How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask brownjeff Your Own Question

brownjeff
brownjeff, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 13885
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician, 17 years experience, Dealership Certified, Service Manager for 15 years
Type Your BMW Question Here...
brownjeff is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the best method to fix a leaking oil drain plug I

Customer Question

What is the best method to fix a leaking oil drain plug?

I have a 2002 540i with a leaking oil drain plug. The dealer wanted to replace the pan but I requested they try a helicoil. They did with reservations that it might leak. It is my experience that helicoils are used for all types of critical joints so I went ahead.

Well unfortunately they were right, it leaks. I got under the care with a beam torque wrench and found the torque was 100 in-lbs. I tightened it to 150 in-lbs and it still leaked. I tried to tighten it more but the torque would not increase so I assumed that any more would strip the helicoil. Not surprisingly it now appears to be leaking worse.

What are my options?

Thank You
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.

Yes. You have a couple more options. They make a self tapping over size drain plug just for this problem. The plug is bigger than the original and actually makes its own threads as it is installed. They also make a kit which is designed similar to the self tapping plug that once installed it never comes out it has a quick connect fitting on it that attaches to the plug to drain it so it doesn't have to be removed again. These are both after market options and would need to go to a parts store to obtain them.

 

If you still need help just reply, if not click ACCEPT when we are done.

 

Thanks,

 

JB

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am aware of those options. My concern is that there is already a helicoil in place. The hole has been tapped oversize already and the helicoil is made of hardened steel. Likely just as hard as the threads in a self tapping plug. How do I deal with the helicoil insert?

How do I determine what size plug I need now that it has been tapped for the helicoil?

Thanks,
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.

If the helicoil can't be removed I suggest an expandable plug. It is made of rubber with a bolt that goes through the center of it. As you tighten the bolt the plug expands and seals the hole. As far as the size It depends on how big they made it when doing the helicoil. It will either be the size of the original plug or one size bigger.

 

If you still need help just reply, if not click ACCEPT when we are done.

 

Thanks,

 

JB

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
JB,

I was aware of the rubber plug from the forums.

What I was hoping to find is someone who has fixed a leaking helicoil repair. Do you have any personal experience with helicoils? The existing plug is M12 x 1.5, do you know what size the helicoil tap would be?
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I have put may helicoils in. If installed correctly they do not leak. They either made the hole too big and the plug when installed will not tighten up or they did not loc tight the coil to the pan. They could have it in crooked also causing the gasket to not fit properly. If they did loc tight the coil there will be no removing it with out damage to the pan so at this point the best option is going to be an expandable plug.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So there is no way to remove the helicoil and start over? Or remove it and try an oversized plug?
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.
The only way to get it out now would be with a chisel as drilling wont work (even this is a difficult task). That is why I suggested an expandable plug as you can leave the coil in and use this plug. It is worth a try to remove it as you don't have anything to loose.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
JB,

Since, if you haven't figured it out by now, I am an engineer. We are not into primative solutions like the rubber plug. Even if it works it's just not right.

It looks like I will have to remove the oil pan and do surgery or replace it. If that's the case I am told that the fasteners on the oil pump have a tendency to come loose. Can I get to them by just removing the lower oil pan or do I have to remove the upper pan as well? This is a 2002 540i auto 4.4 V-8.

This is my last question and I will leave you in piece.
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.

You just need to remove the lower. You probably know the procedure, but if not I will attach some information to help.

 

Notes

Unscrew and remove splash guard.
Drain engine oil.



Unfasten plug connection on oil level switch.



Unfasten lower oil pan section.



Installation:
Clean sealing surfaces.
Install stud screws (1 and 2) at the locating points in the oil pan.

Note: The stud screws (1 and 2) secure the gasket and oil pan during installation and prevent damage to the sealing lip.



Installation:
Mount new gasket and lower oil pan section over the stud screws (1 and 2).
Install and tighten down screws. Remove stud screws (1 and 2), insert remaining bolts and tighten.

brownjeff, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 13885
Experience: ASE Certified Technician, 17 years experience, Dealership Certified, Service Manager for 15 years
brownjeff and 3 other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Jeff,

Thanks. I have the Bentley manual but your sketches are better.

Now all I need to do is get the locktite for the oil pump bolts and thread sealer for the oil pan bolts into the block.

And some patience...

Will
Expert:  brownjeff replied 4 years ago.

Good Luck,

 

JB

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Last | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Roger's Avatar

    Roger

    BMW Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    2906
    10 yrs. experience as BMW Master Technician, shop foreman and dealer.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Guest/2008-02-15_191551_avatar.jpg Roger's Avatar

    Roger

    BMW Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    2906
    10 yrs. experience as BMW Master Technician, shop foreman and dealer.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EU/eurotec/2012-6-11_13153_mpjaphoto.64x64.JPG Marty's Avatar

    Marty

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    406
    ASE & Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 30 years experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DA/dansciol/2012-7-7_16177_danpic.64x64.jpeg bimmaster's Avatar

    bimmaster

    BMW Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1817
    3 years dealer experience, master bmw tech
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/bmwmaster/2009-05-09_062111_avitar.jpg Sam's Avatar

    Sam

    BMW Master technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1043
    BMW S.T.E.P. graduate, 10 years BMW dealership experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/hondatrx450/2010-01-18_231606_stuff_092.JPG mike's Avatar

    mike

    BMW Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    694
    bmw master tech ase certified
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CA/caprio23/2011-12-13_155550_20111213105344.64x64.jpg Anthony's Avatar

    Anthony

    BMW Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    628
    ASE Master Automobile Technician with over 20 years exp. in this field.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/bmwbum01/2009-12-28_205712_germany2000.jpg Thebmwbum's Avatar

    Thebmwbum

    BMW Foreman

    Satisfied Customers:

    533
    31 years BMW Experience