• Report: #208375

Complaint Review: Wal-mart Supercenter

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  • Submitted: Mon, August 28, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, January 15, 2008

  • Reported By:Beloit Wisconsin
Wal-mart Supercenter
2785 Milwaukee Rd Beloit, Wisconsin U.S.A.

Wal-martWal-mart Supercenter Walmart calls the blue stuff on my oil plug a SPECIAL anti- tamper whatever. ripoff Beloit Wisconsin

*UPDATE Employee: what are you talking about

*UPDATE Employee: Automotive Department Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: David

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

*Consumer Comment: My Experience

*Consumer Comment: I had a shop with a pit

*Consumer Suggestion: David, oil drain plugs are NOT a "wear" item.

*UPDATE Employee: LOL.... LOL.... LOL.... LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Consumer Comment: I'm still laughing

*UPDATE Employee: Typical customer loyalty issue.

*Consumer Comment: You do need that black "teflon" washer for a Toyota oil plug

*UPDATE Employee: Blue stuff is not a sealer

*UPDATE Employee: oil plugs....and the metal teflon gasket needed for toyotas.

*Consumer Comment: She did say it was the plug

*Consumer Comment: I'm sorry...

*Consumer Comment: To Jennifer.

*Consumer Comment: Actually I think it could go either way..

*Consumer Suggestion: Actually, Robert . .

*Consumer Comment: I have to go with Wally World on this

*Consumer Suggestion: Regarding particles in the engine...NOT..

*UPDATE Employee: Blue "sealer"

*Consumer Suggestion: Have another shop look at it.

*Consumer Suggestion: Get it checked.

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I took my Toyota into Walmart for an oil change. One day later, I noticed that the plug was leaking, so I took it back to find out why. They said the plug wasnt tight enough, so they claimed they tightened it. They stopped the leak, but they used a blue sealer of some sort. They said IT was a special formula they put on to ensure that they and only they had changed my oil.
Bull crap, they stripped the oil plug and didnt want to fix it, so they used a sealer to stop the oil leak.
They make billions of dollars, why cant they spend a few dollars to fix their mistakes?

If this is how they do business, I hope they get sued out of existance!

Sue
Beloit, Wisconsin
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/28/2006 09:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Wal-mart-Supercenter/Beloit-Wisconsin-53511/Wal-martWal-mart-Supercenter-Walmart-calls-the-blue-stuff-on-my-oil-plug-a-SPECIAL-anti-t-208375. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

what are you talking about

AUTHOR: Shawn - (U.S.A.)

the blue stuff is called a security seal and if it is not there that means that someone else tampered with the drain plug. it is not meant for stopping leaks.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Automotive Department Manager

AUTHOR: Bob Kirkpatrick - (U.S.A.)

The blue used on the oil drain plug is not, I repeat is not a sealer of any kind. It is a paint used industry wide not just at Wal-mart. It is called torq or tamper seal. A small amount is used and usually placed on the oil drain plug and the oil pan. If the seal is broken then it can be assumed that someone lossened or tightined the oil plug. Wal-mart uses blue, most quick lubes use yellow. Even you certified automobile dealer uses some color.

It is not only limited to oil changes. Toyota for example uses a red dye in their anti-freeze. This way if there is a problem they can determine if an additive or unauthorized anti-freeze was used.

Check out the underside of a brand new vehicle. You will see different colors of the same paint used to mark drain pans, transmission pans, and differentials.

Being uninformed and listening to shade tree mechanics can and does cause misunderstandings.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

David

AUTHOR: Genell - (U.S.A.)

I am a former assistant manager. I can tell by your post that you don't know jack about Wal-mart and how the employees are trained. As long as you are 18 years and older you can work in Tire Lube Express. Their training is a video. I have seen all kind of screw ups while working there. Sometimes they drain the oil and the customer leaves without any oil in their car. Well you can imagine the damage that is done. I have heard of incidents where the tire is not put on properly and it falls off. I can go on and on.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

AUTHOR: Nstevens - (U.S.A.)

