oil pan problem

I had a service at Hyundai dealership that included oil change. A service advicer called me and said that oil pan plug had damaged thread. He blamed a shop where I did last oil change. He suggested to
retap and install larger plug. It was done and I was told that it worked. Next morning I found a big oil spill on my driveway. I went back to the dealer. The manager said that unfortunately the larger plug did not work and suggested to replace pan for about $350. Moreover the pan for my Elantra 99 is 'a special order' and I have to wait. Then I went to the local shop where the previous oil chage was done. The owner/mechanic said it was the dealer's fault. They just wanted to blame someone else. So, I got in the middle.
Could anyone advice me what to do in this situation? I feel that I have to pay for the repair as it is impossible to prove which mechanic broke my oil pan.
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lenja wrote:

Not much you can do since you really can't prove who is lying. This is the main reason I still do my own oil changes, even though it gets less fun every year older that I get. Typically, a plug that is cross threaded won't seal well and will leak at least a little. If you are sure no oil was leaking prior to you visit to the last dealer, I'd personally suspect they caused the damage rather than the first place. However, I know of no way to tell for sure.
Matt
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I'd head back to the dealer and tell them that there was *no* oil leak prior to their work on the car (assuming that really is the case). It would be quite obvious because any oil leak is going to leave telltale signs on the undercarriage.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Unfortunately, even lack of an oil leak doesn't implicate the last dealer with any level of certainty. A cross threaded plug will often leak, but a plug that was overtightened stripping the threads, often won't leak. The person who put the plug in should have felt the threads yield as it is a fairly obvious (and sickening!) feeling. However, the drain plug will often remain very tight and nobody else will know until they remove the plug and find that the threads from the oil pan come out with it.
I'd probably try to get each dealer to split the cost of the repair as a goodwill gesture since you can't be sure who did it. They may or may not go for that, but it seems a reasonable compromise to me.
Matt
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Quite true Matt. One would think that if the dealer noticed this upon removing the plug - and that would certainly be very noticable, that they would immediately alert the owner and stop there. That's something of a normal thing to do when on encounters something like that. I don't recall now from the original post - did the OP say the dealer advised him that they discovered this problem at the time, or was this an after the fact revelation? I think in my most fair judgement, I'd say if the second dealer did not stop immediately and notify the owner they had discovered a cross threaded plug, that I'd be pretty suspicious of their claim that it was done by someone before them. Any decent mechanic would stop right there with that sort of problem.

Yup.
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I also like Matt's compromise about splitting the cost but I am pretty sure I will pay in full. I already spoke to both of them. None accepted he could do that. Yes, I was alerted by the last dealer about the problem. I was there during service and service adviser explained me that they discovered the damage and they were going to put an oversized plug to avoid costly pan replacement. I can't know who overtightened or crossthreaded the plug. I really reluctant to blame the prior shop even though they charge $50/hr compare to dealer's $108/hr. I have done a lot of oil changes and other jobs at this local shop and never had any problems with them. The owner looks reasonable and honest. I have to go to dealers sometime because my car is still under 100,000/10years warranty. Unfortunately my experience with dealers is much worse. Actually I considered the last dealer as the best of 3 dealers closest to my place. Now I am not so sure.
Lenja
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Unfortunately, there's no way to tell. You'll probably wind up eating the entire cost. There are far too many monkeys out there who change oil and have no idea that they don't have to tighten the drain plug enough to hold the whole car together.
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This sounds like a sleekly situation, Mike, Bob, you guys wanna handle this one? ??
Matt is right, im not getting any younger & my back hurts. I get tired of changing my own oil, but its seems thats the only way i know its done RIGHT (and economically) I had a similar situation on my wrecked 90" ZX after a JibbyJube job,
Unless its really loose, maybe there's a TEMP. Teflon thing to use?? anyone have any ideas for rigs... I mean, its ONLY the oil :))
...Lenja, its time for a new pan .

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news wrote:

Personally, the only fix I would trust is a heli-coil. However, often the cost of doing that right is almost as much as a replacement pan. And there likely isn't any need to buy a new one as you may be able to find a good used one in a salvage yard for 25% of the cost or less.
A heli-coil is a sound solution, but it is hard to do with the pan on the engine without risking leaving metal shavings in the pan. And if you go to the trouble of removing the pan, then you might as well just replace it with a good used one and be back to where you started.
Matt
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I would go to a local auto wrecking yard and have them do a nationwide search for a pan. Unless you're willing to pay the new price, this could be a cost-effective solution. I've gotten some really good parts and prices this way.
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