Dear Doctor: I have a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta wagon and was told the oil drain plug threads on the pan are stripped. Should I have an oversize plug inserted, or do I need to replace the pan? I think the pan is aluminum, but heard there are some “hybrid” pans made of steel with aluminum. William
Dear William: I see a lot of worn and stripped threads on both aluminum and steel oil pans. The majority of stripped oil pan threads are from the drain plug being over-tightened. As for installing an oversized drain plug, it depends on the damage to the pan. You need to have the technician look at the pan for his opinion. Replacing the pan is simple and inexpensive.