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Metal flakes in oil drain pan


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I just happened to take a closer look at my drain pan (brand new) today and noticed some metallic flakes. They aren't large or in large quantities by any means. Barely big enough that when it stuck to my finger I could tell something was there, but stupid small. The shine is it what gives it away.

 

The thing is, there was very little mileage on that oil. There was also nothing on the drain plug. One would think something like that would get caught in the filter, and remain in the filter. Not end up in the oil again.

 

I can't say ever noticed this before, and I'm wondering if anyone on here has seen this.  

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22 hours ago, M1ck3y said:

I just happened to take a closer look at my drain pan (brand new) today and noticed some metallic flakes. They aren't large or in large quantities by any means. Barely big enough that when it stuck to my finger I could tell something was there, but stupid small. The shine is it what gives it away.

 

The thing is, there was very little mileage on that oil. There was also nothing on the drain plug. One would think something like that would get caught in the filter, and remain in the filter. Not end up in the oil again.

 

I can't say ever noticed this before, and I'm wondering if anyone on here has seen this.  

Most likely its not metallic at all. The alloys and sintered "swarf" coatings materials mix with gasket making bonding agents, some swarf, are swirled and dispersed to the engine oil and while they might have a slight magnetic capability if you checked them in the oil pan they are usually inert and not actually wear.  The phenolic, amine, and other polymers from engine oil and gasoline fuel additives in this care can reflect light and look metallic.  Dyes even play from oil and fuels and mix with all that other swarf to reflect sunlight.   

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PS:  GM coatings are notorious for showing up as usually copper in oil analysis but rarely is wear but angstrom level agglomerations from coatings.  Note copper in ICP analysis is notorious for screwing up the light spectrum making odd readings so knowing all the coatings and alloys helps to confirm or deny if its wear or reactivity to the test equipment.  Engine oils with copper sulfonate additives really mess it up and its perfectly normal. 

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Thanks! Definitely looked serious at first. None of it was magnetic, but it looked like aluminum to me, or maybe bearing material.. The couple of peices I stuck to my finger were hard/sharp.

 

But I cut open the filter today and didn't see any signs of anymore flakes/shavings. That's a huge relief, so I'm thinking I can just keep an eye on it?

 

My concern was magnified by the fact that I think the oil level was almost a full quart high. I had the oil cooler lines replaced not long ago and the tech said he had to add about 3/4 of a litre of oil. Which didn't make sense to me because my truck hasn't ever consumed oil. If anything the level goes up over time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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