Ok, first of all, let start off by saying that I hate the "Big Blue Harlot" known as Wal-Mart at least as much if not more than your average person. But, however, in this case I have to set this straight. Really this is more for your piece of mind more than a defense for Wally World. That blue substance is in fact a tamper evidence seal. it's about the consistency of toe nail polish as it comes out of the tube, so it would make for a really crappy sealant, much less a thread making substance to repair a stripped oil plug. I can tell you from experience as both a Technician, and as a salaried manager that more than likely what happened is they put the plug in hand tight after draining the engine so that the Technician under the hood could begin filling it with oil, and they forgot to tighten it with a wrench and torque it to the proper specs. However, when a car is brought back, they have to assume that someone has tampered with the plug so they put that blue tamper evident seal to cover themselves in case the vehicle comes back yet again with a loose plug. Believe me, when I was working there people would actually leave the parking lot, loosen their plugs (or sometimes completely remove them altogether) and run the car without oil so they could get a free new engine out of a $30 oil change. Another point I would like to make is any given tech working in the oil bay actually does oil changes on upwards of 75 to 100 cars just during their shift, depending on how busy that particular store is consistently. The probability of a small mistake like an oil plug being left a little loose becomes very real when you consider this, given the volume of cars and the rush they're in to make good oil change bay times. If an oil plug is found to be stripped out, they have a huge selection of oil plugs in the lower bay area to replace the plug with, and they will change it out to prevent damage to the threads of your oil pan. Most of the time they note an oil plug replacement on your service sheet. One last thing before I go. Right before I left Wal-Mart, they adopted a policy of torquing oil plugs to manufacturer specifications to prevent over or under tightening and stripping of oil pan threads. In fact that torque spec is actually noted on your oil change detail sheet. So honestly, even as a person who despises Wal-Mart, I seriously doubt they stripped the plug, given my 4 years experience with that particular department. I hope this information eases your mind that least your oil pan isn't stripped.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

AUTHOR: Nstevens - (U.S.A.)

Ok, first of all, let start off by saying that I hate the "Big Blue Harlot" known as Wal-Mart at least as much if not more than your average person. But, however, in this case I have to set this straight. Really this is more for your piece of mind more than a defense for Wally World. That blue substance is in fact a tamper evidence seal. it's about the consistency of toe nail polish as it comes out of the tube, so it would make for a really crappy sealant, much less a thread making substance to repair a stripped oil plug. I can tell you from experience as both a Technician, and as a salaried manager that more than likely what happened is they put the plug in hand tight after draining the engine so that the Technician under the hood could begin filling it with oil, and they forgot to tighten it with a wrench and torque it to the proper specs. However, when a car is brought back, they have to assume that someone has tampered with the plug so they put that blue tamper evident seal to cover themselves in case the vehicle comes back yet again with a loose plug. Believe me, when I was working there people would actually leave the parking lot, loosen their plugs (or sometimes completely remove them altogether) and run the car without oil so they could get a free new engine out of a $30 oil change. Another point I would like to make is any given tech working in the oil bay actually does oil changes on upwards of 75 to 100 cars just during their shift, depending on how busy that particular store is consistently. The probability of a small mistake like an oil plug being left a little loose becomes very real when you consider this, given the volume of cars and the rush they're in to make good oil change bay times. If an oil plug is found to be stripped out, they have a huge selection of oil plugs in the lower bay area to replace the plug with, and they will change it out to prevent damage to the threads of your oil pan. Most of the time they note an oil plug replacement on your service sheet. One last thing before I go. Right before I left Wal-Mart, they adopted a policy of torquing oil plugs to manufacturer specifications to prevent over or under tightening and stripping of oil pan threads. In fact that torque spec is actually noted on your oil change detail sheet. So honestly, even as a person who despises Wal-Mart, I seriously doubt they stripped the plug, given my 4 years experience with that particular department. I hope this information eases your mind that least your oil pan isn't stripped.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

AUTHOR: Nstevens - (U.S.A.)

