Oil drain plug falling out due to engine vibration

Thad Instructor Oregon Posted   Latest  
Updated
Drivetrain
2019 Kia Soul + 2.0L (5) 6-spd (A6MF1-2) — KNDJP3A59K7017935
Loss Of Engine Oil
Engine Failure

Greetings. I have kind of a silly question. Has anyone ever heard of an engine oil drain plug falling out because of engine vibration? The reason I ask is because an acquaintance of mine that had their vehicle serviced, lost all of their engine oil because the drain plug fell out. A person from the servicing company inspected it and said that because of a TSB for this vehicle about possible engine knocking, the engine had enough vibration to cause the drain plug to fall out. That scenario does not seem to be very plausible to me. The torque spec for the drain plug is approximately 30 foot pounds. That's a lot of torque to be overcoming due to vibration. I can honestly say that I have never heard of a properly torqued drain plug falling out, and not that I know everything, I have worked in the auto repair industry for a very long time. Just asking for other objective input. Thank you for your time. 

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Wayd Owner/Technician
Montana
Wayd
 

No. Never heard of properly torqued wheels coming off either.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Absolutely right Wayd. Properly installed wheels on clean and conditioned mounting flanges and studs, simply do not come loose. Poor prep and installation techniques are the reason.

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Matthew Owner/Technician
Oregon
Matthew
 

I cannot imagine in any circumstances imagine how an engine vibration could cause enough reverse torque to loosen the bolt and then unscrew it. I grew up on a farm and if it was tight no amount of ratting or jangling was going to loosen it. If you have pressure being applied to it unevenly over time possibly, but not just on its own.

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Bill Owner/Technician
Arizona
Bill
 

I want to call BS on this one and I would love to read the TSB. I think somebody's chain is being yanked…. Beevo

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z

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Roy Service Manager
Manitoba
Roy
   

Sounds like BS to try avoid responsibility. I would ask which TSB. I would bet it doesn't exist. How long between the oil change and the plug falling out ? Only time I have seen a plug fall out or leak, is when it was stripped and barely holding on, the washer was missing, or it was not tightened. All would be caught by a competent tech. Lots of old engine run rough and I have never seen…

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Stuart Mobile Technician
Illinois
Stuart
 

I would ask to see the TSB because I could not find one and I do a lot of Kia and Hyundai and have all their tsb and recalls avaliable. Sounds like someone is shirking their responsibility here.

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z

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Victor Technician
California
Victor
   

many moons ago i was insurance damage appraiser and have seen heavily damaged vehicles of all types. Full engine removal by way of impact, cars cut in half (majority of these wrecks were fatal losses), and have never once seen a drain plug fall out. We had a carrier that was particular about fluid samples and lube stickers. Why… great question! People sometimes get into wrecks and continue…

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Jamie Owner/Technician
Ontario
Jamie
 

Sounds like the servicing shop is dodging their responsibility. I'v only been a tech for 43 years and have never seen an oil plug fall out..ever. if they fell out due to vibration Harley Davidson would have them coming out all the time.

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David
 

Fantasy time I think. Drain plugs do NOT fall out due to vibration, they fall out due to improper installation. The alleged TSB would be great reading if it could be found, must have been written by Mr. Nobody with invisible text!

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z

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Wayne Owner/Technician
Ontario
Wayne
 

I am calling hard NO on that one unless I saw the TSB. The TSB might say “improperly torqued drainplug may come out” but is sure sounds to me like it wasn't installed correctly in the first place. If there was a TSB out there for this happening on a torqued drain plug I am sure we would all know about it right off the top of our heads.

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z

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Eric Manager
Arizona
Eric
 

They had some timing issues causing knocking and engine damage but not drain plugs falling out. This service job was not done proper. Looks like time to go up the ladder and get it taken care of.

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody
   

having rode motorcross most of my life i can say vibrations from a 2 stroke can cause bolts to come loose over time(a long time at that), we ended up using loctite alot. i'd agree with everyone this is BS on a modern vehicle. sounds like someone is trying to cover their butt. the only thing that could make it even remotely credible is if the oil started leaking at the end of a very long oil…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hello Thad, Someone is blowing smoke and trying to deny responsibility is what this sounds like. That is a creative one. Of course, they cannot produce any such TSB, because it does not exist (Anywhere that I have searched.) The dealer would be the source to confirm such information. I would refer them to the dealer and possibly start a case with the Attorney General office consumer…

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z. The bulletin does not mention the “drain plug falling out,” I believe they were just making that part up.

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Jesse Owner/Technician
Georgia
Jesse
 

Torqued to spec, or cross threaded all to hell, tight is tight! LOL

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Lonny Diagnostician
Florida
Lonny
 

Sounds like your acquaintance needs to lawyer up, These are the shady practices that are held against repair facilities.

