Oil change center scam?

Tiny
JO WELLS
  • MEMBER
  • 2010 HONDA ACCORD
  • 2.4L
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
I went to get an oil change and they told me I can't get it done without paying $900.00. The drain plug was stripped and needed a new oil pan. Which I didn't pay. So, they said they put the plug back in best they could and go straight home or it could start leaking or fall out. My question is, wouldn't it already had fallen out if this were a beforehand problem. I bought the car like a week and half ago. Never noticed leaks in driveway. Oil is never low. So, is this something they did?
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Friday, July 15th, 2022 AT 12:30 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
It's hard to say if they cross threaded the plug trying to put it back in, it's easy to do if a person doesn't pay attention to what they are doing. I do think that if it were already cross threaded in the pan it would be difficult coming out to begin with and they should have stopped there before taking it out and come and told you what the situation is.
But to replace the oil pan the engine needs to be supported from underneath. It looks like the driver side axle needs to come out, separate the lower control arm from the steering knuckle. and then a bunch of engine and transmission supports have to come out. So, this is not just an unbolt the oil pan type job. Unfortunately, it's your word against theirs in this situation. This would be a tough job to do in the driveway, although it looks like it could be done, but you'd have to be extra careful.

And yes, if the drain plug were that loose when you went in you would have noticed oil in your driveway. So, it was either already cross threaded and they took it out that way or they cross threaded the plug, got it all messed up and then backed it out again messing up the threads.
You can call another shop and see if they would try straightening the threads out for you with a tap kit. Depending on how bad they are. That's what I would do before paying $900.00. That's a bit much.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-change-engine-oil-and-filter
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Friday, July 15th, 2022 AT 12:55 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
Here are the instructions for replacing the Oil Pan if you decide to do the job yourself. Just remember to have blocks under the front right wheel and rear wheels for safety. Since you will be only removing the Driver side wheel. Disconnect the battery negative as well, so there are no shorts to Ground by accident. The fourth diagram below contains steps 9 to 18 which are specific to certain components, so they will be diagrams 5 to 12. Then go back to Diagram 4 where it lists steps 9 to 18 and supports the transmission. Then remove the small cover for the Torque Converter and then finally the Oil Pan.
There is no solid gasket for the Oil Pan, a Liquid Gasket maker is used, so the last three diagrams are those steps and the sequence for the Oil Pan bolts and their torque specs. Then everything is just reverse to put it back together. The toughest part will be getting the lower ball joint and lower control arm free of each other.
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Friday, July 15th, 2022 AT 6:00 PM
Tiny
JO WELLS
  • MEMBER
AL514, I also looked recently when I was looking online about how Walmart, or maybe some other maintenance shops mark the plug when they do an oil change. They will put, I'm guessing a glue or paste around it in some color to make sure it wasn't tampered with in any way. I guess you can't go back and say-this-or that, something to that effect. And when I looked under the car there was a blue paste around the plug. Which indicates to me that they never even tried to remove the plug. Because it shows it wasn't tampered with. But thanks again for the info. I know what to look for a little better when going to these places. I appreciate it.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2022 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
Yeah, there's no way to be exactly sure what happened. Usually for example, when it comes to a warranty there will be just a small line of paint on a bolt to indicate if it has been tampered with where a warranty would be void. If you knew that blue paint was there before you brought it in, that would tell you something. But on the other hand, the blue paint or most likely is some type of clue to prevent the drain plug from leaking. $900.00 is a lot for an oil pan but it is a lot of work to replace this pan. I'd try another shop and see if you can get it done cheaper. Oil changes are very important on these newer vehicles due to most of the variable valve timing is done by oil pressure. Keeping the oil passages clear prevents a lot of issues with those systems. So, shop around, there might be a shop that can possibly repair the threads. It depends how bad they are.
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Saturday, August 20th, 2022 AT 6:51 PM

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