Ok, first of all, let start off by saying that I hate the "Big Blue Harlot" known as Wal-Mart at least as much if not more than your average person. But, however, in this case I have to set this straight. Really this is more for your piece of mind more than a defense for Wally World. That blue substance is in fact a tamper evidence seal. it's about the consistency of toe nail polish as it comes out of the tube, so it would make for a really crappy sealant, much less a thread making substance to repair a stripped oil plug. I can tell you from experience as both a Technician, and as a salaried manager that more than likely what happened is they put the plug in hand tight after draining the engine so that the Technician under the hood could begin filling it with oil, and they forgot to tighten it with a wrench and torque it to the proper specs. However, when a car is brought back, they have to assume that someone has tampered with the plug so they put that blue tamper evident seal to cover themselves in case the vehicle comes back yet again with a loose plug. Believe me, when I was working there people would actually leave the parking lot, loosen their plugs (or sometimes completely remove them altogether) and run the car without oil so they could get a free new engine out of a $30 oil change. Another point I would like to make is any given tech working in the oil bay actually does oil changes on upwards of 75 to 100 cars just during their shift, depending on how busy that particular store is consistently. The probability of a small mistake like an oil plug being left a little loose becomes very real when you consider this, given the volume of cars and the rush they're in to make good oil change bay times. If an oil plug is found to be stripped out, they have a huge selection of oil plugs in the lower bay area to replace the plug with, and they will change it out to prevent damage to the threads of your oil pan. Most of the time they note an oil plug replacement on your service sheet. One last thing before I go. Right before I left Wal-Mart, they adopted a policy of torquing oil plugs to manufacturer specifications to prevent over or under tightening and stripping of oil pan threads. In fact that torque spec is actually noted on your oil change detail sheet. So honestly, even as a person who despises Wal-Mart, I seriously doubt they stripped the plug, given my 4 years experience with that particular department. I hope this information eases your mind that least your oil pan isn't stripped.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Former Tire and Lube Express Manager

AUTHOR: Nstevens - (U.S.A.)

Ok, first of all, let start off by saying that I hate the "Big Blue Harlot" known as Wal-Mart at least as much if not more than your average person. But, however, in this case I have to set this straight. Really this is more for your piece of mind more than a defense for Wally World. That blue substance is in fact a tamper evidence seal. it's about the consistency of toe nail polish as it comes out of the tube, so it would make for a really crappy sealant, much less a thread making substance to repair a stripped oil plug. I can tell you from experience as both a Technician, and as a salaried manager that more than likely what happened is they put the plug in hand tight after draining the engine so that the Technician under the hood could begin filling it with oil, and they forgot to tighten it with a wrench and torque it to the proper specs. However, when a car is brought back, they have to assume that someone has tampered with the plug so they put that blue tamper evident seal to cover themselves in case the vehicle comes back yet again with a loose plug. Believe me, when I was working there people would actually leave the parking lot, loosen their plugs (or sometimes completely remove them altogether) and run the car without oil so they could get a free new engine out of a $30 oil change. Another point I would like to make is any given tech working in the oil bay actually does oil changes on upwards of 75 to 100 cars just during their shift, depending on how busy that particular store is consistently. The probability of a small mistake like an oil plug being left a little loose becomes very real when you consider this, given the volume of cars and the rush they're in to make good oil change bay times. If an oil plug is found to be stripped out, they have a huge selection of oil plugs in the lower bay area to replace the plug with, and they will change it out to prevent damage to the threads of your oil pan. Most of the time they note an oil plug replacement on your service sheet. One last thing before I go. Right before I left Wal-Mart, they adopted a policy of torquing oil plugs to manufacturer specifications to prevent over or under tightening and stripping of oil pan threads. In fact that torque spec is actually noted on your oil change detail sheet. So honestly, even as a person who despises Wal-Mart, I seriously doubt they stripped the plug, given my 4 years experience with that particular department. I hope this information eases your mind that least your oil pan isn't stripped.
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#8 Consumer Comment

My Experience

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

I know this is kind of off the subject but it does demonstrate the kind of service you can expect at wal-mart. Been in the jewelry business for 24+ years. I install batteries in watches. Been doing it for 24+ years, sometimes up to 60 batteries per day. Wal-mart installs batteries in watches. Wal-mart sends me 2 or 3 customers per week, sometimes 2 or 3 customers per day to "fix" what they've screwed up.

