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Small Metal In Oil Filter


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I recently changed the oil for the first time in my new to me 01' Boxster. While investigating between the pleats of the filter i noticed some small shiny metal flakes ( similar to what small specks of gold look like at the beach ). Is this normal? Mt Touareg has the same filter setup as the Boxster but I have never bothered to look that close. After finding this I decided to use a mechanic stethoscope to listen at the rear of the engine just below where the IMS is. I didn't find any unusual noises. The car has an impeccable maintenance history with a local dealer and has 70k miles.

Should I be worried?

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It's hard to say if it's something to worry about or not. I can only suggest you monitor the engine and perhaps an engine oil analysis kit for a more detailed measure of any type of wear that might be taking place.

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I'd follow vicary's advice but I would I think but I'd put be a little more urgency on getting your oil analyzed.

The fact your motor isn't clanking away is good, but in general, the fact that metal has been filed from something and worked it's way through the system is not a good thing anyway you look at it. I personally would be hesitant to drive it 'till the results are in.

Regards, PK

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I have to agree with Wayne on this one, metal in the oil filter is never a sign of anything good………. Have you tried to determine if the metal is ferrous or not? If there is a good metallurgy lab or university near by, they can test the bits and tell you what type of metal it is, which would be worth knowing.

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So I cut open the filter and this is what I found... I did take a good magnet to them and they are ferrous. Could this just be the filter doing its job? The last time the oil was changed was 6k miles ago.

post-57655-127552499477_thumb.jpg

post-57655-127552500425_thumb.jpg

post-57655-127552502826_thumb.jpg

post-57655-127552503968_thumb.jpg

post-57655-127552505496_thumb.jpg

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I would be concerned about that amount of debris in the filter, especially as the bits are ferrous. First step would be to pull the sump and have a look. While the block and heads are alloy, there are several possible sources (rods, cams, crank, oil pump, and the IMS) for ferrous metal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be concerned about that amount of debris in the filter, especially as the bits are ferrous. First step would be to pull the sump and have a look. While the block and heads are alloy, there are several possible sources (rods, cams, crank, oil pump, and the IMS) for ferrous metal.

+1 Worry!

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I would be concerned about that amount of debris in the filter, especially as the bits are ferrous. First step would be to pull the sump and have a look. While the block and heads are alloy, there are several possible sources (rods, cams, crank, oil pump, and the IMS) for ferrous metal.

+1 Worry!

++ $WORRY

-> SEE_MECHANIC_NOW

== $_NOW || $$_:LATER

Might be a good time to do an IMSR, RMS and Clutch -- if the clutch has not been done -- you're pretty close to due and you will get a peak at the bearings and

see if they are the contributors.

If there was any issue with the valves -- you would think that you would notice it with poorer performance or even some engine codes.

Some codes will show up w/o a CEL.

$GOOD_LUCK

mike

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Metal in filter is bad, anyway you slice it. I have the filter from our IMS failure here on my bench, I will be photographing it tonight for our upcoming article. I'll see if I can post some pics...

-Wayne

I posted those photos as promised, in my Intermediate Shaft Bearing article: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/14-ENGINE-Intermediate_Shaft_Bearing/14-ENGINE-Intermediate_Shaft_Bearing.htm Check them out and see how they compare to yours...

-Wayne

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I would be concerned about that amount of debris in the filter, especially as the bits are ferrous. First step would be to pull the sump and have a look. While the block and heads are alloy, there are several possible sources (rods, cams, crank, oil pump, and the IMS) for ferrous metal.

I agree. If there is that much stuff in the filter, there is probably more in the sump. Take a look at what my sump looked like in the article link I just posted. Pretty nasty!

-Wayne

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Does anyone know if the oil flows through the filter from the outside inward or does it get pushed through the filter from the inside out? I am trying to determine if contaminants would more likely be on the inside or the outside of the filter.

2003 Boxster S.

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I also recently changed the oil in my '98 with 47k on the engine and also noticed several metal specs like those shown by Aricday but not nearly as many as Wayne's. In order for the metal particles to be from the intermediate shaft bearing I would think you would also see the black rubber seal particles since this bearing is originally sealed and not lubricated by engine oil. I believe these black rubber particles are mentioned in Wayne's article. Is this a correct assumption? I did not find any black particles in my filter, not to say something else is not wearing. The amount of metal in the recent filter was alot less than the amount present on the first oil change of this engine.

A question for Wayne, any idea when Porsche started using the unchangable intermediate shaft bearing in rebuilt engines as noted in your article? My boxster is a '98 with an engine that was installed in late '03 after a slipped sleeve destroyed the original. The replacement was a "reworked" one from Porsche.

Greg

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If I had metal particles like waynes I would be very concerned indeed! The metal found in my filter was very small I liken it to very fine ground pepper or gold flakes you see in beach sand. I read in the Excelence article that it was not uncommon to find metal the size of fine ground pepper. I will probably order a magnetic plug and check out the filter on my next service. Since the vehicle was only serviced by the dealer I'm sure they stuck to the factory service interval of 12k miles. I will change my own at 3k with Castrol Syntec. Again my filter didn't look anything like Wayne's. Wish me luck!

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A question for Wayne, any idea when Porsche started using the unchangable intermediate shaft bearing in rebuilt engines as noted in your article? My boxster is a '98 with an engine that was installed in late '03 after a slipped sleeve destroyed the original. The replacement was a "reworked" one from Porsche.

Greg

I believe it was about 2005 or 2006, so I would suspect your engine would have the old bearing in it. My new engine had the new bearing in it, I think it was rebuilt 2007 or 2008...

-Wayne

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If I had metal particles like waynes I would be very concerned indeed! The metal found in my filter was very small I liken it to very fine ground pepper or gold flakes you see in beach sand. I read in the Excelence article that it was not uncommon to find metal the size of fine ground pepper. I will probably order a magnetic plug and check out the filter on my next service. Since the vehicle was only serviced by the dealer I'm sure they stuck to the factory service interval of 12k miles. I will change my own at 3k with Castrol Syntec. Again my filter didn't look anything like Wayne's. Wish me luck!

It's pretty easy to drop the sump and look further (http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/12-ENGINE-deep_sump/12-ENGINE-deep_sump.htm). I would do that if you're concerned...

-Wayne

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If I had metal particles like waynes I would be very concerned indeed! The metal found in my filter was very small I liken it to very fine ground pepper or gold flakes you see in beach sand. I read in the Excelence article that it was not uncommon to find metal the size of fine ground pepper. I will probably order a magnetic plug and check out the filter on my next service. Since the vehicle was only serviced by the dealer I'm sure they stuck to the factory service interval of 12k miles. I will change my own at 3k with Castrol Syntec. Again my filter didn't look anything like Wayne's. Wish me luck!

It's pretty easy to drop the sump and look further (http://www.pelicanpa...deep_sump.htm). I would do that if you're concerned...

-Wayne

When you change the oil -- get an analysis done -- the type of metal in there might help you diagnose the source.

mike

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