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View Full Version : Honda Oil Pans and Aluminum Crush Washers



Mastertech
08-10-2006, 09:47 PM
What are you guys opinions on using rebuilt oil pans and does anyone know how long Honda has used aluminum crush washers on their oil drain plugs?

The Problems with Honda Oil Pans (http://www.artsautomotive.com/HondaOilPan.htm)


Honda engine oil pans have been trouble since 1984. Honda cars in general are very reliable, so their failure to fix this sore spot for so many years is a little confusing to us. Maybe they just want to make sure all the Honda mechanics don't go out of business for lack of work.

The problem with Honda's steel oil pans, is the drain plug threads are frequently damaged and the drain plug sealing area tends to distort. Honda uses an aluminum sealing washer to seal the drain plug against the pan. Aluminum is fairly malleable as far as metals go, but still requires much more pressure to crush than do other types of sealing washers, such as fiber, rubber, or copper. Honda recommends 29 ft/lbs of torque on the drain plug to seal the washer - less torque and the washer will not seal and you will find a puddle in your driveway the day after your oil change. The problem is the flimsy threads and thin sheet metal can not take this amount of torque and will fail after repeated torquings.

There is often a tendency to blame the last mechanic who changed the oil for damage to the threads. This is sometimes valid when you're talking about a Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, or Mazda, but rarely is the case with an Acura or Honda. Honda drain plug threads are slowly damaged over time, and like a slowing roulette wheel, the build up of thread damage can ruin any mechanic's attempt at an oil change at random. Some mechanics will try to avoid bringing the subject up (and potentially bringing the blame on themselves) by sticking the drain plug in with a glob of silicone sealer and hoping the next oil change is done somewhere else. We believe it's important to alert you to the problem at the first sign of trouble. A planned oil pan repair or replacement is preferable to an emergency oil pan replacement at an inconvenient time.

bechtoea
08-11-2006, 06:30 AM
Honda has used aluminum crush washers for as long as I can remember and I have been working on Honda's for over 20 years.

sleeksilver
08-11-2006, 06:43 AM
Where the heck did that come from???? I've never heard any problems with our oil pans???? I've owned 3 Hondas so far..... :roll:

Bob Kaub
08-11-2006, 07:14 AM
[quote="Mastertech"]What are you guys opinions on using rebuilt oil pans and does anyone know how long Honda has used aluminum crush washers on their oil drain plugs?

I've never heard of a rebuilt oil pan for ANY vehicle.
I'm curious where you would get one. One from a junk yard would be used but not rebuilt.
As for Honda oil pans, some are stamped steel and some are cast aluminum. I've had several of both and never had a leak at the drain plug when changing the oil. I change it myself and always use a new crush washer. AFIK, the torque for the drain plug is 34 ft/lb for most engines.
Thanks.

bechtoea
08-11-2006, 07:27 AM
Use a new crush washer every time and you won't have a problem. If there is any doubt, torque to the spec in the owner's manual. No worries.

sleeksilver
08-11-2006, 11:42 AM
Use a new crush washer every time and you won't have a problem. If there is any doubt, torque to the spec in the owner's manual. No worries.

Yep. :)

I think that quote above is a crock of bull :roll: I've never heard of a problem...

Williams
08-11-2006, 04:44 PM
My dealer sells me copper-coloured crush washers for the oil sump drain plug at 25¢ each.
Mont Laurier, Québec.

I bet they are really worth 2¢ each.

Robert
08-11-2006, 05:18 PM
Wow, 5 Hondas over the years and did all my own oil changes with both aluminum and plastic washers and never had any problems whatsoever. And this is the first time I have ever heard of this as well.

mikeybc
08-11-2006, 05:46 PM
I had an 85 and an 88 with this problem. As far as crush washers go I always used to used the GM washers with the tan neoprene insert that fit snug around the threads, they are re-usable 3 or 4 times and dont need to be very tight or crushed and never leak. They are much better than hondas sloppy crush washers that apprentice mechanics that work weekends seem to overtighten..my 88 had stretched threads that was always dealer serviced before i got it....never had a prob after switching to GM washers despite the bad threads.

Mastertech
08-11-2006, 07:15 PM
This is interesting as there is no consensus on which washers are the best to use.

skyout
08-11-2006, 07:19 PM
NEW!!!!lol

4hondaowner
08-11-2006, 07:53 PM
I've changed my own oil for nearly 30 years and never had a concern about washers. :shock:

mobortho
08-11-2006, 08:23 PM
I had an 87 Accord that got stripped by a Jiffy Lube and I made them replace the entire oil pan. I always use a new crush washer. Cheap protection. I changed oil on an Odyssey one time at Walmart, and provided them with the washer. They had just had training the day before about needing them for Hondas. Someone will get up in arms about Walmart, but I was impressed with at least that one technician who knew his stuff.
For those who have never heard of this: I think every Honda manual is clear about the need for a new washer at every oil change.....

bechtoea
08-11-2006, 08:46 PM
Honda has always been a stickler when it comes to the vehicle being in "as new condition" after a service. Using a warn nylon "reusable" washer goes against this mindset. Ironically, they tell you on the motorcycles to just inspect the washer and replace as needed. Go figure.

