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General BMW
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  #1  
Old 07-13-2009, 05:14 PM
Katmandu Katmandu is offline
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Mein Auto: 94 530i M60 3.0L V8
Exclamation Oil Plug Stripped! Now What ??

I went to the local Auto Lube this afternoon for an oil change on my 94 530i.

The mechanic there said that the oil plug was stripped and they would not proceed to take it out. He said he could tell by how "tight" it was already in the pan. He was afraid to take it out fearing they would be liable.

So, what should I do ?

Play dumb and take it to another shop and see if they'll be willing to take it out or what ??
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2009, 05:30 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmandu View Post
I went to the local Auto Lube this afternoon for an oil change on my 94 530i.

The mechanic there said that the oil plug was stripped and they would not proceed to take it out. He said he could tell by how "tight" it was already in the pan. He was afraid to take it out fearing they would be liable.

So, what should I do ?

Play dumb and take it to another shop and see if they'll be willing to take it out or what ??
The right fix will mean replacing the oil pan. However, a good indy shop can go one size oversized on the drain plug and it will work and last just like the original plug. They have to reamor drill the old threads out and use a hand tap to cut new threads. They will take steps to ensure that few metal particles remain inside the oil pan but don't worry. Those particles will go nowhere because if they do make it through the suction screen they will NOT get past your oil filter. That's what it is there for.
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2009, 06:48 PM
Katmandu Katmandu is offline
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Location: Troy, Ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 94 530i M60 3.0L V8
Question

So should I ask ahead of time of they are equipped to tap out stripped drain plugs ?
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2009, 05:46 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmandu View Post
So should I ask ahead of time of they are equipped to tap out stripped drain plugs ?
Yep. Whatever you do don't let anyone talk you into putting an expanding rubber plug in there.
This can be properly fixed so it would take an expert looking very closely to see that it wasn't an original plug.
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2009, 06:21 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katmandu View Post
So should I ask ahead of time of they are equipped to tap out stripped drain plugs ?

You might get lucky and just have to replace the drain plug. Usually the drain plugs are made of softer metal than the threaded insert in the oil pan. Not sure about BMWs though.

DSX is correct. Take your car to good BMW mechanic and not some quick lube place.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 07-14-2009 at 06:24 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2009, 12:08 AM
Fishic Fishic is offline
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You can get a self tapping oversized drain plug at NAPA for $4. Your size is 14mm I believe. They can look it up. Find a mechanic that will change it for you for free with an oil change, and you have found an honest mechanic.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2009, 01:24 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishic View Post
You can get a self tapping oversized drain plug at NAPA for $4. Your size is 14mm I believe. They can look it up. Find a mechanic that will change it for you for free with an oil change, and you have found an honest mechanic.
That will work. There's always the cheap way...
The OP drives a BMW and you'd fix it like a KIA?
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2009, 05:07 AM
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GarySL GarySL is offline
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Mein Auto: '08 335xi (E90)
Question:

Could a lube place evacuate the oil from above at the fill port & leave the drain plug as is?
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2009, 06:25 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarySL View Post
Question:

Could a lube place evacuate the oil from above at the fill port & leave the drain plug as is?
Yes, it could be done, but the amount of oil which is removed is rarely as much as will come out the drain. Not all garages have vacuum extraction equipment, and some won't use it. In a pinch the method can work.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2009, 06:43 AM
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GarySL GarySL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Yes, it could be done, but the amount of oil which is removed is rarely as much as will come out the drain. Not all garages have vacuum extraction equipment, and some won't use it. In a pinch the method can work.
Thanks, exploring options to a similar condition as the OPs in the wife's Dodge minivan.
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2009, 07:07 AM
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Coconutpete Coconutpete is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Yes, it could be done, but the amount of oil which is removed is rarely as much as will come out the drain.
There are arguments that go either way when it comes to this. A lot of people swear by the extraction method on these boards and several people have measured how much you can get out with this method. Search for "mity vac" or "mityvac" and you will find a lot of info on it.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2009, 07:16 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarySL View Post
Thanks, exploring options to a similar condition as the OPs in the wife's Dodge minivan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconutpete View Post
There are arguments that go either way when it comes to this. A lot of people swear by the extraction method on these boards and several people have measured how much you can get out with this method. Search for "mity vac" or "mityvac" and you will find a lot of info on it.
I have the Mity Vac equipment and it works as well as the guy using it. Which means it can work real well.
FYI some quick lube places will ONLY use this extraction method because it eliminates their number one liability which is claims of loose/lost oil plugs! If they never touch the plug they can't be blamed if there's a problem related to it. There's a quick lube center whose manager I know real well. He tells me that he gets claims for a couple engines a year and swears that the majority are attempted scams. It's a job hazard.
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2009, 07:18 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconutpete View Post
There are arguments that go either way when it comes to this. A lot of people swear by the extraction method on these boards and several people have measured how much you can get out with this method. Search for "mity vac" or "mityvac" and you will find a lot of info on it.
Yep. It all depends on where the tube ends up when it hits bottom. If it's the deep part then results are good. It's not always the deep part. It depends on the pan design.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2009, 09:29 AM
6 Brit 6 Brit is offline
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oh and stop taking it wherever youre taking it for oil changes
these little oil lube places make money on quantity not quality

