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2017 Forester CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today, I planned to change my engine oil. However, I found the oil plug was damaged. It seems the plug has been so tightened that it was rounded. I just could not loosen it. I have changed the engine oil several times by myself without any problem of loosening the plug. I always tighten it with 32flb. Now I suspect a dealership damaged the oil drain plug on purpose. Several months ago, the air conditioner condenser of my car did not work and it was replaced at the dealership. The dealership first told me it was hit by a rock so that I should pay for it. I took a look at the condenser but could not find any dents. I took photos as evidence. Then, the dealership agreed to fix it with the factory warranty. Now I just suspect the dealership overtightened the oil plug on purpose to damage it so that I would have to ask them to change the oil for me.

I am wondering if anyone has such an experience. What should I do now? Complain to the dealership or Subaru USA? Or I just let it go and have the same dealership change the oil for me? Perhaps they would change me additional fees for the rounded oil plug.

The attached are the photos of the rounded oil plug. I am 100% sure it was not rounded by me. And the dealership is the only one besides me who touched the car.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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Rounding of the dinky 14mm drain plug is pretty common. Happened to me too. If you search you'll find a few other threads on the subject. Some of us have replaced the 14mm head drain plug with this 17mm head drain plug:
The larger 17mm head is less susceptible to damage. Check the vehicle fitment chart for compatibility with your engine.
 
2017 2.5i Fozy CVT
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I would file the flats at your next ,personally done, oil change, install the new plug mentioned above.

Give the dealer a truthful mention in google or Yelp reviews and find another dealer.

Do the rest of your oil changes, personally.

Might consider a Fumoto drAin valve or similar product.
 

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2017 Forester CVT
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the information. I have sent an email to Subaru USA complaining about this issue. Let's see what would be their response.

I will certainly get a 17mm oil plug for my 2017 Forester 2.5i Premium. I will check the rounding issue of the dinky 14mm drain plug. However, I am 99% sure I did not round it.

Perhaps I will also complain about the issue to the dealership tomorrow. If that happens, I will also let you know their response.

I have changed the oil for my Honda cars many times. There is never such an issue about rounding the plug. So, if it is not the problem of the dealership, it will be the problem of Subaru: they did not make a good enough oil drain plug. Since I have already changed the oil for my Subaru car by myself several times without a problem, I think it is the problem of the dealership, or more precisely, some workers at the dealership.
 

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I had a 2010 Forester that came with a stock 17mm drain plug. I performed at least 30 DIY oil changes on my 2010 and never had a problem with the drain bolt. My 2018 came with the 14mm drain bolt. The very first time I attempted a DIY oil change I rounded the head, and I even knew about the problem beforehand. I haven't had any more problems since installing the 17mm bolt on my 2018.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I hope the dealership did not overtighten and round the oil drain plug on purpose since it is a kind of evil. As I have said, if it is not the fault of the dealer, it would be the fault of Subaru, who did not make a good enough oil drain plug. Of course, there is also a 1% possibility that I did something seriously wrong that I still have not noticed. My tools are all good tools and I have changed oil many times before. So, I think tools and my experience are very likely not the main reason for this overtightening and rounding problem.
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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I always tighten it with 32flb
I used to use a torque wrench on everything. One day I tightened the drain bolt in my 1990 Civic to the torque specified in the hardcopy Honda repair manual for the car, 33 ftlb. The threads on the bolt stripped. Stupid shop manual. My friend walked over and called me a dummy. Anyway now, on smaller stuff that I can gauge myself, by feel, like bicycle stuff or the drain bolt, I don't use a torque wrench. On the drain bolt you can feel the crush washer crush, and then you will feel it tighten up. Once you're past the "crush" stage and just compressing the metal, you can stop.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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@Botnik yeah, I’ve fell victim to that in the past. Never torque it. Finger tight then a quarter turn is all that needed.
@mzhang2018 shops using impact tools to install lugs and oil drain bolts is very common unfortunately.
 

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I just posted rounded drain plug issue, but it was my own doing (link). I almost rounded it when I try to take the drain plug off. If you see the picture I attached, it looks like the way the hex corner twisted is opposite direction to yours. Yours look like it was rounded when tightened the bolt (clockwise). The reason I mentioned this is because if that's true, it may be hard for you to break the plug loose. I didn't round mine too bad, then I bought a 6-point wrench and luckily able to break it loose. If you have a long 6-point wrench, you may want to give it a shot first. Someone also replied to my post with Amazon link of Irwin tool that you can use to break loose rounded bolt. But it may require you to pound it, so the car has to be reasonably lifted up.

The fact that whoever did the last oil change didn't mention anything, I would doubt they will admit it even if they did it. Since this is an operator error, I doubt SoA would do anything either. You could always try though. When all fails, you can ask someone to fix it for you. Hopefully it is only 1 hour job which should cost less than 100 bucks. I'm installing Fumoto valve on mine, you may want to check that out too.