Anyway, unless I have a damn good reason, I always do what an owners manual tells me...to the letter. So it says use aluminum crush washers at every change, I will.

Now about that 10K mile oil change interval...umm...I think not!!

<grin>

Mastertech
08-11-2006, 08:48 PM
I agree about following the owners manual but my owners manual also tells me to change the rear differential fluid every 70k. :wink:

Nutty
08-11-2006, 10:18 PM
Are the DIY'ers using a torque wrength or just go-by-feel?????

mdugan7000
08-11-2006, 11:03 PM
What's a torque wrench? You will NEVER see anyone at a dealership use a torque wrench on the oil drain plug.

(ok, I do use it on the lug nuts cause I don't want warped rotors)

blueiedgod
08-12-2006, 06:53 AM
Use a new crush washer every time and you won't have a problem. If there is any doubt, torque to the spec in the owner's manual. No worries.

I agree with this statement.

I had a 1985 Honda Civic that had 250,000 miles and was 10 years old when I sold her, new washers and never had a drip.

I have a 1988 Prelude, 18 years old (127,000 miles, barely broken in) no drip, no stripped threads.

I am sure if I used a big ass wrench to tighten the plugs every time, I would strip the threads too.

Carbuff2
08-12-2006, 07:23 AM
I don't use a torque wrench on my drain plug, never had a problem on any of our Hondas. Don't overtorque though... 8)

The idea of using the GM plastic-insert washer, hmmm, good idea.

My 18 year old Mustang still has the original FACTORY nylon drain washers on it. Let's see, 3 or 4 oil changes a year X 18 years = maybe 75 changes.

PS I think a "rebuilt" oil pan is one that has a new drain-plug thread insert pressed into it, they sell those at autoparts stores...

yohbee2
08-12-2006, 07:26 AM
I'm glad I am one of the "lucky" ones who have been able to avoid the inevitable drain pan leak (knock on wood). I guess changing the crush washer and not over-torquing brings good karma.

mdugan7000
08-12-2006, 07:41 AM
I don't use a torque wrench on my drain plug, never had a problem on any of our Hondas. Don't overtorque though... 8)

The idea of using the GM plastic-insert washer, hmmm, good idea.

My 18 year old Mustang still has the original FACTORY nylon drain washers on it. Let's see, 3 or 4 oil changes a year X 18 years = maybe 75 changes.

PS I think a "rebuilt" oil pan is one that has a new drain-plug thread insert pressed into it, they sell those at autoparts stores...

Carbuff - does your Mustang have the "dual drain plug" feature like my 83 does? Those of you who complain about changing the oil on a V should be so lucky. I have two oil drain plugs in the oil pan and they are not that close together. Located front and rear of the oil pan. At least they are on the side and not the actual ends of the pan. Talk about a design afterthought. The oil pan is divided into 2 sections so as to allow the front crossmember to cut thru it. :roll: Ford had a better idea.

Carbuff2
08-12-2006, 11:00 AM
Carbuff - does your Mustang have the "dual drain plug" feature like my 83 does? Those of you who complain about changing the oil on a V should be so lucky.

Yep. Two sumps to drain.

Still, not as stupid as the '80 Dodge Colt (Mitsubishi Mirage in the rest of the world) I once owned. To install a new oil filter you had to dent the back-side of the filter can! :shock:
I think I still have scars on my arms from that car...

thomasj2
08-12-2006, 01:18 PM
I'm using Fumoto drain valves, no more drain plugs and crush washers to deal with.

Yes I use a torque wrench when I replace the drain plugs on the tranny and rear diff. I also coat the crush washer with a little permatex. I know it's anal, but I've never had a problem with leakage.

I am doing 10Kmi oil changes, with great used oil test results.

Nutty
08-12-2006, 02:25 PM
How many people are using the dealerships to do the service intervals, or the shop of your choice or DIY???

skyout
08-12-2006, 03:36 PM
How many people are using the dealerships to do the service intervals, or the shop of your choice or DIY???
There may be a poll on this. You could just do a BUMP.

Dealer all the way for me.

roadster
08-12-2006, 04:36 PM
I deal all the way for me
I must have saved enough money to Purchase my 2nd V by now.