they stripped it

when this happened on my mini i went the larger drain plug route, as the stupid oil pan was 300+ bucks...just for the part

now it is someone else's problem
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2009, 02:38 PM
JimD1 JimD1 is offline
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This is one of the main reasons I change the oil in my other cars myself. I will change my 128i about halfway between the dealers changes during the warranty period too. Not everybody has a place to do this but it takes less time to change it than to take it somewhere.

Jim
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2009, 07:54 AM
ceb1 ceb1 is offline
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Isn't that what the OP is doing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
That will work. There's always the cheap way...
The OP drives a BMW and you'd fix it like a KIA?
...by taking his BMW to an iffy lube place?

They are the ones who stripped it in the first place.

The moral of the story is that you always get what you pay for - and by saving on oil changes you might just be in for an expensive repair...
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2009, 08:08 AM
john5 john5 is offline
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if you plan on keeping this car why not getting fixed the right way?
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  #18  
Old 08-04-2009, 08:27 AM
BigWalmac BigWalmac is offline
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It may not have been the Oil Lube Place.

I always change my wife's X5 oil. I tried to drain the oil a few months back and I had the same problem. The plug was just spinning. I had broken the bolt by over tightening it the last time I changed it. (you may have had the bolt broken the last time it was changed, not this time)

As for the fix, I had it towed to BMW (never wanted to drive with a bolt in the pan) and I had them remove the bolt and the broken bolt in the pan. I thought they would have to drop the pan, but they were abe to remove it through the leveling sensor opening. They drilled and re-threaded the pan and put a new bolt in.

Everything is fine.
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:24 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWalmac View Post
they were abe to remove it through the leveling sensor opening. They drilled and re-threaded the pan and put a new bolt in.
Wow. From research, this was one of the more complicated solutions!

Here is the search result for broken oil pan drain bolts:
- How not to change your oil in your E39 (stripped drain plug)
- Broke the plug....
- Oil Plug Stripped! Now What ??
- URGENT: engine oil drain plug broke
- Broken oil plug & Broken oil plug!
- I Literally Want to Cry....
- Broken Oil Plug 0n E39 1998
- Magnetic oil drain bolt broke in half

Here is the search result for stripped oil pan threads:
- Drain plug / oil pan stripped on 2.8 Z3
- oil plug bad
- '92 325i-- oil drail plug stripped HEEEELP!
- Oil Pan Stripped
- Oil pan stripped (use level sensor as a drain plug)
- Oil pan stripped (weld plate over hole)

Here is a good cn90 DIY on changing your oil the gravity feed way:
- DIY: E39 Changing engine oil made simple

And, read this BEFORE you select a vacuum extractor:
- DIY - BMW E39 Oil & Filter Change (vacuum extraction method)
- Why I don't recommend the Motive Vacuum Oil Extractor ...

Note the bevy of potential solutions:
- Use a 6mm wide screwdriver to spin the broken half out
- Use an EX-4 screw extractor (aka easy out) to spin the broken half out <-- recommended
- Reverse drill the steel broken half out of the aluminum oil pan
- Retap the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan (but generally the bolt breaks before the threads strip)
- Wrap teflon tape on the threads of a new bolt and screw it in abutting the broken bolt half
- Heli-coil the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan
- Drop the E39 V8 il pan to access the bolt if it fell through (dropping the E39 I6 oil pan is a nightmare)
- Weld over the hole and use the MightyVac oil extractor from the dipstick forever more
- Weld over the hole and use the oil level sensor as the drain plug instead
- Access the broken bolt inside the oil pan through the leveling sensor opening
- Buy an aftermarket oil drain bolt (e.g., EAS Tuning magnetic, or ?)


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  #20  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:30 PM
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Hu99 Hu99 is offline
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Get your dealer (or indy mechanic) to put a heli-coil in. It will cost about $150 and be as good as the original. It's not a huge deal, just a case of drilling the existing thread and removing the shavings then installing a new thread into the hole. Any motorcycle shop will tell you it's a simple, effective and cheap fix for stripped oil-pan threads.
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