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The last service on the automatic transmission was done years ago by a shop that obviously crossed threaded or over-torqued the bolt. I did a drain and fill and the bolt was difficult to remove and replace - it never stopped turning upon replacing it. I managed to secure it enough to where it appears not to leak, but it will need to be replaced at the next service interval. My question is whether the drain bolt is made to strip out before the pan threads are damaged? I don't know if just replacing the bolt will be sufficient; if the pan threads are damaged, it will need to be helicoiled or replaced by a used unit. I have no way to determine the damage until I service it again, but would like to be prepared. Is the bolt softer metal than the pan?
 

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The last service on the automatic transmission was done years ago by a shop that obviously crossed threaded or over-torqued the bolt. I did a drain and fill and the bolt was difficult to remove and replace - it never stopped turning upon replacing it. I managed to secure it enough to where it appears not to leak, but it will need to be replaced at the next service interval. My question is whether the drain bolt is made to strip out before the pan threads are damaged? I don't know if just replacing the bolt will be sufficient; if the pan threads are damaged, it will need to be helicoiled or replaced by a used unit. I have no way to determine the damage until I service it again, but would like to be prepared. Is the bolt softer metal than the pan?
Neither is made to fail 1st...it really just depends on what was done incorrectly. The pan and bolt are both steel so both probably have some amount of damage. I would just plan to drop the pan and replace rather than trying to band aid it.
 

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agreed, i would be pretty hesitant to helicoil anything that is fluid related unless i could access the inside to ensure it was free of metal. If it were me, i would have a new drain bolt and replacement pan/sealant ready for the next time you do the service. drain the fluid, see if the new bolt will tighten. if not, swap the pan and refill the fluid.
 
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