drain bolt frozen

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175
Location
CA
This has never happened to me before. I offered to do an oil change on my sister inlaw's Honda CRV. I could not get the drain bolt off. There was some dried reddish stuff on it and I'm wondering if a thread locker was used. I didn't get adverturous as I didn't want to strip threads. First of all, all drain bolts are "lefty loosey" to remove correct? (In other words, to remove the bolt, you turn it counterclockwise if you are looking at the head of the bolt) I told my sis inlaw to bring it back to whoever did it last because it could be bad news if the threads are damaged. Hope the mechanic didn't use an pnuematic tool to install the drain bolt. Any thoughts
 
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14,716
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
where was it done last. when i worked at sears we put a tamper seal on the drain plug. it was like a thick paint so that when customers would drain the oil and blame us we could show it wasnt our fault. btw we had a few customers attempt to pull that one off.
 
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1,606
Location
Oahu, Hawaii
That red stuff is probably thread locker. It might be the high strength one that will take a lot of torque to remove if you don't have access to a heat gun. Heating it up to almost 250C will make it easier to remove.
 

mozart

Thread starter
Messages
175
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: bdcardinal
where was it done last. when i worked at sears we put a tamper seal on the drain plug. it was like a thick paint so that when customers would drain the oil and blame us we could show it wasnt our fault. btw we had a few customers attempt to pull that one off.
It was some local mechanic, definitely not sears. It could have been paint, I don't know.
 

mozart

Thread starter
Messages
175
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: toytundranator
That red stuff is probably thread locker. It might be the high strength one that will take a lot of torque to remove if you don't have access to a heat gun. Heating it up to almost 250C will make it easier to remove.
I thought about using a blowtorch and heating it, but seeing the leaked oil everywhere put an image in my head Headlines "what kind of idiot uses an open flame to loosen a bolt when there is leaked oil around the area?" I didn't have the guts to try it.
 
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1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
 Originally Posted By: toytundranator
That red stuff is probably thread locker. It might be the high strength one that will take a lot of torque to remove if you don't have access to a heat gun. Heating it up to almost 250C will make it easier to remove.
If it is the red thread-locker, it's the high strength stuff. Which only leaves one question... What kind of moron puts a semi-permanent product on a frequently removed drain plug?
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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12,849
Location
UT
 Originally Posted By: rshunter
 Originally Posted By: toytundranator
That red stuff is probably thread locker. It might be the high strength one that will take a lot of torque to remove if you don't have access to a heat gun. Heating it up to almost 250C will make it easier to remove.
If it is the red thread-locker, it's the high strength stuff. Which only leaves one question... What kind of moron puts a semi-permanent product on a frequently removed drain plug?
One who screwed up the drain pan threads, when the engine came in the plug was real loose and did not want to risk it loosing up and having to pay out *if* the plug came out. Instead of going to the owner and getting the problem fixed (let me guess, this "tech" works on the car most of the time) he rigged it up. Take a air impact on a lower setting and get with it. You may have to fix the issue once it comes out. I'll bet that the threads in the pan are jacked. Good luck, Bill
 
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1,050
Location
Calif.
Maybe you can spray some PB Blaster or something similar to the bolt. Usually if a drain bolt is very tight, I use a long breaker bar. I remember when I did an oil change on a new car and the drain bolt was on very tight. First, I would probably bring the car back the place where the oil change was done. You don't want to strip the threads or damage the oil pan threads. It would be bad if you had to be the one to take responsibility if something went wrong.
 
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19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
 Originally Posted By: mozart
... First of all, all drain bolts are "lefty loosey" to remove correct? (In other words, to remove the bolt, you turn it counterclockwise if you are looking at the head of the bolt) ...
Yes, you are correct. Out: counter-clockwise, In: clockwise.
 Originally Posted By: mozart
... I told my sis in-law to bring it back to whoever did it last because it could be bad news if the threads are damaged. ...
You are correct here too. Take the car back to the last place that did the oil change for them to fix the problem they created.
 
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22,683
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: lpcmidst128
Maybe you can spray some PB Blaster or something similar to the bolt.
PB Blaster is not going to penetrate into the threads. Definitely take it back to whoever did the last oil change.
 
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19,479
Location
Chicago Area
Use a 6 point socket, preferably a flank drive. An extension to a breaker bar [cheater pipe] is great. Double check which direction you are turning. Under a car, you may get disoriented.
 
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34,973
Location
NY
If you do decide to tackle it yourself, I'm with mechtech2. 6 point socket and a long breaker bar. Make sure the engine is warmed up, and be prerpared to repair a stripped oil pan drain plug. Your other choice is to bring it back and make certain the tech that works on the car knows up front you want it repaired the right way, and at their expense. Good luck on that one!
 
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4,622
Location
Western Washington
Much good advice here, I'll just add that if you want to heat the threads/bolt, there is no need to use an open flame. Just use your wife's hair dryer, putting it fairly close to the bolt for three or four minutes.
 
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2,431
Location
Toronto, Canada
I doubt any anaerobic threadlocker would work in the presence of oil always present on oilpan threads. You would have to go to extraordinary lengths to get the oilpan threads oilfree since oil will keep dribbling on to the threads from the insides of the pan. I suppose if you let the pan drain overnight the dribbling would stop or you could build up a small dam of grease, inside the pan and working thru the hole, to stop the oil. Then you could clean out the pan threads and get a threadlocker to work. Loctite has only one threadlocker, the medium strength blue 243, that is oil-tolerant and I don't see even that one working with the excess oil present on the pan threads.
 
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1,714
Location
CA.
I don't see the logic in a thread locking compound. If I ran into that situation and didn't have time to do the proper repair, and felt lucky. I would have wrapped the threads with teflon plumbers tape, until I had the time to do a proper fix.
 
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2,431
Location
Toronto, Canada
The logic is obvious. Properly working loctite would ensure that the drainplug would not work itself loose even if the drainplug could not be fully torqued down due to damaged pan threads.
 
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1,714
Location
CA.
I guess since a shop did it that would be the wise thing to do to hide the problem until the next guy touched it. Then the blame/problem would shift to the last guy that had his hands on it. AD
 
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