I bought my Honda Accord new from a dealer in...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I bought my 1987 Honda Accord new from a dealer in California. It was serviced only by that dealership, where the oil was changed every three months. At the 45,000 miles service, there was a note on my service order form that said "Drain plug beginning to leak--threads beginning to stretch." The dealer service manager said this occurred because the oil drain plug had been over tightened when serviced. A coil was inserted in the drain hole to stop the leak, and done (after protest from me) at no charge because their mechanics were the only peole who ever serviced it--ordinarily, they said, a $100+ job. I now live in Arizona, and the people now servicing the car (also every three months) tell me that the drain plug is leaking again, and now I need a new oil pan ($400+). What do you think?

RAY: Unfortunately, you probably DO need an oil pan at this point, Gerrie. But before you go in to have it done, you might want to take that big sign off your forehead that says "Fleece Me."

TOM: Yeah. Somehow, these dealerships are getting the idea that you're easy prey. The California dealership stripped the threads on your old oil pan, then they put in a $40 "coil, " and tried to charge you a 100 bucks for the job. Good for you for not paying for it!

RAY: Now the coil has worn out and you need a whole new oil pan. The pan and gasket cost less than $150. So I don't know how this new dealership is coming up with $250 worth of labor...unless they're planning to install the oil pan through the glove compartment (an event that's been awarded a 9.6 degree of difficulty by the Olympic Committee).

TOM: I'd ask other Honda owners where they have their cars serviced, Gerrie. See if you can find a place that several people seem to be happy with. The oil pan job ought to cost $250 or less. And when you find someone who'll do it for that price, take it THERE every three months for your oil change. It doesn't sound like either of these dealerships treated you particularly well.

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