Anti-tamper or stripped drain plug?

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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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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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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