One afternoon I had three customer they'd sent. The first, they'd put the battery in up side down. The second one, couldn't be set, they'd put the back on wrong. the third one wouldn't set cause they didn't reset it internally when they installed the cell. I "redid" all three watches, at no charge and sent the customers on their way. You have about a 50/50 chance they're gonna screw up your watch IF you take it there. I wonder what their percentage is on oil changes?
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#9 Consumer Comment

I had a shop with a pit

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

And yes, you can walk by and see what's going on in them. You can also hear the air ratchets spinning away. And that David(shadetree instructor) is what you flunkies use to install the drain plugs. That is also why you flunkies strip the threads.

I like how you admit to constant retraining in the simplest of services. Tell us all how difficult this task is, that you need to be retrained.

Remove drain plug and allow oil to drain.
Replace drain plug...do not strip threads.
Remove oil filter, and replace with new one after lubricating gasket.
Refill crankcase with proper grade of oil.

And you admit you need to be constantly retrained on that?

I wouldn't let you guys park my car, much less work on one.

BTW, you will never see any mention of the word ripoff in regards to any of my shops, and this site's my homepage on the computer available to the customers. What do you have on that?
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

David, oil drain plugs are NOT a "wear" item.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

David,

I have never seen an oil drain plug "wear out".

However, they do get damaged by getting crossthreaded and/or overtightened.

I have a 1974 F250 with approx 260,000 miles on it and still has the factory drain plug. No leaks.

I have a 1996 Saab 900 S with 178,000 miles on it and still has the factory drain plug. No leaks.

I maintain my Mom's 1991 Toyota Corolla that has the factory drain plug, no leaks.

I change the oil on all of the above vehicles much more frequently than required, and have never worn out a drain plug. A drain plug is not a wear item.

You have adequately demonstrated the lack of knowledge of a TLE "technician".

I wouldn't let a TLE employee wash my windows, much less change my oil!
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#11 UPDATE Employee

LOL.... LOL.... LOL.... LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

Flunkie, huh... I am sorry you must have a degree in 101 shade tree mechanic. You have walked by and seen them tighten plug's with air wrench, they are in a lower bay "the pit" how can you see in there. They make this job real easy, they give you a torque chart, they give you a torque wrench, they explain that you just have to turn wrench dial to desired position...come on man. I suppose you would understand that plugs do wear out, repettitve turns. These guys doing the oil change has had more training in oil changes than most mechanics. The local dealership does not offer the training that WAL-MART does.
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#12 Consumer Comment

I'm still laughing

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"The blue material they applied is a security seal so they may tell if the drain plug has been removed after they performed the service."

Yes, we understand that.

"Rarely ever does the service center strip a drain plug,..."

THAT is a hoot. Wally World strips them every day. I get customers dripping oil all the time. I just look at the windshield and see the TLE sticker. It explains it all.

"...they do the job more thorough than most oil change service shops, they have a torque chart that they all must go by, which means they use a torque wrench to tighten your plug."

Your flunkies don't even know what a torque wrench looks like, much less how to use one. I've walked by and watched then use air ratchets to install the plugs.

"They are not to cheap either, they do not pay for damage claims, they have a company CMI that handles all claims."

Yep. All claims are denied. Unless the customer has a video showing the way the Wally World guy abused your vehicle, the claim is denied due to lack of evidence.

"What generally happens is the customer lets 3-4 different shops service there vehicle, then they might stop by wal-mart and get a service, then all of a sudden there is a problem, wal-mart must be the one that did it, what needs to happen is called cutomer loyalty not 3 different shops working on your vehicle."

