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Discussion Starter #1
Last year I dropped the trans pan, cleaned and replaced the filter and gasket, and added new trany fluid. Everything went well. . . With 136,000 miles, I decided to do similar work to the engine oil pan. This necessitated removing part of the exhaust system, but I eventually connected to all the oil pan bolts, and the actual removal of the pan was without further issue.

I liked seeing that what little engine oil remained in the pan had not turned to sludge, and felt justified over having used synthetic oil - in place of regular engine oil. Further, there were a couple of spots (the size of nickel coins) where the paint had hardened and cracked (I imagine from heat) on the inside of the oil pan. Other than that, the pan cleaned up nicely, although I had to use a wire brush fitting on my drill to remove parts of the 15-year-old gasket that had hardened over time. This took more time than expected.

The oil pan was reinstalled - along with the original section of the exhaust system. Everything appeared to have gone well until it came time to replace the engine oil drain plug. Upon tightening the engine oil plug, I ended up stripping the screw threads in the oil pan drain hole. I don't remember seeing anything about this issue in the Highlander Forum, and apologize if I missed someone's entry.

Upon reflection, I think my use of one local mechanic or another, to change engine oil, may have resulted in the over-tightening of the engine oil pan bolt. I ordered another oil pan today, "O" ring and bolt, and will attempt to replace the oil pan next week. I am crossing my fingers that nothing else goes south. . .:crying:
 

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Go to the "help" rack at your local auto parts store. They will have a repair kit, it's basically a hollow plug with an o ring and self tapping threads that permanently installs into the damaged hole. Then there's a smaller plug that fits into the repair plug.
This will save you from removing that oil pan again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Go to the "help" rack at your local auto parts store. They will have a repair kit, it's basically a hollow plug with an o ring and self tapping threads that permanently installs into the damaged hole. Then there's a smaller plug that fits into the repair plug.
This will save you from removing that oil pan again.
Many thanks, MGeorge, for your reply and useful suggestion regarding the problem with the engine oil pan!
 

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ROBinGa
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20 Posts
I had same issue of stripped out threads on oil pan. I bought whole new pan and installed it. My pan came with a gasket which factory one didn’t have. That was a mistake to install that gasket which acted like wick and let tons of oil seep out. I reinstalled the new pan this time only using Permatex The Right Stuff to make a thin seal and this time it worked perfectly.
 

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2003 Highlander
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535 Posts
2003 HL V6 AWD base, 332k miles.
I had three go-rounds with my oil change place buggering the pan threads or the plug threads.
And my oil change place is the local TOYOTA dealer!
After replacing one pan and having another damaged, I went with the Eco-Plug magnetic drain plug. I started a thread here on TN of my experience with the ECO-Plug. I am happy to report it has been in use since February 2018 with no issues. (Aside from having to educate the mechanics at Toyota how it is to be removed and re-inserted) Haya....
https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/83-highlander-1st-generation-2001-2007/1582618-eco-plug-trial-why-didn-t-i-think.html
 

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