Anti-tamper or stripped drain plug?

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Elbass74

Member
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Mazda cx-5 touring 2015
Now that my CX-5 is out of warranty and the nearest dealership has moved to an inconvenient location I decided to start doing my own oil changes. It's been 5-6 years since I've been under a car so when I removed the access panel on my 2015 CX-5 I was surprised to find this orange sealant around my drain plug. Before I mess with it I'm hoping someone can tell me if this is normal now, just something dealerships do now to know if someone has been in there since they performed their last service? I'm highly concerned that my dealership stripped out my drain plug and never told me about it.

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Ok sorry for the delay on updating this thread. While I was out of town our other vehicle was totalled in an accident. I wasn't about to possibly render our one running vehicle undrivable by messing with a shady looking drain plug so had to wait until we got that all sorted out.

I went ahead and proceeding with changing the oil myself after calling the dealership and asking the same type of question about my drain plug (I had never identified myself when I stopped in personally) and they were adamant that it was just a drain plug sealer compound and they put it on strictly in case a crush washer fails and to keep the plug from vibrating loose. As they put it, an extra bonus for having them perform the oil change.

Started out by...

erhayes

Contributor
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2021CX5 Reserve
Very suspicious because that is NOT normal. Could be a bandage for a stripped oil pan. If you kept records of the dealer doing the oil change service then I would confront them before doing anything. Ed
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
Now that my CX-5 is out of warranty and the nearest dealership has moved to an inconvenient location I decided to start doing my own oil changes. It's been 5-6 years since I've been under a car so when I removed the access panel on my 2015 CX-5 I was surprised to find this orange sealant around my drain plug. Before I mess with it I'm hoping someone can tell me if this is normal now, just something dealerships do now to know if someone has been in there since they performed their last service? I'm highly concerned that my dealership stripped out my drain plug and never told me about it.
View attachment 299711
I agree with erhayes that your Mazda dealer had screwed up the oil change, hence the red sealant has to be applied to a REPLACEMENT drain bolt. Your 2015 CX-5 comes with a unique round head 8 mm internal Allen hex drain bolt and need an 8mm Allen hex bit socket to loose it. The 17 mm flange hex drain bolt showed in your picture is not original. Apparently the original drain plug got replaced by your Mazda dealer due to a botched oil change, patched with a replacement drain bolt and red sealant.

DF1990EB-919E-4CD4-9C48-54E8D81CC429.jpeg


CX-5 Oil Change with Filter
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
I agree. Don't touch it. Take it back to the dealer with the paperwork from the last oil change since that is when the repair was made with a replacement plug. That will show who did the work. Hold their feet to the fire as much as possible.
 
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Elbass74

Member
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Mazda cx-5 touring 2015
Ugh I was afraid of that. I have the paperwork in hand and will go that route. Thanks for having a look.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
Ugh I was afraid of that. I have the paperwork in hand and will go that route. Thanks for having a look.
You’re not alone. A Toyota dealer botched an oil change on my 2018 Toyota Yaris iA / Mazda2 from factory free 2-year maintenance program which made the oil leaking out from drain plug during the road trip. I haven’t looked at the condition of the drain plug, since I just used up the last free oil change 2 weeks ago. I won’t be surprised to see the same situation like yours when I start to do the oil change on the Yaris by myself 5K miles later. Please keep us posted how did the dealer handle your case after you confronted them about the issue.
 
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WOW, JUST WOW. Go back and make them replace the oil pan. That is fked up and why you can't trust just ANYONE with your nice things, especially dealers.
 
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CarpeDiem

Under Pressure
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Superstitions
:
2021 CE Turbo
In truth, serious screwups - like this one appears to be - are very rare. It’s way over the top to say you can’t trust “anyone” but if I were the OP I’d be really pi$$ed off.
 
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CX5 GT
omg... that is unbelievable.
Makes you wonder if they really give the oil changes to be done by the cleaner.
I have had wrong oil, bolt leaking, wrong oil filters, cheap non-oem oil filters vs oem, stolen undershield
but this one that you show trumps it all. The reason I do my changes now on the CX5.

If you keep all record go back to the dealer. Expect resistance af first.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
Have them replace the oil pan. Looks like someone whaled on the plug and stripped it. They put untrained mechanics on oil changes, for an oil pan change they will have an experienced mechanic do it. To me it is unbelievable that a dealership would make such a bad mistake.
 
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Elbass74

Member
:
Mazda cx-5 touring 2015
*Update*
Went to talk to a service rep and showed him the photo. He was not at all surprised when he saw it and said that this is sealant they use due to the high number of weeping drain plugs they have experienced. Sounds like they have had a lot of similar complaints from people including a few who tried to get oil changes elsewhere and were turned away once the techs at the other shops saw the oil pan. I was assured this will come right off when I start turning the plug and is not what it looks like. Looking around at a few references to seeping plugs, some on this forum, seems plausible. As for the different plug he stated they often swap the original with a hex head equivalent. I do see this is a legit genuine Mazda part: https://www.mazdaparts.org/mazda-oil-pan-plug-washer.html and I've read a few discussions where people recommend swapping to the hex head version.

