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Oil change reveals tiny metal flakes...

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  • Split_S
    replied
    I totally forgot that Iíd added Seafoam to the crank on my last fill up! Not that it caused any metallic bits to appear but it might have freed up any thing that was already there.

    Im feeling pretty confident things are not what I feared - when the damn rain clears out I will run her for a full tank and re-drain and check again.

    Thanks for the input guys!

    Leave a comment:


  • stevesingo
    replied
    Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
    Very VERY tiny pieces of metal in the oil....more like sparkles than flakes....are very common. It is like when you pull a magnetic drain plug on a tranny or a diff....usually it will have a coating of metal dust. Same if you have a magnetic oil pan plug.... The fact is, in the process of running, metal things like engines and transmissions are always in the process of wearing slightly, and the fine dust is the by-product. Not a cause for alarm.

    Flakes of metal are a completely different thing....and are pretty solid evidence that something is about to fail in a major way (or already has). Most typical in engines is copper flakes from failing bearings. Pieces of metal suspended in oil are kind of difficult to identify, because the amber tint of the oil tends to make them all look like copper.

    To ease your mind, an analysis of your oil certainly cannot hurt anything.
    /\/\/\

    This.

    Engines wear and the material which wears away doesn't just disappear. The first oil change after my rebuild, the magnetic sump plug looked like a Christmas tree.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave @nz
    replied
    Looks all good to me, I think some of those particles in the filter element will be carbon and possibly dislodged gasket material.
    I would refill with Diesel oil and take it for a short drive and drop it out in to a clean container for close examination. The diesel oil with the higher detergent will flush any contaminants out when you pull the drain plug and if there is anything going on it should show in the drain container.
    Dave

    Leave a comment:


  • basketcase
    replied
    I'm a BMW tech and the amount of metal we see in oil filter caps is scary. Personally if there are no other symptoms, I would think it's ok. I would have an oil pressure gauge fitted (should anyway as these motors are expensive) and monitor pressure, drive for a few 100kms (so long as there is no knocking noises) and then do another oil change and check the oil and filter again.

    Leave a comment:


  • Split_S
    replied
    An oil analysis would be great if I trusted that my oil wasnít contaminated by my drain pan. Now my engine is full of fresh oil. Perhaps I should redrain it and have a look again and take the oil pan off and have a look see there. Ironhead youíre giving me hope. It was definitely tiny metal dust mostly but also some tiny flakes. Still, I have to be exceedingly cautious.

    Im in Montreal and there is no one local that I know of whom Iíd trust for a rebuild. Getting it done in the US adds near 30% to the cost thanks to the exchange rate. No thanks. Besides the fact I havenít begun to set $ aside for it.

    She might be sitting for quite a while... :-(

    Leave a comment:


  • bmwdayz
    replied
    Originally posted by Split_S View Post
    Just took apart the oil filter and guess what? Absolutely no metal flakes! Nothing.

    I think I know what happened.

    A month ago I drained the transmission oil out of my parents e46 - as it had a leak and I thought it might be the pan gasket. Turns out the transmission (automatic) had grenaded itself - pump was actually seized and required a complete rebuild. I had used the same drain pan. My dad had cleaned it up and put it in a garbage bag and I pulled it out without looking it over before draining the M3ís oil - thatís more than likely where the metal flakes came from.

    Of course, now Iím paranoid - there was a bit of metallic sludge on my magnetic drain plug.

    Thoughts?
    I had this happen to me before. I changed trans fluid and then changed my oil a few days later and noticed flakes. I changed my rod bearing for piece of mind but the flakes definitely weren't from my bearings. The bearings I removed looked great.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ironhead
    replied
    Very VERY tiny pieces of metal in the oil....more like sparkles than flakes....are very common. It is like when you pull a magnetic drain plug on a tranny or a diff....usually it will have a coating of metal dust. Same if you have a magnetic oil pan plug.... The fact is, in the process of running, metal things like engines and transmissions are always in the process of wearing slightly, and the fine dust is the by-product. Not a cause for alarm.

    Flakes of metal are a completely different thing....and are pretty solid evidence that something is about to fail in a major way (or already has). Most typical in engines is copper flakes from failing bearings. Pieces of metal suspended in oil are kind of difficult to identify, because the amber tint of the oil tends to make them all look like copper.

    To ease your mind, an analysis of your oil certainly cannot hurt anything.

    Leave a comment:


  • mwagner10702
    replied
    Get a Blackstone oil analysis.

    Leave a comment:


  • Split_S
    replied
    If it is the rod bearings wouldnít there be metal in the filter?

    Leave a comment:


  • Split_S
    replied
    Upon closer inspection of the oil filter Iím finding some of these little flakes - not metallic though. I tried to take a better pic of the oil but it looks no different than the pic above..

    Leave a comment:


  • Split_S
    replied
    Top pic of oil drained from the filter.. Iíll get one from the drained batch shortly.

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  • Split_S
    replied

    Leave a comment:


  • Broken88
    replied
    Pics of the oil?

    Leave a comment:


  • Split_S
    replied
    Just took apart the oil filter and guess what? Absolutely no metal flakes! Nothing.

    I think I know what happened.

    A month ago I drained the transmission oil out of my parents e46 - as it had a leak and I thought it might be the pan gasket. Turns out the transmission (automatic) had grenaded itself - pump was actually seized and required a complete rebuild. I had used the same drain pan. My dad had cleaned it up and put it in a garbage bag and I pulled it out without looking it over before draining the M3ís oil - thatís more than likely where the metal flakes came from.

    Of course, now Iím paranoid - there was a bit of metallic sludge on my magnetic drain plug.

    Thoughts?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mick
    replied
    Don't run the car, it's most likely your rod bearings failing. You might be able to get away with just replacing the bearings if you caught it very early, but if you continue driving it you're going to need that mattress full of cash.
    Last edited by Mick; 05-22-2019, 04:35 AM.

    Leave a comment:

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