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Metal Shavings in my Oil

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Sep 2010, 09:26 am
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Default Metal Shavings in my Oil

Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and this looks like a great resource!

Some background - I live in NC and have a 2001 PT cruiser with 130,000 miles on it. About 15k miles back the timing belt broke on me and left me stranded on the interstate. I took it to some local guys, the first of which jerry rigged it and stole my money and the second of which got things working properly. That was earlier this year. Since then the only thing thats been done is the radiator had to be replaced because it kept overheating at the start of summer.

Around May of this year I started changing my own oil to save some money. From the first time I changed my oil I noticed tiny metal sparkling flecks in the bottom of my catchpan when I would pour it out for disposal. Usually there are a few larger "shavings" of metal but mostly just flecks. Naturally, this distresses me as I'm pretty sure this isn't normal and I have no idea how long it's been going on. Before I take it back to a mechanic, does anyone have any idea what this could be?
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 09:30 am
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

Welcome to the forums.
Are you using much oil between changes?
With 130,000 miles, wear is to be expected.
If engine runs okay, I'd ignore it, because a fix would be expensive.
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 09:54 am
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

I put about 4.5 quarts in and get not quite 4 quarts out.
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 10:05 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

It should take 5 quarts with the filter - you are changing the filter, right?
Filter holds 1/2 quart.
How many miles between changes?
1/2 quart for several thousand miles at 130,000 miles is not bad at all.
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

I do change the filter every time. I change every 4,000 miles. When I buy 5 qt of oil i never use quite the whole thing. I always assumed some was still hold up in the engine somewhere. When I drain the pan I take out just under 4 qts. There are usually a few metal shavings in the bottom of the catch pan a couple centimeters in length and a bunch of sparkling tiny flecks.
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 01:50 pm
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by link5001 View Post
I do change the filter every time. I change every 4,000 miles. When I buy 5 qt of oil i never use quite the whole thing. I always assumed some was still hold up in the engine somewhere. When I drain the pan I take out just under 4 qts. There are usually a few metal shavings in the bottom of the catch pan a couple centimeters in length and a bunch of sparkling tiny flecks.
do you use synthetic oil? and are you using the dip stick at all or between every oil change?
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Old 28 Sep 2010, 03:14 pm
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

with 130000 id for sure be using synthetic oil and id kick up the changes to like 3000 miles there are some who have went to 150000 but that is gettign up there
Oh and I dont thinkg there is much if any oil left if you do a oil change and change thefilter is any at all I real sure it is not 1/2 a quart
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Old 29 Sep 2010, 03:18 am
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

You probably won't wind up using the whole 5 quarts as there's still oil in the pan itself after draining from the plug and pulling the filter.

Synthetic oil definitely doesn't need to be changed as often as 3,000 miles, but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything to do so. Small particles of metal shavings are probably not an issue.

And half a quart every 4k miles isn't bad. Usually burning oil is a sign of worn piston rings or valve guide seals, but with 130k on your clock, it's probably not an issue. What weight oil are you running? You may want to consider stepping up a grade in weight, just to see if that solves the issue.
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Old 29 Sep 2010, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

Right now I'm using 5w-30. What are the benefits of using synthetic oil, what type should I use, and is it true that you can never go back once you start using it?
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Old 29 Sep 2010, 01:56 pm
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Default Re: Metal Shavings in my Oil

Benefits are simply that synthetic oil was designed for use in high performance applications. It has better lubricating properties and acts better under extreme conditions (cold temps, hot temps, etc.). That's a very, very basic description, though.

Most of us stick with Mobil 1. And there are a lot of myths surrounding synthetic oil, but the truth is that you can switch to synthetic any time, and you can switch back and forth at any time you wish.

One of the best oil FAQ's I've seen:

Valvoline.com > FAQs > Motor Oil > Full-Synthetic Motor Oil
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