I have a car with a conventional wet sump oiling system. There is an oil pan, and a dipstick with which to check oil level. I check oil level routinely; this of course involves removing the dipstick, and it so happens that the dipstick is close to the firewall (it's a tight engine bay). With repeated heat/cool cycles and the slight bend that the dipstick has to make to be removed and reinserted, the reading edge of the dipstick sheared cleanly off the wand. So, there is apparently a ~3mm X ~20mm piece of metal in the sump. Right now. I didn't start the car, assuming (perhaps erroneously) that the shear happened as I was checking the oil this morning rather than at any time between now and the previous time I checked the oil.
The engine only has 280,000 miles on it so I don't want to ruin it.
My initial plan is to drain the oil and see what comes out. If the piece doesn't, plan B is to fish around with a magnet. The issue is going to be the drain bolt mount, because the sump has a captive nut type setup so that the inside of the oil pan isn't flat, there's a ridge where the drain hole is so that the drain bolt can screw onto the threads -- or at least that's what I think, from memory. Anyway, that's my initial plan.
I don't want to drop the sump unless I must.
So my other thoughts were to magnetize the entire sump (magnets stuck onto it from the outside), or to simply ignore it and guess that it's too big to get into anything vital or get past the oil pump's pickup screen.
Anybody have this happen?! I've posted a poll.