Fine metal "dust" in oil! Help!
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This is a discussion on Fine metal "dust" in oil! Help! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi everyone, new to the board and this is my first post so please don't crucify me if this is ...

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    Fine metal "dust" in oil! Help!

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ID:	106071Hi everyone, new to the board and this is my first post so please don't crucify me if this is not a huge concern I just bought a used 2011 wrx limited with 29k miles from a Subaru dealer. I changed the oil today and could not help but notice an alarming amount of fine metal "dust" on top of my oil drain pan. I have seen this "dust" in new engines the first couple of oil changes but at 29k not so much. I ran a magnet through the metal dust and it was magnetic. I did empty the oil filter into the drain pan while it was still under the car so I do not know how the pan looked prior to dumping the oil filter into it. To say I'm not wigging out right now would be lie. My question is has anyone seen this after numerous oil changes? Should I give SOA a call about possible warranty work?

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Your sample was contaminated by your own admission. If worried I'd pull a proper clean sample at 1000 and send it for used oil analysis - but hhe sample must be mid stream and into a clean container from clean non-initial flow (an analogy would be urinalysis frankly).
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    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    I agree with SD, but I will say that does look a lot like bearing material. Good luck!
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    It could be grindings from the filter base or something else hopefully. That much bearing material in free oil would mean the filter is overwhelmed and the car would complain audibly soon enough. I am skeptical and optimistic. Good luck from me too!
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Thanks SD. I'll wait 1000 miles, grab a sample to send out, change the oil and see if the results on the pan are the same. 1000 miles can't come soon enough for a little peace of mind.

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    Registered User Spiffy's Avatar
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    Did you ever get your lab report back? what did it end up being? is your car ok?

    I ask becuase i changed my oil today and saw something very similar,.. only not as much. I have my blackstone kit rdy to be sent back but i cant sent it until monday.

    Edit:
    I have a 2007 wrx with 43k miles on it. i use Rotella T6 5w 40

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    I didn't send a sample out to blackstone yet, although I have the bottle waiting. I had a motorcycle accident a few weeks back and haven't put all that many miles on the wrx since the last oil change, damn broken arm. I did find out from my old man that before I had changed my oil he had used the oil pan to flush his coolant system, so there is the possibility that there were metal flakes on and in the pan. This is what I am hoping was the cause of the metal flakes but who knows. When I get around to driving the wrx again and send a sample out for the next change I'll let you know what I find. If you find anything out let me know I'm interested to see what you find.

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    I sent my sample yesterday via UPS 2nd day so hopfully i will have some results by tomorrow. I will post the lab report as soon as i receive it. Sorry to hear about your arm. :\

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    I miss-understood the makeup oil question on the form. I didnt add a drop of makeup oil. My car burns very little oil. After the 5300 mile interval, right before draining, the dipstick read half a qrt low. In my case, I don't know what those metal looking specs came from but apparently its nothing to be concerned about. My drain pan looked almost exactly like the pictures above, less specs but still enough to cause concern.

    Here is my lab report:

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The possible sources of Sn in the oil could include pistons and bearings, but your Sn is so low (a single digit number!) that I do not see it as an issue. More importantly, neither do Blackstone (my views are worthless; theirs do matter!). There is nothing to see here, no problems or reason for worry.

    This is good news. If it were my motor I would consider the matter settled, case closed.

    Your oil filter seems quite good, what filter did you use? Insolubles are very low, very nice.

    Now, just for academic discussion, it is interesting to me that Rotella thinned out a touch. Only a very little, bit, but it happened. The motor obviously didn't care anyway. I'd say these are very nice data.
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    Registered User Spiffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    The possible sources of Sn in the oil could include pistons and bearings, but your Sn is so low (a single digit number!) that I do not see it as an issue. More importantly, neither do Blackstone (my views are worthless; theirs do matter!). There is nothing to see here, no problems or reason for worry.

    This is good news. If it were my motor I would consider the matter settled, case closed.

    Your oil filter seems quite good, what filter did you use? Insolubles are very low, very nice.

    Now, just for academic discussion, it is interesting to me that Rotella thinned out a touch. Only a very little, bit, but it happened. The motor obviously didn't care anyway. I'd say these are very nice data.
    I was quite happy with the end result as well. I will continue to keep an eye out for the specs but Iím no longer worried about it.
    When I first bought the car, (23k miles) I ran 5w30 Mobil 1 extended performance full syn oil matched with the Mobil 1 extended performance filer. I ran the Mobil 1 for 15k miles, changing it out every 7500 miles. (The bottle says itís good for 15k miles so I figure half that is what I feel comfortable with).

    Then I started reading all these alarming reports of Mobil 1 synthetic 5w30 sheering down to a 5w20 withen a couple thousand miles. I also read that the Rotella T6 was one of the best oils we can run in our cars. Also the T6 is a quarter of the price of the other stuff. I did however continue to run the Mobil 1 filter and it looks like it was a good one to stick with.

    And for the lower viscosity,. Do you think reoccurring- being stuck in traffic in 100 degree heat would have anything to do with that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
    And for the lower viscosity,. Do you think reoccurring- being stuck in traffic in 100 degree heat would have anything to do with that?
    I'll say this much: I can't fathom how stuck in stop/go traffic in high heat would help an oil maintain viscosity! Still, Shell seems to be working quite well; if it were my car, I'd run it (in fact, I have an 02 and I do run it right now).
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    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I'll say this much: I can't fathom how stuck in stop/go traffic in high heat would help an oil maintain viscosity! Still, Shell seems to be working quite well; if it were my car, I'd run it (in fact, I have an 02 and I do run it right now).
    Yeah i think i will continue to run the T6. I just got off the phone with Blackstone and they said ide probably be good to run the oil in 7k mile intervals. The said the filter performed splendidly and would easily last a few thousand miles longer.

    Pardon my ignorance but what data points are the insolubles?

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    In "Properties" on the bottom, the last measured item, below water %. This is an indication of particulates etc., everything not miscible in oil that is not caught by the filter. The lower the number, the better.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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