2000 Civic Oil Drain Pan Plug Problem

I took my car into a place to have the oil changed today. They said that the last mechanic had installed an oversized oil drain pan plug and that it would likely leak. Sure enough... I brought it home and it
leaked. The mechanic I brought it to today is offering to silicone it up, but says the only real fix is to replace the oil pan (to the tune of $350 here in So Cal). I'm hesitant to let the mechanic touch it however, as I'm not convinced that it wasn't their overtorquing that caused this issue.
My questions: 1) Thoughts on what / who may have caused this. Is there a posibility that my mechanic today is telling the truth and that this was caused by the last mechanic (who vehemently denies using oversized plug, by the way). 2) Are there issues genereally with Honda oil drain pan plugs? I found a website suggesting there is, but it was trying to sell a product to replace them. So in other words, I'm skeptical. 3) Is there a cheaper, yet still effective long-term fix to replacing the oil pan?
Thanks, Jamie
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I'd say the place that just did the change stripped out the drain plug, and offered you an 'oversized' excuse.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Welcome to the club. Taking your questions out of order...
Yes, there are issues with Honda drain plugs. They are intolerant of overtorquing, and cross-threading is bad news. Honda/Acura drain plugs should always be torqued with a torque wrench. Just to be clear about it, a new crush washer is mandatory under the plug each time, although some people use silicone washers.
Because the problems with stripped drain plugs are legion, drain plugs are available (from NAPA at least) in single and double oversize. Those are self-tapping plugs with magnetic shaving traps. If your current plug is standard size, you are ready for the single oversize. If you are already there, you need double oversize. (If you don't know, you can buy both - they're cheap.) If double oversize is too small, time for the oil pan :-(
There is no stigma to having oversized plugs, as long as (1) nobody tries to fit the wrong size and (2) they are not cross-threaded or overtorqued.
In any event, don't let them try silicone glue. It will just make a crumbly mess of things.
Mike
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Jamie wrote:

Unless you get a confession; you can't prove the last mechanic caused the problem. Would make for an interesting Small Claims case though...

No

Well, there you go... the information you get from the internet can be dubious at best most of the time. Trick is separating the "wheat" from the "chaff."

Looks like you're hosed because of the O/S bolt in the pan now. Check the link below.
http://www.timesert.com/html/drainplug.html
Michael Pardee wrote:

Michael, There are no "issues" with Honda oil pans, or drain bolts. I hardly consider over torquing the drain bolt an "issue", Honda or otherwise. You are correct about always using a torque wrench and new washer, in 35 years, I've yet to strip one myself.

This is excellent advice.

-- Tp,
-------- __o ----- -\<. -------- __o --- ( )/ ( ) ---- -\<. -------------------- ( )/ ( ) -----------------------------------------
No Lawsuit Ever Fixed A Moron...
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Heli-Coil will work too.

It takes some repeated overtorquing, the combined ham-fisted muscular efforts of quite a few mechanics to perform this feat. Eventually, one of them gets the final result, and usually doesn't want to get stuck with it.

Oh, yes. It seems to be better now that it was ten years ago, but they're still easy to strip than some other makes.
I think at one point Honda thickened up the metal flange that forms the female threads in an attempt to prevent the expansion that was happening earlier, but apparently not enough to prevent damage caused by strong-man mechanics who just haul with all their might instead of using a torque wrench.

Heli-Coil. Works fine at much less cost, as the pan does not need to be removed (don't worry about metal shards in the oil).
Here is one BIG advantage to getting the dealer to do ALL your oil changes if you don't do them yourself: If the drain plug gets stripped, it's their fault, and they have to replace it, as they have no one else to blame.
--
TeGGeR

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

One of the most permanent solutions is to remove the oil pan and tig weld on a threaded bushing after drilling out the original threads with a hole saw. Afterwards, the oil pan is repainted and reinstalled with a new gasket. A machine shop could probably do this for you if you don't have access to welding equipment. Note that tig welding is best since it will produce a strong weld which will not leak when done properly. The bushing will supply much stronger threads for the oil drain plug than the notoriously weak ones that Honda supplied.
Eric
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