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2007 C280 2008 ML350
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I've been taking me 2008 ML350 to a local shop for an oil change for a few years now and with no problem. A few days ago i noticed an oil leak coming from under the truck, so being that i had an appointment with the dealer for an unrelated issue, i asked them to check the leak ... said that the drain plug was stripped and i needed to change the oil pan $$$$. does anyone know if this is true, or is there a fix ...?
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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If the threads in the pan are stripped or the plug was cross thread into the pan the replacement is the best option. I suppose a Helicoil could be used, but it is a time consuming procedure and the extra labor would make the pan replacement more practical.
Also seeing as keeping the oil in the engine is critical if the Helicoil fails then all that money was spent and you will be back for a new pan.

One thing to note, most MB dealers and German repair shops have migrated to top side oil removal via the dipstick tube. That means no wear and tear on the drain plug. It may be something worth looking into with a repair shop.

Also if the local shop is the only one that ever did oil changes for you I would contact them and see if they are willing to help. Ruining an oil pan is a fairly hard thing to do and is something they should take seriously. All the money you saved going there is now going to have to be spent at a dealer unless the local shop owns up to its mistake.
 

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2009 ML320 Bluetec, 2013 Tesla Model S 85
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875 Posts
I don't think the crankcase pan is anything trivial to remove on the W164. I briefly considered removing the felt liner/insulation on mine out of fear of soaking it in motor oil upon removal of the drain plug. IIRC cross members and steering linkage would have to come out. Bluetec. Decided a $100 oil extractor was cheaper.

As for time, effort, and reliability of a Helicoil(tm) or similar repair? Don't worry. In critical applications we often put a Helicoil in BRAND NEW because Helicoil threads are stronger than the surrounding material. Especially when using a stainless steel bolt in an aluminum plate. Any competent mechanic/machinist will take more time lifting your car, more time removing the access panel underneath, than it will take to fit a Helicoil.

Thread-Sert(tm) is the brand I usually use.

Am sure I'm committing an act of heresy to suggest this, and think it will take longer than the Helicoil, but consider use of JB Weld epoxy. Cut the insulation back a bit. Strip paint off the pan and possibly the bolt with wire brush or sandpaper. Clean all the oil residue off with carburetor cleaner, mineral spirits, or similar. Glue the bolt in. Not the threads but seal around the bolt head. And from now on use an oil extractor from the topside.
 
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