Good luck!
 

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My son, a couple of years back, bought a Crosstrek. After the first oil change, he wanted to do his own s and, when he tried to get his oil plug out, he couldn't get it out so called me over.

To me it looked like it was either cross threaded and/or pounded in with an impact gun.
Since the car was new, I suggested he bring it to the dealer to loosen it and show him nothing was wrong.
With enough violence that plug could of course come out, but what do you do on a new car to get it back in, if it was cross threaded. The dealer would tell you that you hosed the oil pan up.

They loosened it with an impact gun before showing him there was nothing wrong. :rolleyes: When he told them to please tighten it by hand and the last quarter turn with a wrench, they looked at him like he had two heads.
Clearly, those guys are idiots. It must be a Subaru dealer thing.
The next oil change, we put a Fumoto valve in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Thank you all for the replies. I bought two oil drain plugs from the dealership today without accusing them about this issue since I am not 100% sure that they did it. I used an IRWIN BOLT-GRIP Bolt Extractor and a 24-inch breaker bar to loosen the plug. It was not difficult. I heard a clear "PA" sound when the plug was loosened. Of course, the plug was damaged. I would keep the damaged plug in case Subaru USA would ask for evidence. I think they should be able to check if the plug was mistakenly overtightened. If that is the case, then some worker at the dealership should have done it ON PURPOSE. It would be a sad discovery.

As to the drain plug, I tried to get the one with part number 807016210. However, I was told that this plug did not fit my car according to my car's VIN. So, I just bought two plugs with the part number 32195AA020 (14mm), which is the only plug recommended by a worker at the dealership according to his search. It's strange that a google search shows 807016210 works for my car (2017 Forester 2.5i Premium). Now I am not absolutely sure if the online information at subaruparts.com is correct. I provided the VIN at subaruparts.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As to the torque, I think it should be fine to go with the number on the manual. In fact, in order to make sure the torque is correct, I bought an expensive snap-on torque wrench. (I also have three other less expensive ones. I think they all work.) I will report how hard it is to loosen the plug when I change the oil next time. Thanks.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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As to the drain plug, I tried to get the one with part number 807016210. However, I was told that this plug did not fit my car according to my car's VIN. So, I just bought two plugs with the part number 32195AA020 (14mm), which is the only plug recommended by a worker at the dealership according to his search. It's strange that a google search shows 807016210 works for my car (2017 Forester 2.5i Premium). Now I am not absolutely sure if the online information at subaruparts.com is correct. I provided the VIN at subaruparts.com.
Strange. I have a 2018 2.5i Limited and my Subaru dealer's parts department confirmed that oil plug part # 807016210 would fit my vehicle, and it did. Also, somebody on this forum said there was a TSB about it but I was never able to find such TSB.
 

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I was the one who rounded off my plug and posted 807016210 would work...that was about 2 years ago. Used a Harbor Freight bolt extractor socket set to remove the rounded off bolt. Popped on the 17mm bolt and haven't looked back since.
 

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I was the one who rounded off my plug and posted 807016210 would work...that was about 2 years ago. Used a Harbor Freight bolt extractor socket set to remove the rounded off bolt. Popped on the 17mm bolt and haven't looked back since.
Thanks for the tip! I've been a happy DIY oil changer ever since I installed the 17mm bolt after seeing your post..
 

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Today, I planned to change my engine oil. However, I found the oil plug was damaged. It seems the plug has been so tightened that it was rounded. I just could not loosen it. I have changed the engine oil several times by myself without any problem of loosening the plug. I always tighten it with 32flb. Now I suspect a dealership damaged the oil drain plug on purpose. Several months ago, the air conditioner condenser of my car did not work and it was replaced at the dealership. The dealership first told me it was hit by a rock so that I should pay for it. I took a look at the condenser but could not find any dents. I took photos as evidence. Then, the dealership agreed to fix it with the factory warranty. Now I just suspect the dealership overtightened the oil plug on purpose to damage it so that I would have to ask them to change the oil for me.

I am wondering if anyone has such an experience. What should I do now? Complain to the dealership or Subaru USA? Or I just let it go and have the same dealership change the oil for me? Perhaps they would change me additional fees for the rounded oil plug.

