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Metal particles in engine oil

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Old 03-17-2017, 08:39 PM   #21
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I think it looks worse than it really is because the shavings are sticking straight up. (Like a chia pet.) Some of them could have been not cleaned all the way off the plug during the last oil change or the oil filter cold have been bad, etc.

Before panicking, I'd do another oil change, at least.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:56 PM   #22
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I think it looks worse than it really is because the shavings are sticking straight up. (Like a chia pet.) Some of them could have been not cleaned all the way off the plug during the last oil change or the oil filter cold have been bad, etc.

Before panicking, I'd do another oil change, at least.
Yeah the magnetism of the plug is making them stick straight up like shards, but I couldn't even feel this stuff between my fingers. It's a very fine paste. The new oil is in. Motor sounds healthy. Oil pressure is good.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:20 PM   #23
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No need to go to a 50 grade unless you live near the equator and also beat on your car mercilessly at red line rpm all the time.

While 5w-30 is the recommended OEM grade oil, that also covers all of the US and then some. It's an average grade, or "anywhere" USA, driven in typical conditions. Not everyone has the same climate, environment, oil change intervals, driving habits, etc. For someone living in North Dakota and babying their car most of the time, the 5w-30 is just fine. Another person living in lower west Texas might just need that strong 30 grade or weaker 40 grade in the summer. M1 5w-30 is not a thin oil with an operating viscosity of 11.1 cSt. At it will generally stay in grade for 8K-10K miles unless you're pushing your oil temps beyond 250 or even 275 deg F. If you run the M1 0w-40 FS for 8K-10K miles you just might end up at 11.1 by the end of the run.

For this living in warmer climates and mild winters, there's almost no difference in the 0w or 5w oil. If I lived in south Texas or south Florida I might be tempted to run a 10w-30 or even 10w-40 to reduce the shear potential. In any case the differences are not huge and any quality SN oil 0/5/10w-30/40 grade oil will probably get it done for you....with slight adjustments for your climate. Fwiw, since the M1 0w-40 oil was reformulated in Jan 2016 (now called "FS"), it's "lost" or "dropped" the BWM LL-01 spec. The Castrol Edge 0w-40 still retains them all. Again, not a biggie, just a point of information.

And to those who think synthetics are expensive, you can routinely buy Pennz Plat, Mobil 1, QSUD, Valvoline Synpower on sale during the year and with rebates to net you out around $2.50-$3.00/qt. With the current M1 rebates of $12/5 qt running through April, your net price per qt via Walmart is no more than $2.60. The Pennzoil Plat has $2/qt rebates in play all this year. Net price of around $13/jug at Walmart. If you're not finding synthetic oils for $2.60-$3.00/qt during the year, you aren't looking very hard. In reality, the synthetics are cheaper than the same brand conventionals which usually don't have rebates. They're paying you to buy their synthetics.

Last edited by Firebrian; 03-17-2017 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:01 AM   #24
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No need to go to a 50 grade unless you live near the equator and also beat on your car mercilessly at red line rpm all the time.

While 5w-30 is the recommended OEM grade oil, that also covers all of the US and then some. It's an average grade, or "anywhere" USA, driven in typical conditions. Not everyone has the same climate, environment, oil change intervals, driving habits, etc. For someone living in North Dakota and babying their car most of the time, the 5w-30 is just fine. Another person living in lower west Texas might just need that strong 30 grade or weaker 40 grade in the summer. M1 5w-30 is not a thin oil with an operating viscosity of 11.1 cSt. At it will generally stay in grade for 8K-10K miles unless you're pushing your oil temps beyond 250 or even 275 deg F. If you run the M1 0w-40 FS for 8K-10K miles you just might end up at 11.1 by the end of the run.

For this living in warmer climates and mild winters, there's almost no difference in the 0w or 5w oil. If I lived in south Texas or south Florida I might be tempted to run a 10w-30 or even 10w-40 to reduce the shear potential. In any case the differences are not huge and any quality SN oil 0/5/10w-30/40 grade oil will probably get it done for you....with slight adjustments for your climate. Fwiw, since the M1 0w-40 oil was reformulated in Jan 2016 (now called "FS"), it's "lost" or "dropped" the BWM LL-01 spec. The Castrol Edge 0w-40 still retains them all. Again, not a biggie, just a point of information.