So long story short, their explanation seems to add up and my BS meter didn't go off talking to the guy so as long as the drain plug comes out without having to wrench on it like crazy and the pan and plug threads look ok, I think I'm good.

Ran this by two people I know, one who used to run his own shop, and they were both convinced it was a stripped oil pan as well when they first saw it, so this must be a pretty uncommon thing to do.
 
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Northeast
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2020 CX-5 Tour
Went to talk to a service rep and showed him the photo. He was not at all surprised when he saw it and said that this is sealant they use due to the high number of weeping drain plugs they have experienced.....
I would have asked him why they don't ever put sealant on the plugs at the factory, and then watch him try to squirm his way out of that one.

Call some other Mazdas (any location), and ask them if they ever use sealant on their drain plugs.
 
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2016.5 CX-5 GT AWD titanium/black 2016 Miata Club ST MT white
*Update*
Went to talk to a service rep and showed him the photo. He was not at all surprised when he saw it and said that this is sealant they use due to the high number of weeping drain plugs they have experienced. Sounds like they have had a lot of similar complaints from people including a few who tried to get oil changes elsewhere and were turned away once the techs at the other shops saw the oil pan. I was assured this will come right off when I start turning the plug and is not what it looks like. Looking around at a few references to seeping plugs, some on this forum, seems plausible. As for the different plug he stated they often swap the original with a hex head equivalent. I do see this is a legit genuine Mazda part: https://www.mazdaparts.org/mazda-oil-pan-plug-washer.html and I've read a few discussions where people recommend swapping to the hex head version.

So long story short, their explanation seems to add up and my BS meter didn't go off talking to the guy so as long as the drain plug comes out without having to wrench on it like crazy and the pan and plug threads look ok, I think I'm good.

Ran this by two people I know, one who used to run his own shop, and they were both convinced it was a stripped oil pan as well when they first saw it, so this must be a pretty uncommon thing to do.

What's your plan of action based on the above?

In my opinion the service rep is a liar and the plug was stripped out and then sealed.

If you plan on testing this by proceeding with your oil change I hope that you have another car to fall back on? Once you pull that plug and if the treads are stripped you are going to be SOL.

Document everything and take lots of pics. You'll want to speak with the service manager once you find out the bad news. Be polite but insistent that it's the dealer's responsibility to make this right by replacing the oil pan. If the dealer wont make it right contact Mazda corporate.

Or perhaps your local newspaper is having a slow news day and would like to write about your experience with this dealer?
 
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Dealer is full of $hit. No reason to ever use sealant on a drain plug with proper crush washer and they are trying to explain it away to novices who have no idea about cars. Typical garbage. Mazda would certainly know if their oil pans leaked and there would be mass information out there if it were true. Tell then to put it on the lift and take out the bolt in front of you with a regular wrench and YOU check the threads and fit. Watch them squirm. I would go straight to the service director or even dealership owner and bypass the peons. If no resolve then call Mazda corporate. If no resolve then call news channel. If no resolve then file small claims against dealer.
 
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Mazda CX-9 Signature
I agree. Do not waste your time with the service reps and go straight to GM and/or Corp. If even Corp gives you the runaround, go on social media and question how Mazda couldn't even engineer a simple gasket & plug from leaking. Good luck!
 
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Pueblo county CO
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CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
I don't have a torque wrench for the 8mm hex, so rather than the aluminum washer I use these rubber o rings. The plug was a Honda type so I bought it but never used it. The o ring works fine with the 8mm type plug.

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Elbass74

Member
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Mazda cx-5 touring 2015
Well for a plan of action I guess I'm going to sleep on it a few days. Heading out of town for the weekend in a few hours so not going to do anything until next week.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
*Update*
As for the different plug he stated they often swap the original with a hex head equivalent. I do see this is a legit genuine Mazda part: https://www.mazdaparts.org/mazda-oil-pan-plug-washer.html and I've read a few discussions where people recommend swapping to the hex head version.
The part number for 17 mm flange hex drain bolt on newer 2.5L and 2.5T is FS50-21-249 or LFE5-10-404. The link you posted is not the correct drain plug.

CX-5 Drain plug...Allen vs Hex

I agree with others, what the service advisor told you about using the sealant on drain plug is wrong. A new drain plug aluminum washer with proper torque is all you need to prevent the oil leak.

Let us know what did you find after you removed the drain plug for oil change.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
The story you are being told sounds dubious to me. It's more likely that the threads were damaged somehow and they installed an oversized self tapping plug to fix it. I say "somehow" because it could have been an accidental overtightening or just bad luck. I've had bolts threaded into aluminum parts pull the aluminum threads out. This is rare but it does happen.

If you remove the drain plug and the end of the threaded portion has slots and/or a taper, it's a self-tapping plug. You can also verify this by purchasing the original plug and comparing the threads.

The "correct" way to fix this is to 1) retap the hole in the pan and replace the drain plug with a larger one, or 2) install a timecert or helicoil and use the original plug, or 3) replace the pan (in order of cheapest to most expensive). You can probably guess why the dealer did what they did.
 
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