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TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me 700

7th Generation Civic In the years from 2001 to 2005 Honda released it's 7th Generation Civic. Chassis codes: EM2, ES1, EP3, EU1

TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me 700

Old 09-26-2015
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TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me 700

Went into a dealership, to get some recalls taken care of. Decided it was a good time to take advantage of the $27 coupon they sent me. Horrible, horrible idea.

I was told that I brought my car into them with a stripped bolt, when I know for a fact it was fine. They brought me out to show me that the nut is free spinning/stripped. I do my own oil changes all the time I know that it was not stripped when I brought it in. I can't prove they broke it but the tech sounded as if he was stumbling over his words trying to explain how he didn't strip it.

The main office tech told me that I have three options:

1. Have them refill the oil and just take it home with a stripped bolt.
2. Leave the car to them and pay $700 for a new pan.
3. Talk to the actual managers on Monday.

I'm so lost on what to do. I left my car until Monday morning when I'll be talking to the managers to see what can be done.

I do have recorded video of the shop tech stating that when he was putting the bolt back in he tightened it just like every other car he's done and then all of a sudden he kept going and it started to spin.

Any advice at all would be a huge help. Thanks.

Here's some video I managed to record of the exchange.

Last edited by 2002ExCivic; 09-26-2015 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Added video link.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

but the tech sounded as if he was stumbling over his words trying to explain how he didn't strip it.
LOL

I can't hear the video right now, we have a 4yo screaming in the room.

====================================

Ask how many ft-lb the drainplug was torqued to. (You KNOW a torque wrench was not used and most guys won't even guess close to a correct spec when challenged).

Know the true spec before you ask.
I think you know where I'm going with this.

Here's the problem: Nobody here knows how tight YOU have been getting that same bolt on all of your own oil changes.
You didn't know the exact spec or use a torque wrench either, I'm betting?

A lifetime of overtightening will distort and strip threads in the aluminum pan.
If it just happened to finally let go on the poor guy changing oil this time, it's not necessarily his fault.

I say it this way because this exact situation is a regular occurrence.
It happens, and the wrong person is frequently blamed.

Whomever touches it last must be the one responsible? No, not always.



===============

Ask how much to do a drainplug thread repair using a Time-Sert thread insert.
(If you get a blank stare, have them look at Honda Service News, March 2005)
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Just to sort of pick your brain about this ezone. I also do all my own oil changes and no I don't use a torque wrench for either oil pan or spark plugs because I'm well aware that you can do way more harm than good on these if your not careful. I always hand tighten the oil plug with a box end wrench (not ratchet). I use a new crush washer every time I change it and I know it can be somewhat reused but I also thought that the fresh crush washer is a bit of a buffer/insurance against stripping the oil pan threads. Yay or nay?
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

the fresh crush washer is a bit of a buffer/insurance against stripping the oil pan threads. Yay or nay?
That can't prevent someone from hanging all their body weight on the wrench.

Too tight is too tight no matter if there's a new washer or none at all.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Same thing happened to my Odyssey's aluminum pan after a routine oil change, about a year ago. It's a tough call. Same situation, bolt stripped the threads on the pan. Somewhere down the line, pressed steel oil pans were replaced by aluminum ones. They're easier to strip.

To be honest, I've rarely used a torque wrench on an oil pan, myself. I just snug the bolt and walk away. But things like this happen.

Back to the issue at hand... I had a talk with the manager. We ended up splitting the cost. I bought the oil pan, he provided the labor at no cost. Seemed fair to me. To ensure that this never happened again, I replaced the drain bolt with a valve. Beware, some dealerships won't touch a drain valve with a ten foot pole. Sounds ridiculous, but true.



Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
LOL

I can't hear the video right now, we have a 4yo screaming in the room.

====================================

Ask how many ft-lb the drainplug was torqued to. (You KNOW a torque wrench was not used and most guys won't even guess close to a correct spec when challenged).

Know the true spec before you ask.
I think you know where I'm going with this.

Here's the problem: Nobody here knows how tight YOU have been getting that same bolt on all of your own oil changes.
You didn't know the exact spec or use a torque wrench either, I'm betting?

A lifetime of overtightening will distort and strip threads in the aluminum pan.
If it just happened to finally let go on the poor guy changing oil this time, it's not necessarily his fault.

I say it this way because this exact situation is a regular occurrence.
It happens, and the wrong person is frequently blamed.

Whomever touches it last must be the one responsible? No, not always.



===============

Ask how much to do a drainplug thread repair using a Time-Sert thread insert.
(If you get a blank stare, have them look at Honda Service News, March 2005)
The description has a transcript of what was said. Here it is:
I decided to take my car into the Dealership today(Sept. 26, 2015) for some recalls. I took a chance on an oil change too and I really shouldn't have. The shop tech stripped my oil pan bolt and now I'm being asked for $700 to replace the whole pan...


Transcript:

-Shop Tech: I mean like I said, it tightened just... it tightened just fine. I had it tightened the same way I did all the others... put it on there and "spits" and then it comes out and spins out.