The damage didn't come from the other 3 shops. Remember, the drain plug started leaking after YOUR shop got a hold of it. If I let 4 people drive my car, and the first 3 don't damage it, but the 4th one does, then it's NOT the fault of the first 3 drivers. Get it?

Nice try there, Wally World. Try again.
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Typical customer loyalty issue.

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

The blue material they applied is a security seal so they may tell if the drain plug has been removed after they performed the service. Rarely ever does the service center strip a drain plug, they do the job more thorough than most oil change service shops, they have a torque chart that they all must go by, which means they use a torque wrench to tighten your plug.

They are not to cheap either, they do not pay for damage claims, they have a company CMI that handles all claims.

What generally happens is the customer lets 3-4 different shops service there vehicle, then they might stop by wal-mart and get a service, then all of a sudden there is a problem, wal-mart must be the one that did it, what needs to happen is called cutomer loyalty not 3 different shops working on your vehicle.
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#14 Consumer Comment

You do need that black "teflon" washer for a Toyota oil plug

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

I found this out in 1991 when I went to change the oil on our new Camry. So I went to an auto parts store. Heck, they were only 50 cents each and it cost me more than that to drive to the auto parts store, so I bought two washers! The washers were 'supposed' to be replaced every oil change, and the original washer was torn up when I removeed the plug. When I was ready to reinstall the plug with a new washer... what do I do with the spare washer? Gosh- I could loose it or forget where I had put it... so I put BOTH washers on the drain plug.

At the next oil change, when I removed the plug, one washer was stuck to the oil pan and the other washer was stuck to the drain plug. They slid past each other very nicely as the plug was turned, and they did not tear. That original pair has remained that way for 320,000 miles- about 44 oil changes. So I have saved... ummm... $21.50?
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#15 UPDATE Employee

Blue stuff is not a sealer

AUTHOR: Dustin - (U.S.A.)

The blue stuff you saw on your oil plug is not a kind of sealant at all. It is called Torque Seal. It is the same thing as puff paint used in arts and crafts. It is supposed to be applied in a strip across the oil plug to tell if someone has tampered with the plug since the oil was changed by Wal-mart. It won't seal anything. Everybody thinking it is a sealant gave me some laughs though. Thanks!!
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#16 UPDATE Employee

oil plugs....and the metal teflon gasket needed for toyotas.

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

For most toyota cars they need a metal teflon gasket. the gasket needs to be replaced every oil change if not it may leak. as for the permatex on the plug. how long does permatex take to dry or cure? I have had several customers return weeks or months after an oil change saying they just happened to be under their car/truck and noticed some blue stuff on their plug and or filter. and naturally these customers have been mechanics for more than 3/4ths of their lives and know in fact that the only blue substance on the planet is permatex or a sillicon gasket maker. and manny have told me that they had scraped the blue stuff off, With their finger or thumb nail, and I ask "did it come off easily? did it crack?" because I have used permatex and had used too much but decided to clean it up later and finish the job. about an hour later and i had to cut the spilled permatex off with a utility knife.


I am not sure what else to say. but to all those who have had problems with Wal-mart automotive I am sorry that I was not the one to perform the service, I do my job right, i do not take credit in the job I do, I take Pride in the job I do. I am not a mechanic nor do I claim to be. I am just a walmart tire and lube tech. You all can say what you want and remain in the blissfull ignorance of your minds, unless you are willing to know the or accept the truth.
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#17 Consumer Comment

She did say it was the plug

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

"...they stripped the oil plug...".

Pretty simple. An oversize plug would have worked fine, if the pan is steel. If the pan is aluminum, the pan would be stripped, and simply require a Helicoil be installed.

In reality, it may not have been stripped at all. The gasket on the plug may have simply fallen off. Without the gasket, all plugs leak.
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#18 Consumer Comment

I'm sorry...

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

I though she said it was the plug. Since we have replaced ones that leak and had been damaged before, I didn't question that. So my mistake!
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#19 Consumer Comment

To Jennifer.

