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Anti-tamper or stripped drain plug?

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Elbass74

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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...
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2018 CX-5 Sport
I don't know what to think of the dealer's explanation. I suppose it could be their practice to add a sealer for extra leak protection or proof that an oil change was done. I would be upset that they swapped an OEM drain plug for a plain old hardware bolt. The OEM bolts are painted black and yours is silver with some rust. And assuming that they put this sealer on every time you went, do they scrape it all off completely when they do an oil change and then apply a new coat? Yours looks to be only one even coat. That would be a lot of extra work for them. An oil change is a simple thing and that dealer made it into a complicated thing full of questions.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
No rush, but when you have time I would bring your car back to the dealer and say that you have concern that the oil drain plug was stripped, and for them to show you that it is not stripped. Chances are they won't even remember that you were there earlier. You may want to have a OEM drain plug with you to compare the diameter and the thread count/pitch to the one they take out.
 
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2010 CX-9 GT
You might drop metal shavings when you retap. Do it right and replace the pan and bolt

True, but you can always save the oil that came out when the plug was removed, retap, then put the old oil back in to flush out any shavings before putting in new oil. Also, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of getting metal into the pan in the first place while tapping. Finally, there is a screen on the oil pickup that will stop anything large from getting into the oiling system, and then the oil filter will catch anything small left over - that's the first thing in line after the oil pickup and pump.

In my opinion, jumping straight to replacing the pan is overreacting. Yes, the dealer may have screwed up and stripped the threads, but if the pan is rethreaded properly and it doesn't leak this is not a big deal. The key here is "properly" rethreaded - oftentimes the self tapping plug works once or twice but can chew up the metal everytime it is reinstalled, which may explain the sealant. This is why the threaded insert and normal plug is the "correct" way to rethread the pan. If they can't rethread the pan properly or a new pan is cheaper, I'd go that route, but frankly, if the dealer can't be trusted to change oil I'd have the pan replaced elsewhere.
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
Just FYI, the oil pan for the 2.5L is not terribly expensive, and the labor shouldn’t be too much either. And DIY is a possibility too. Just be aware that a member (madar) has said there’s a new (revised and larger) oil pan from Mazda (see “replaces” part list) when he had his oil pan replaced on his 2016.5 CX-5 due to the oil leak. The new pan takes more oil than the factory one.

GT-R oil overfilled

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Mazda CX-9 Signature
I don't know what to think of the dealer's explanation. I suppose it could be their practice to add a sealer for extra leak protection or proof that an oil change was done. I would be upset that they swapped an OEM drain plug for a plain old hardware bolt. The OEM bolts are painted black and yours is silver with some rust. And assuming that they put this sealer on every time you went, do they scrape it all off completely when they do an oil change and then apply a new coat? Yours looks to be only one even coat. That would be a lot of extra work for them. An oil change is a simple thing and that dealer made it into a complicated thing full of questions.
Fyi plugs from factory are black and OEM replacements are silver.
 
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CX5 GT
oem plug 'head' on 2016 is shown by yrwei52 and is different. Its not hex head bolt sticking out as it was mentioned.


The newer oem bolts and replacements are like these below (hex head showing outside the pan) and yes the oems that come with the car are painted together with the oil pan in black.
at least the head and inside the pan, bolt end.

I think its pretty much clear what happened. They messed the old plug and changed it to the new type since thats whats available now.
Then they put the sealant junk around for whatever other reason, stripped,etc.

Only real long term option that is worth it to me is to remove plug and see whats behind it. Prepare for a new oil pan if needed. The new pan comes with the plug/bolt.


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erhayes

Contributor
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2021CX5 Reserve
I can't get my head around that someone even remotely interested in engines could strip a pan bolt. If you are ham fisted, just use a torque wrench. A mechanic is supposed to oversee and teach a helper to do a correct job. This is what people get from a certified dealer? Just disgusting. ED
 
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yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
I can't get my head around that someone even remotely interested in engines could strip a pan bolt. If you are ham fisted, just use a torque wrench. A mechanic is supposed to oversee and teach a helper to do a correct job. This is what people get from a certified dealer? Just disgusting. ED
It has happened too many times, and by different dealers too.
 