-Both Techs: ...and now it's not tightening.

So it tightened just fine then the shop tech stripped it and now it no longer tightens.

**end transcript**


I do do my own oil changes with a torque wrench at 33 ft-lbs as per the service manual. Autozone rents them out for free.

I will ask about the torque they used because when he demonstrated what he was using it was a simple wrench. Nothing that could measure.

They told me that the Time-Sert would be 100 and even then it would be 50/50 on whether it works or not. And it would only last till the next oil change.... I looked up that info though and it's supposed to be a viable option for a very long time, not a few months.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by 2002ExCivic View Post
a torque wrench at 33 ft-lbs as per the service manual.
I've actually checked my hand tightened drainplugs against a torque wrench several times.....I've consistently been within a couple ft-lb of spec.


They told me that the Time-Sert would be 100
That's certainly cheap enough IMO.
and even then it would be 50/50 on whether it works or not.
And it would only last till the next oil change....
We had an employee that couldn't get them installed correctly too.


I looked up that info though and it's supposed to be a viable option for a very long time, not a few months.
When correctly installed, it's about as permanent as you can get.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Thank you. Any comments on the transcript?
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Where did you find a valve that can fit there. What's the part number?
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

their website and sizing info....

http://www.fumotousa.com/results.php...vic+1.7L+4+cyl.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by emich View Post
Where did you find a valve that can fit there. What's the part number?
There are three types to chose from. Here's the link. Just plug in your year, make and model.

http://www.fumotousa.com/index.php



There are other manufacturers, as well.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
Haha, beat me to it.
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Old 09-26-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by 2002ExCivic View Post
Any comments on the transcript?

(listening as a person that has had to deal with this same situation more than necessary, but usually without customers present)


No comment really.

There had to be more conversation prior to the start of this video.

I hear the guy in view (sounds like agreeing with the tech and then saying to you), "Allright, well, we can't know what a plug is gonna do until we drain it and put it back in there."

Which is true. There's no way to know ahead of time if a plug is stripped or pan threads are stripped.
We don't tighten a drainplug before removing it.

I hear the person out of view (probably holding the wrench) apparently restating more than once what he did (tightened the drainplug as usual bla bla bla).
Maybe in a bit of a panic since you're out in the shop with your phone camera.

BTW: How old was the person holding the wrench?




I don't necessarily hear it as an admission of guilt----but then sometimes the guilty party has no way of knowing they actually are the guilty party.

There's a difference between causing the problem, and having the problem happen to you.

If he doesn't know for sure he caused it, surely guilt would not be admitted.
Even if the person KNEW he caused it, would guilt be admitted?

----------------------------

I can guess a couple more reasons why stripped plugs and pans happen....
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Old 09-27-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

There was more to the conversation but it was basically them scrabbling to not admit guilt, even the office tech, who wasn't doing the repair was out there stating how it was stripped before it came in the shop... I found this was the only relevant part.

Honestly the kid was probably in his very early 20's. It was a big guy and the car was on a lift. I can easily imagine him stripping the bolt by accident since he could use all his strength on the bolt with the regular (non torque measuring) wrench.

I'm big myself so I speak from experience on how much leverage one has with enough room. I'm pretty sure that's what happened.
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Old 09-27-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Picture a boss that's fed up with complaints of oil drips and loose drain plugs.... or having to buy a few engines because a drain plug fell out driving down the road.....

What's he gonna scream about?
Get that #$%^ plug TIGHT!
Repeat daily.
What does the employee do?
Hang his body weight on the wrench every time. (not really, just making a point)

This is what I picture happening at Jizzy Lubes all across the country...


even the office tech, who wasn't doing the repair was out there stating how it was stripped before it came in the shop
Was that person a witness?


When I encounter a preexisting drainplug problem, I make copious notes on the work order and usually call out witnesses or the service manager if it's damaged enough that I think it may not be secure enough for the car to leave.
Sometimes I hate being the "last person" to touch something....especially after 100 other people have had their Oscar Mayers in it.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
This is what I picture happening at Jizzy Lubes all across the country...

this is a bit off topic but......

when i was 16 or 17 which would have been the early 90's i knew very little about cars/engines and got a job at jizzy lube (wasn't called jizzy lube but an equivalent), it was a very good learning experience for me,

i remember tightening drain plugs so tight i would literally hang my body weight from the wrench, and the whole front end of the car would be bouncing up and down from my wrench tightening the plug

but i never once ever stripped a plug,

i guess my point is (back then anyway) it seemed like drain plugs could take a lot of over torquing, but maybe over time it was not a good thing,

although i had a lot of repeat cars for many years, and still never stripped one, looking back now i think i was extremely lucky

i don't think the shop even had a torque wrench, that i remember
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Old 09-27-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by mikey1 View Post
this is a bit off topic but......