The attached are the photos of the rounded oil plug. I am 100% sure it was not rounded by me. And the dealership is the only one besides me who touched the car.
As being a mechanic and then working as an advisor at a dealer and now assistant service manager at a dealer not Subaru I honestly hate seeing posts like this. it happens all the time where we tell a customer we can't cover a certain item because at the end of the day when a part gets warrantied it gets sent back to the manufacturer to be inspected and tested. If something looks to be damaged we then have to contact the manufacturer because ultimately if something is clearly defective we make the decision if anything looks like its been either tampered with or physically damaged its up to the manufacturer to make the decision. If they covered it most likely it was oked by Subaru. Before working in a dealer setting I used to call the dealer the stealership but after meeting many people at the Subaru dealers my thought about dealerships slightly changed. Every dealership is different and also remember independently owned and not owned directly by the manufacturer so there are guidelines for warranty that need to be followed. One more thing lets think logically about this if your ac compressor was changed what does that have to do with your engine oil drain plug. One has nothing to do with the other. Most of the time when drain plugs are stripped it happens when you tighten it and most times you won't even notice it. I deal with customers all day complain about we changed there oil now there back seat recliner doesn't work. Sometimes people just need to stop and think logically about the situation. If you had a bad experience that's ok take it up directly with the service manager or the general manager but don't jump to conclusions over something so simple. And yes the parts departments at dealerships most of the time the person working there knows nothing about the parts themselves just what part number is applicable to what vin.


End rant.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Today, I planned to change my engine oil. However, I found the oil plug was damaged. It seems the plug has been so tightened that it was rounded. I just could not loosen it. I have changed the engine oil several times by myself without any problem of loosening the plug. I always tighten it with 32flb. Now I suspect a dealership damaged the oil drain plug on purpose. Several months ago, the air conditioner condenser of my car did not work and it was replaced at the dealership. The dealership first told me it was hit by a rock so that I should pay for it. I took a look at the condenser but could not find any dents. I took photos as evidence. Then, the dealership agreed to fix it with the factory warranty. Now I just suspect the dealership overtightened the oil plug on purpose to damage it so that I would have to ask them to change the oil for me.

I am wondering if anyone has such an experience. What should I do now? Complain to the dealership or Subaru USA? Or I just let it go and have the same dealership change the oil for me? Perhaps they would change me additional fees for the rounded oil plug.

The attached are the photos of the rounded oil plug. I am 100% sure it was not rounded by me. And the dealership is the only one besides me who touched the car.
I would file the flats at your next ,personally done, oil change, install the new plug mentioned above.

Give the dealer a truthful mention in google or Yelp reviews and find another dealer.

Do the rest of your oil changes, personally.

Might consider a Fumoto drAin valve or similar product.
Good Advice. post pictures to the dealers google review. simply say nothing other then dealer refused to accept responsibility.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Thank you all for the replies. I bought two oil drain plugs from the dealership today without accusing them about this issue since I am not 100% sure that they did it. I used an IRWIN BOLT-GRIP Bolt Extractor and a 24-inch breaker bar to loosen the plug. It was not difficult. I heard a clear "PA" sound when the plug was loosened. Of course, the plug was damaged. I would keep the damaged plug in case Subaru USA would ask for evidence. I think they should be able to check if the plug was mistakenly overtightened. If that is the case, then some worker at the dealership should have done it ON PURPOSE. It would be a sad discovery.

As to the drain plug, I tried to get the one with part number 807016210. However, I was told that this plug did not fit my car according to my car's VIN. So, I just bought two plugs with the part number 32195AA020 (14mm), which is the only plug recommended by a worker at the dealership according to his search. It's strange that a google search shows 807016210 works for my car (2017 Forester 2.5i Premium). Now I am not absolutely sure if the online information at subaruparts.com is correct. I provided the VIN at subaruparts.com.
There are part number references that are wrong on some websites. I.e. the new brake pads with updated shims.
I think that some sellers just want to clear out old inventory or they don’t update the information. Drain plugs are inexpensive, so it’s not a big gamble to buy and test fit.
 

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Today, I planned to change my engine oil. However, I found the oil plug was damaged. It seems the plug has been so tightened that it was rounded. I just could not loosen it. I have changed the engine oil several times by myself without any problem of loosening the plug. I always tighten it with 32flb. Now I suspect a dealership damaged the oil drain plug on purpose. Several months ago, the air conditioner condenser of my car did not work and it was replaced at the dealership. The dealership first told me it was hit by a rock so that I should pay for it. I took a look at the condenser but could not find any dents. I took photos as evidence. Then, the dealership agreed to fix it with the factory warranty. Now I just suspect the dealership overtightened the oil plug on purpose to damage it so that I would have to ask them to change the oil for me.

I am wondering if anyone has such an experience. What should I do now? Complain to the dealership or Subaru USA? Or I just let it go and have the same dealership change the oil for me? Perhaps they would change me additional fees for the rounded oil plug.

The attached are the photos of the rounded oil plug. I am 100% sure it was not rounded by me. And the dealership is the only one besides me who touched the car.
You're absolutely nuts if you think techs have time for petty bovine poop like this-seriously.
 
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