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CX5 GT
offtopic, the problem is bigger than this unfortunately. I see it on a daily basis in my line of work. Skilled people cost $$, unskilled are hired because its cheap and makes more fake profit and what is worst is higher management doesnt care. Looks after their bonus, etc.
If a problem happens they throw a free service or other freebie. Rinse and repeat.
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
Here's a vid telling the other side of the lousy service story - from a dealer tech. This guy was a Hyundai tech before he quit, but IMO it doesn't matter which automaker, because I suspect they all operate basically the same way by paying lowball flat rate.

He doesn't come across as a malcontented ranter, is clearly intelligent and well spoken, and would be someone I'd very much want to keep on the payroll, if I were running a stealership. But apparently letting him walk out the Hyundai door didn't bother anyone very much at all. IMO his story is a great example of why so many automaker service departments are the pits, because the skill level they have is exactly what they pay for.

 
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Elbass74

Member
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Mazda cx-5 touring 2015
Once you get this resolved please let us know what's what with your issue. I'm pretty sure that I can speak for the others here when I say that we'd all like to know how this shakes out.

I certainly will, I appreciate everyone's time weighing in on this. Was out of town last weekend and I'm out of town camping in a remote area all next week, so I'm inclined to leave well enough alone until I get back and can tolerate being without a vehicle for a few days if it comes to that. I'm at about 6,000 miles between oil changes (don't usually go much past 5,000) but I don't think a few hundred more will make or brake things.

Interestingly enough I did go through my paperwork last night from every oil change I have had and did find when the drain plug was changed, over three years ago. To quote: "We replaced the engine oil pan drain plug as the internal hex head was rounding." Part# in the paperwork for the new plug is HE03-10-404 Plug, Hex Head (No Flange). This was at the dealership I used to have service done at before they were bought out by the current dealer a couple of years ago. I think I even remember them mentioning it but I didn't give it much thought at the time.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
I certainly will, I appreciate everyone's time weighing in on this. Was out of town last weekend and I'm out of town camping in a remote area all next week, so I'm inclined to leave well enough alone until I get back and can tolerate being without a vehicle for a few days if it comes to that. I'm at about 6,000 miles between oil changes (don't usually go much past 5,000) but I don't think a few hundred more will make or brake things.

Interestingly enough I did go through my paperwork last night from every oil change I have had and did find when the drain plug was changed, over three years ago. To quote: "We replaced the engine oil pan drain plug as the internal hex head was rounding." Part# in the paperwork for the new plug is HE03-10-404 Plug, Hex Head (No Flange). This was at the dealership I used to have service done at before they were bought out by the current dealer a couple of years ago. I think I even remember them mentioning it but I didn't give it much thought at the time.
I guess that is the OEM replacement for the internal hex head one and not a regular bolt from the hardware store. I am starting to think that it is not stripped after all since it obviously screws in. Maybe HE03-10-404 tends to weep a little so they add the extra precaution. When you do your own oil changes you won't have to add the sealer, and if it weeps you can get a drain plug that seals good.
 
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ColoradoDriver

Gen-1 Kodo Design
Contributor
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Denver, CO
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2014 CX-5 Touring
Seems off. Why do they need to put sealant on a brand new plug if its not stripped and they use a proper crush washer?

I don't know, my BS meter is going off on this one. So they changed it 3 years ago? I'm sure you've had many oil changes since then. Why would they need to use a sealant 3 years later? There's nothing normal about needing a sealant unless they messed something up.
 
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erhayes

Contributor
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2021CX5 Reserve
The Mazda hex bolt has a flange. I'm not sure from the picture that the bolt is even a genuine Mazda bolt. I would get myself a genuine mazda bolt with a flange before I did another oil change. This whole issure would make me very uncomfortable. Please post back. Ed
 
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