Metal shavings in motor oil. Need some advice. - Pontiac G8 Forum: G8 Forums - G8Board.com
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Metal shavings in motor oil. Need some advice.

Hoo boy. Didn't expect to find THIS when I checked my oil this morning. I wiped the dipstick on a shop cloth and noticed the oil on the cloth seemed to have a little extra glimmer to it. I thought maybe it was the oil slicked fibers of the cloth, but when I was able to pull a "fiber" off, roll it around between my fingers, and discovered it to be anything but soft, I got a bit worried. Dipped the dipstick back in, pulled it out, and noticed flecks along the edges of the dipstick. It seems I can consistently pull up shavings by wiping the dipstick off and sticking it back in, though to be fair I only tried it twice.

I managed to get a rather large hair-like piece on the dipstick on an attempt for a picture. I wish I could say I was happy to have so succeeded. You can see the shard of metal to the left of the shop cloth, just below the dimple on the dipstick.



With the flash.


I'm running Redline 5W-30 and a K&N filter, which I put in/on just before the track day in October, so I've only got around 2000-3000 miles on this combo. Only other engine-related mods are the Vararam intake and Billet Prototypes catch can.

Oil pressure according to the OBDII port, which I monitor using my Aeroforce gauges, has remained high, as much as above 50 at higher RPM's. I've kept the oil level above halfway on the dipstick at all times. Right now it's just a tick above the full mark.

Only noticeable odd occurrences were a cylinder misfire code at the track; a strange dark, gritty splatter I found inside the catch can last time I emptied it about a month ago; and of late what sounds like a ticking lifter, like there's a bit of lash in a single valve on a single cylinder. No other strange symptoms. Engine still sounds good, revs freely, and doesn't seem to have lost any power. No codes. No used oil.

Engine should still be under warranty, though I don't know if they'd complain about my use of a non-approved oil. Given Redline's reputation as a high-quality synthetic, though, I'd be surprised if this was caused by the oil.

So any words of wisdom here? Any potential diagnoses? Feel free to ask any questions.

I suppose it's worth noting that one of the shards seemed to have black on one side, and the bare metal on the other. Reading around, apparently the dipstick tubes or dipsticks can leave shards on the sticks. Not sure if this is possible on our cars. Mayhaps I should cut the filter open.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:21 PM
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Yeah thats NOT good! Time to put EVERYTHING back to stock and take her in for a new engine.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
Yeah thats NOT good! Time to put EVERYTHING back to stock and take her in for a new engine.
Luckily, the only thing that isn't is the oil. Trick is, how much of a problem will that be?

Either way, I'm going to put her up tonight, drain the oil, and cut open the filter. That'll help settle it.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:35 PM
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Also send out an oil sample to see whats going on. Sorry to her the bad luck man
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:41 PM
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how many miles do you have on it? Some metal shavings in the oil is expected in the first 0-10,000 miles max I would think...after that it wouldn't be a good thing.

Not to scare you, but I always have been hell bent against catch-cans since they seem to add nothing tangible peformance/maintenance-wise yet in an issue like this, how could you NOT see the dealer denying your warranty, you have an issue w/ your engine oil - and you have an unneeded non-oem "performance/cleaning" part on there...I'd get that s**t off before you take it in for sure.


good luck keep us posted

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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how many miles do you have on it? Some metal shavings in the oil is expected in the first 0-10,000 miles max I would think...after that it wouldn't be a good thing.
Just shy of 40,000.

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Originally Posted by bostonf4$ View Post
Not to scare you, but I always have been hell bent against catch-cans since they seem to add nothing tangible peformance/maintenance-wise yet in an issue like this, how could you NOT see the dealer denying your warranty, you have an issue w/ your engine oil - and you have an unneeded non-oem "performance/cleaning" part on there...I'd get that s**t off before you take it in for sure.
I'd agree, except that this would require that the catch can be somehow allowing metal shards or the like into the engine through the intake manifold. Considering that the only moving parts exposed via the intake are the intake valves themselves, plus the moving pistons, the chance of a catch can causing the failure or being blamed are highly unlikely. After all, all the PCV system moves is air and vapors.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 03:00 PM
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Yes, a trip to the dealer is needed. A little info first. Is the shaving steel or aluminum. I suspect it is from the rocker arm support, with a rocker bearing starting to let go. Since it was also caught in the catch can, it is likely from the valvetrain area. Cam, lifters or crank bearing would all be in the pan, not the catch can.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 04:16 PM
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I think the shavings came from the oil pan cause he said they were on the dip stick. With all the metal contamination he has I'm thinking the engine is about done.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:52 AM
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Oh.... Uh oh. That sucks.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 08:06 AM
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Reading stories like this makes me want to swap out those DOD lifters and all other questionable block internal pieces. I hope they take care of you. Engines should not be eating away at themselves like this.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:22 AM
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Reading stories like this makes me want to swap out those DOD lifters and all other questionable block internal pieces. I hope they take care of you. Engines should not be eating away at themselves like this.
Yeah but the GXP has the 6.2 which doesn't have the DOD lifters.....
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:41 AM
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Yeah but the GXP has the 6.2 which doesn't have the DOD lifters.....
Holy hell I'm blind for missing that...
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:55 AM
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Lol!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 10:35 AM
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So this is a troubled LS3? Funny how with most of the "engine failure" complaints on here, sometimes we assume the L76 is the topic of discussion.

The third GXP LS3 failure I know of, without reported abuse. And I haven't been following hardly closely at all!

Another GXP/LS3 was torn down in Michigan, complete rebuild under factory powertrain. No DOD, just plain old powertrain of a modern GM engine failure.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure his engine is fine. check out the other board posts. The dipstick tube likes to shed metal when scraped by the stick.

I had this same freakout a few months ago with my LS3 and came to this conclusion.

This was after a weird bearing noise that while idling that went away after touching the gas pedal never to return... maybe a water pump bearing or pully???

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure his engine is fine. check out the other board posts. The dipstick tube likes to shed metal when scraped by the stick.

I had this same freakout a few months ago with my LS3 and came to this conclusion.

This was after a weird bearing noise that while idling that went away after touching the gas pedal never to return... maybe a water pump bearing or pully???

Nock-on-Wood.
Yup, this looks to be what's it turning out to be. I ran a magnet around in the oil from the pan and got a few flecks no bigger than a mote of dust. No telling how old they were, either. Meanwhile, the dipstick tube is magnetic, and so are the flakes that I pull up on the dipstick. So I think it is indeed the dipstick tube that's shredding. As per the linked post on Camaro5, looks like this is common.

I think I know why I'm encountering this now. I used to get the dealership to change my oil - for free, courtesy of the coupon that GM sent out - and they tended to just slightly overfill it. My engine, being quite new, burns almost no oil. So I would very rarely need to check it since I would get it changed long before the oil life monitor expired. However, this last oil change to Redline I did myself, and so I've been checking the oil more frequently. Hence... more use of the dipstick.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:33 PM
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That makes sense with more use of the dipstick. Now that's thinkin' with your dipstick!! That commercial just came to mind when I was typing this
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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Awesome that it's not more serious.


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