AUTHOR: Marc - (U.S.A.)

They wouldn't "just replace the plug" because it's the pan that's stripped, not the plug. The car owner wants his worn out threaded oil pan replaced for free. Won't happen. Walmart will beat it in court.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Actually I think it could go either way..

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

It COULD be a sealer like the Permatex...but it COULD be an Anti-tamper seal.

I would think it is the anti-tamper seal for two reasons. If the plug was just stripped why wouldn't they just replace it? It makes ALOT more sense what William is saying because he works at Walmart, and because the sealer is used at many people.

Besides I agree that people will always blame it on whoever they want to. Many people can't remember where they took it last for service..you know the people who are too busy chasing down the best deal and don't want to spend money anyway, then later blame you for everything that happened to their crappy car.. and those are exactly the type of people who go to Walmart for service. It only makes sense that Walmart would want to protect themselves, even if they do hire inexperienced kids to work on cars. Obviously I don't like Walmart, but it doesn't mean they lied, in THIS case anyhow.

Her car probably leaked oil to begin with and she didn't notice until she got an oil change. People don't notice much about their vehicles until someone else touches it, then they notice every little problem and deny it was ever there before. Well it was! You have been driving around for 2 years with all these little problems and noises and you ignored them, didn't want to spend the money. And you probably even thought that the mechanic was trying to rip you off when he pointed them out. Whos fault is that?
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#21 Consumer Suggestion

Actually, Robert . .

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

I think what they used was PERMATEX's RTV Blue. I've been using the stuff for years and it's a great gasket maker.
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#22 Consumer Comment

I have to go with Wally World on this

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

About the blue sealer.

It's a thick paint that many shops use to keep people from tampering. I use white. Some use red.

Look at a remanufactured carburetor, or electrical part. See the paint filling one or two screws? That's the stuff. If it's gone, the warranty is void, because the shop knows someone else opened it.

Other than that, WalMart is horrible.
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#23 Consumer Suggestion

Regarding particles in the engine...NOT..

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

"M",

I have not seen an oil pan since the mid 80's that does not have a magnetic plug and/or a magnetic ring around the drain opening.

Metal particles from a stripped thread WILL NOT have the opportunity to do any damage to your engine.

The advice for a DOCUMENTED second opinion was good.

These WalMart oil change jerks are NOT mechanics. They do not have the common sense to screw in the plug by hand, they hit it with the air wrench!
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#24 UPDATE Employee

Blue "sealer"

AUTHOR: William - (U.S.A.)

Yes, First The Blue "sealer" is in fact an anti-tamper evident seal. if it was an actual sealer to seal a leak it would be applied to the interior of the pan and the threads of the plug. It is manufactured by steelman, the supplier the tools and supplies for the Tire and lube area.
I have been with the company for only Six (6) years and in my time I have come accross a few damaged pans and or worn plugs, often with out any tamper evident seal, with out the filter used by the company, and an oil change reminder sticker from one of the other "quick lube" places in town. and the retarded customer lies and says I only come here for service, and $@#$ and scream that walmart is the cause of the problem, when in fact the pan or plug damage was done by them self or a smaller servicestation,

And of course the customer wants it fixed for free and get a free oil change, because they screwed up and do not have the money to fix it and have any money left over for Cake.
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#25 Consumer Suggestion

Have another shop look at it.

AUTHOR: Matt - (U.S.A.)

We see at least 1 oil pan job a month from Walmart. Have the work double checked and document everything.

good luck

Matt
Wi,USA
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#26 Consumer Suggestion

Get it checked.

AUTHOR: M (FlyingScooter) - (U.S.A.)

If they stripped your plug, there may be metal particles from it in your oil pan. If so, those particles may go into your system and destroy your engine.
Document everything.

I have a friend who's a mechanic. He's rebuilt plenty of engines that were destroyed just this way. I've even helped with some of the rebuilds and it is amazing what damage small metalic objects can do to the piston chamber, rings and bearings.

The blue sealer is used for leaks like that. It is made for high temperatures.
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