And to those who think synthetics are expensive, you can routinely buy Pennz Plat, Mobil 1, QSUD, Valvoline Synpower on sale during the year and with rebates to net you out around $2.50-$3.00/qt. With the current M1 rebates of $12/5 qt running through April, your net price per qt via Walmart is no more than $2.60. The Pennzoil Plat has $2/qt rebates in play all this year. Net price of around $13/jug at Walmart. If you're not finding synthetic oils for $2.60-$3.00/qt during the year, you aren't looking very hard. In reality, the synthetics are cheaper than the same brand conventionals which usually don't have rebates. They're paying you to buy their synthetics.
I picked Mobil One because I'm honestly not very enthusiastic about trying other brands. Not a fan of Pennzoil or Valvoline, although what do I know, it's probably all the same oil with different stickers on it. I picked 0w40 because I liked what I read about it, plus there's really no need to ever run 10w oil, but summer temps here will consistently be 100F and above so the 40 should help.

I bought my oil at Walmart and pretty sure I didn't see any rebates on this stuff. I sure wouldn't mind getting some money back
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:40 AM   #25
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My Jeep has 300k miles on it and all I ever use is regular Pennzoil. I personally do not like Mobil 1, I believe its way overrated and is hyped up to sell at a higher price. The Mobil 1 gear oil I've used in the past was the worst oil I ever used.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:56 PM   #26
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Shavings stuck to the magnet are not from bearings, Bearings are not magnetic. That's ALOT of material IMO most likely places that would come from is the cam-lifters-rockers-valve tips or timing chain-sprockets. I've owned many LS cars and never seen anything like that on my magnets.
Agreed. That is an awful lot of metal and I would never consider that amount to be normal.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #27
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My magnets never have any build up on them. I'm not just talking about one or two of my ls vehicles, I mean my 5 different fbodies and my current lq4 silverado work truck never had build up

I got away from Mobil 1 back in 08-09? When walmart started selling it. I noticed my oil pressure.started dropping at warm idle. I went to castro edge and never had a problem

Castro edge started becoming hard to find, now I run valve line 5w30 5 quart jug, plus 1 quart of high zinc valvoline vr1 20w50.

Oil brand does not make a difference, as long as you a regularly changing the oil and the filter the car will not have problems
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #28
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So, I hinted about this earlier...

What kind of oil filter was used, here?

Metal shavings are a normal thing and the oil filter is there to catch them. The oil drain plug magnet is a second line of defense, so... if one doesn't like the looks of the plug, (I still am not sure that it's a big deal at this point.) then it could indicate a problem or weak oil filter. ... or that shaving are raining down into the oil pan like a plague of locusts before the oil filter can pick them up. (I would be surprised if its the latter.)
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:29 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by wssix99 View Post
So, I hinted about this earlier...

What kind of oil filter was used, here?

Metal shavings are a normal thing and the oil filter is there to catch them. The oil drain plug magnet is a second line of defense, so... if one doesn't like the looks of the plug, (I still am not sure that it's a big deal at this point.) then it could indicate a problem or weak oil filter. ... or that shaving are raining down into the oil pan like a plague of locusts before the oil filter can pick them up. (I would be surprised if its the latter.)

If it is that common to have shavings like that in your oiling system we should be talking about gluing a big magnet on the flat spot of your oil filter to collect all that trash. Otherwise you're just waiting for that metal to settle to the bottom of the pan.

I mean it is common for bearings to "break in" , but that amount every oil change, you're probably flat spotting the camshaft
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:08 PM   #30
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Could be a bunch of things, keep your eye on it but like I said noway is that normal wear you are seeing.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:30 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by wssix99 View Post
So, I hinted about this earlier...

What kind of oil filter was used, here?

Metal shavings are a normal thing and the oil filter is there to catch them. The oil drain plug magnet is a second line of defense, so... if one doesn't like the looks of the plug, (I still am not sure that it's a big deal at this point.) then it could indicate a problem or weak oil filter. ... or that shaving are raining down into the oil pan like a plague of locusts before the oil filter can pick them up. (I would be surprised if its the latter.)
AC Delco oil filter. I'm going to cut it open and see what wondrous surprises await. As I said, the motor sounds no different from any other LS1 I've heard; about the same amount of piston slap and no valvetrain or bottom end noise. I think the PO didn't clean the magnet on the drain plug during the last oil change or before that. There wasn't any metallic sheen to the oil that came out either, so I am a bit stumped.

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Originally Posted by chrysler kid View Post
If it is that common to have shavings like that in your oiling system we should be talking about gluing a big magnet on the flat spot of your oil filter to collect all that trash. Otherwise you're just waiting for that metal to settle to the bottom of the pan.