when i was 16 or 17 which would have been the early 90's i knew very little about cars/engines and got a job at jizzy lube (wasn't called jizzy lube but an equivalent), it was a very good learning experience for me,

i remember tightening drain plugs so tight i would literally hang my body weight from the wrench, and the whole front end of the car would be bouncing up and down from my wrench tightening the plug

but i never once ever stripped a plug,

i guess my point is (back then anyway) it seemed like drain plugs could take a lot of over torquing, but maybe over time it was not a good thing,

although i had a lot of repeat cars for many years, and still never stripped one, looking back now i think i was extremely lucky

i don't think the shop even had a torque wrench, that i remember
Steel pans back then, aluminum now, big difference.
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Old 09-27-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by mikey1 View Post
i remember tightening drain plugs so tight i would literally hang my body weight from the wrench, and the whole front end of the car would be bouncing up and down from my wrench tightening the plug

i don't think the shop even had a torque wrench,
I rest my case.

but i never once ever stripped a plug
that you know of.....

Damage doesn't have to be experienced immediately as stripped out or broken, or rounded off hex head, but the damage can be there.
The softer metal gets damaged first, and repeated overtightening slowly damages parts. Aluminum pan threads usually suffer damage before the plug suffers, due to the soft nature of Aluminum.
Cast aluminum doesn't distort much--- before giving way completely.

If a clean drain plug can't be threaded in with your fingers, there's probably some amount of damage somewhere.


When this damage is found, there's usually corresponding damage that can be found in the other half, even if it is steel.

For your reading pleasure, a nice article by Mr. Louis Altazan was found while looking for pictures:
http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/118



Here's another article: http://www.certifiedmastertech.com/w...l-drain-plugs/

FTA :

Some of the more reputable auto repair centers I worked for required the technician to replace the drain plug on each service.

FWIW I don't agree with replacing a drainplug each time it is removed, in my feeble mind that would seem to show the place has a history of employing people who repeatedly strip out plugs and doesn't know how to avoid it. A knee-jerk reaction, if you will.
Sure, a selection of replacements is necessary when you do this sort of work, but replacing every time seems like serious overkill to me.

looking back now i think i was extremely lucky
Quite.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Just a little update. I decided to contact corporate through Twitter and Facebook today before I go in on Monday.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by 2002ExCivic View Post
Just a little update. I decided to contact corporate through Twitter and Facebook today before I go in on Monday.
Talk to the manager or supervisor and keep going up the chain until you get them to pay for it. If it where stripped coming out, any experienced mechanic would know it. This is why I don't go to the stealership... ever. They broke it, they fix it. Keep in mind that a guy doing oil changes is probably the noob in the service department or a dunce. He might be trying to lie and cover this up to his boss as well.

If I am paying outrageous hourly fees for a certified mechanic at the stealership, I expect them to use a torque wrench on EVERY bolt. They absolutely do not do this, and the younger ones are probably right out of tech school and don't know what they are doing.

Last edited by Mad Dog Tannen; 09-27-2015 at 01:16 PM.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Seriously the guy wasn't more than 25 years old.
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Well, I hope you get some resolve. Personally I think 50/50 seems reasonable. It's a 13 year old car so that plug has been in and out many times and like ezone said the dealer just happened to be the one turning the bolt when it finally failed. I do as much as I can to my car so I know it's done right and if it fails then it's all on me. When I do the drain bolt on mine I snug it tight a then give it like another 1/8th turn. I also check my oil probably 10 times the first week to make sure it's not leaking. Look underneath the car as well. I think just because someone is young that doesn't make them incompetent to do a simple oil change. I probably started changing oil in my early teens so by the time I was 25 I'd been doing it for over 10 years.

I also splashed out for tires/rims to the tune of well over $1000 last spring and wouldn't allow them to install the tires on my car. I didn't want someone who didn't care a thing about my 16 year old car working on it no matter how much money I spent. Maybe I'm a weirdo but that's the way I roll.
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Old 09-28-2015
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Re: TIME SENSITIVE Honda dealership tech stripped my oil pan bolt. Wants to charge me

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Quite.
yeah i guess so,

my experience working there is the reason why i would never trust my car to any type of "jizzy lube" place,

i am sure i am not the only one they have hired with zero to little experience, there is no way i should have been trusted to tighten up drain plugs with out a torque wrench,

i could tell you 100's of nightmare-ish stories,

once a guy removed an oil filter and didnt realize the old o-ring was still stuck to the engine, so when he put the new filter on it had 2 o-rings, when the driver pulled out all of the oil started spraying out onto the ground, luckily he shut it off when his oil light came on,

they had to tow it back and when my manager realized what happened he made up some BS story that the customer actually believed, i was shocked to hell when the same customer returned after 3 months for his next oil change,

one guy DID strip a drain plug and i was the one who removed the oil pan to have it fixed and re-installed it, another job i shouldnt have been doing

managers, bosses, staff drinking on the job, one day i was so hammered i couldnt even get the wrench on the drain plug, my boss saw me, laughed, and told me to go home to bed

it was a total sh*t show....oh good old teenage memories,

and this was a well known chain, not some independent shop,

sorry for the off topic
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