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Jon Owner/Technician
California
Jon
 

No.

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Paul Owner
Minnesota
Paul
 

I have seen a handfull of finger tight drain plugs over the years that have not fallen out.

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Manuel Diagnostician
New Jersey
Manuel
 

yes it is possible. I have had this happen to my garden tractor for engine mount bolts even after loctite red let me down. The tsb They speak of is most likely for knock not drain plug falling out from vibration.

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Mike Technician
Illinois
Mike
 

My understanding is there’s a knock sensor recall​.​If not done the engine pings so bad the vibrations loosen the drain plug!

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hello Mike, Please provide the information if you can find it for this vehicle. There were other models that had knock sensor issues like the Sedona, but there is no mention of a drain plug issue. That TSB was to correct a problem with defective sensors.

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David
 

Glenn, I would love to see such a TSB from any OE with this kind of claim. This is incredibly difficult for me to believe. Why would ONLY the drain plug come loose when there are so many other fasteners on the power train? Why wouldn't the spark plugs come loose or the oil filter or the alternator and starter, or A/C compressor etc.? I could accept the plug coming loose from vibration if it…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi David, Seems like this world we live in has become more irrational and illogical than ever before. Nobody takes responsibility anymore, what is worse is the people who know better fail to hold them accountable. Here is one I learned in the military years ago that fits situations like this: Two stories about: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody (smart-jokes​.​org)

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

The TSB number is P12107Y/Z. It does not mention “drain plug loss.” They added that part.

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Mike Technician
Illinois
Mike
 

This is info I heard from other techs,the drain plug is not mentioned “just a side effect “ but if the owner didn’t have the recall done they’re SOL which is probably why the dealers don’t say anything

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Andrew Technician
Utah
Andrew
 

It is more likely that Hyundai has replaced engines when the drain plug has been left loose than engine vibrations rattling a properly torqued drain plug out.

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Bill Instructor
Texas
Bill
 

Any time i have ever seen an oil out from loose drain plug there was a nice trail of oil blown under the vehicle from the drain hole toward the rear. I have not seen a torques drain plug fall out in 40 plus years. I have seen many scams where engine seized for other reasons and the plug was removed later and story was crafted for other reasons.

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Kyle Mechanic
Illinois
Kyle
 

If a 12 valve Cummins doesn't rattle the drain plug out I reckon nothing can.

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Barry Mechanic
Virginia
Barry
 

I agree with Kyle I have worked on heavy equipment for a good part of my career and have never seen a drain plug loose on one of those really sounds like someone is blowing smoke up someone's but to cover their own ass

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Timothy Owner/Technician
Wisconsin
Timothy
 

I believe there was a bulletin for knock ‘sensor’ codes, that was cured by a replacement knock sensor and a flash, as the sensors were not picking up as much noise, or were reporting too much noise…(I truly cannot recall the bulletin, but I have personally seen it). Turns out, that some were not reporting and some were over-reporting. If the sensor does not report knock the engine could be…

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Bill Owner/Technician
Idaho
Bill
 

I can not see this happening on a properly torqued drain plug. I have never seen it in my 40 plus years of doing this.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Ha, Ha, Ha!!! If anyone believes that a properly torqued fastener can give up it's clamp load, then I have a nice road bridge for sale, or long-term lease to the right applicant! VBG. In 54 years in the trade, it's probably about the stupidest notion that I've ever heard of, so yes, I agree with everyone and yourself. It's amazing that there's always some mythical never yet published bulletin…

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Sean Technician
Arizona
Sean
 

Hyundai/Kia is having issues with excessive rod bearing clearance. The TSB started as a knock sensor and a flash, but when most of the vehicles returned with the same code they developed a tool to measure rod bearing clearance through the spark plug tube. It measures the piston TDC and BDC then applies air pressure in the cylinder and remeasures, then applies vacuum in the cylinder and measures…

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad Update
 

Good Afternoon, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to reply to my question. I find it hard to believe that anyone would think that a properly torqued fastener, let alone a drain plug with good threads, could simply fall off/out. Many mentioned the TSB in question. The TSB number is P12107Y/Z. I have attached a file of the first page. The entire article is 16 pages long. It does not…

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David
 

Thad, I appreciate your update here. It certainly supports a most likely case of the story you were told is not quite accurate or in context of the whole story. When we use critical thought processes, AKA scientific method and logic, we are usually able to come up with the plausible story versus the unlikely story. If someone directs me to a TSB with an actual reference number I will look at…

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Thad Instructor
Oregon
Thad
 

While I have not heard of the final outcome of this situation, I am going to consider it closed. I want to thank everyone again for their input. It is greatly appreciated.

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