a cause. I would have tried to install an oversized drain plug, but I am not familiar with your vehicle and have no way of knowing if it would work.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,915

They did not have to put a new oil pan on. Sorry for all the repost as every way I wrote it was not being posted & acted like it did not go threw, but I see they did after all.

20,915

Something is wrong with the site today, posted answers are not showing up but I can see when they answer in my in-box just not on the posted question page, and every answer I give it says will be posted shortly.

71,655

Oil change and tire "techs" are usually 18 year old kids fresh out of high school or auto mechanic school who know very little about cars! Yes, the drain plug can wear out if the vehicle has a zillion miles on it. This sounds like they messed up and damaged the plug by cross threading it and didn't want to pay for fixing it plus give you a loaner car in the meantime. The would have to order the oil pan for your 10 year old Lexus, tie up a service bay for a few days, loan you a car, and pay for the oil pan and labor. They're not going to do that on a 10 year old vehicle. Easier for them to say "oops, the plug wore out". I say nonsense, they messed up! Personally I wouldn't go back to that dealer! HTH. -Jim

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