I mean it is common for bearings to "break in" , but that amount every oil change, you're probably flat spotting the camshaft
So if that's the case, three questions then:
1. What would cause the camshaft to wear like that?
2. Wouldn't that also cause power loss as well as valvetrain noise as clearances open up?
3. Is it possible to visually inspect the camshaft through the lifter bores?
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:36 PM   #32
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AC Delco oil filter. I'm going to cut it open and see what wondrous surprises await.
I'm anxiously awaiting this because I just started running AC Delco filters. My plug also looks just like this. lol
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:26 PM   #33
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AC Delco oil filters are cheapest crap you can buy. ANY ECORE Design FILTER IS COMPLETE GARBAGE. I use Purolator but any non ecore is good as long as it has rolled threads. The AC uses a very crappy cut thread design that is incredibly crappy.

The oil filter is there to trap dirt, the magnet is in there to trap metal. I would say the magnet is doing its job. The oil filter has nothing to do with the metal on the magnet, as the engine is running shedding metal it falls and gets washed into the pan where its is attracted to the magnet. If its small and light enough it gets sucked up and trapped in the oil filter. Only way you are going to find the source of the metal is to tear down or wait till something fails.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #34
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I'm anxiously awaiting this because I just started running AC Delco filters. My plug also looks just like this. lol
Incredible!
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:11 AM   #35
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AC Delco oil filters are cheapest crap you can buy. ANY ECORE Design FILTER IS COMPLETE GARBAGE.
I accept this as truth, but don't think its a problem if one knows it, the filter doesn't actually fail, the filter effectively filters, and one changes it regularly.

I am most concerned about it effectively filtering. Having shavings circulating in the engine would be a bad thing...


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AC uses a very crappy cut thread design that is incredibly crappy.
This isn't a big deal for a daily driver. It's just not a performance feature.


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Only way you are going to find the source of the metal is to tear down or wait till something fails.
I think this is a bit extreme. Cutting open the oil filter may show something or clue as to why these aren't being caught by the filter. (The magnet isn't powerful enough to pull every metal particle out of the oil once it hits the pan. That stuff circulates...)
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:42 PM   #36
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If the ECORE fails the engine will most likely suffer terminal damage. Don't use ANY ECORE design filters. ECORE has a crappy plastic cage inside to support the filter media. Good filters use a metal perorated can to support the filter.

Cutting open the filter is going to tell you nothing except look maw there metal in dare lol
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:09 PM   #37
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I think this is a bit extreme. Cutting open the oil filter may show something or clue as to why these aren't being caught by the filter. (The magnet isn't powerful enough to pull every metal particle out of the oil once it hits the pan. That stuff circulates...)
Yes that magnet on the drain plug is not a safety device, it is merely an indicator. No way does it have the magnetic pull to draw ferrous particles through the 5 or so quarts of engine oil sitting in the sump. I imagine a much larger and stronger magnet might work better and that too in a place like the oil filter where all the oil has to pass. But as I said earlier, the oil that came out of the motor was not contaminated with any metallic sheen. I had a good look at it in the drain pan in the sun. There was nothing alarming about it.

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If the ECORE fails the engine will most likely suffer terminal damage. Don't use ANY ECORE design filters. ECORE has a crappy plastic cage inside to support the filter media. Good filters use a metal perorated can to support the filter.

Cutting open the filter is going to tell you nothing except look maw there metal in dare lol
Well yes maw meda in dare LOL but I'm looking for bearing material since the magnet wouldn't catch it. There was none in the engine oil that I could see. Thanks for the advice about the crappy design though. What's your take on the Mobil one filter?
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:16 AM   #38
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Even the cheapest Purolator filter will be very good, I get the Proline from Pepboys for less that 2 dollars. Mobil 1 should be fine just be sure it doesn't use a ECORE. Look inside the big hole, if you see a black plastic cage its a Ecore. Also ALWAYS buy filters that use a rolled thread NOT cut threads. Cutting threads leaves metal shavings etc behind. 1st plave those chips-shaving go is into your oil gallery. LOOK FOR ROLLED THREADS!
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:32 AM   #39
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Even the cheapest Purolator filter will be very good, I get the Proline from Pepboys for less that 2 dollars. Mobil 1 should be fine just be sure it doesn't use a ECORE. Look inside the big hole, if you see a black plastic cage its a Ecore. Also ALWAYS buy filters that use a rolled thread NOT cut threads. Cutting threads leaves metal shavings etc behind. 1st plave those chips-shaving go is into your oil gallery. LOOK FOR ROLLED THREADS!
Makes sense. Good advice.
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:32 AM   #40
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i just changed my oil today and my magnet looked the same as it always has, like the OP's.
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