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Folks,

I've lost a piece of plastic tube in the oil system. Here's why and how...

Why? My 996 is 12 years old, I worry about the IMS. I heard having the oil tested might reveal early wear of the IMS bearings (elevated copper, I think). So I ordered a test kit from Blackstone

How?

The Blackstone kit needs about 3oz/100mL. If the oil isn't collected during a change, they suggest poking a tube down the dipstick holder, and aspirating the oil with a syringe.

I got the tube in about 2.5 feet, then felt some resistance: but I managed to push through, and get some oil out.

But: when I withdrew the tube, the last 1 inch was shredded, with 1.0 X 0.2 inch piece clearly missing.

My questions are:

Q1: Is the area I tested upstream from the filter? In which case I expect the filter will do it's job and catch this piece of plastic. No worries.

Q2: If not, then there's a piece of soft plastic (25mm X 5mm) circulating with the oil. Is this likely to block anything critical - and thence cause localized meltdown?

Any help will be welcome!..

With thanks in advance,

Nigel

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First of all, for anyone out there thinking about getting an oil sample this way, don't do it. If you want an oil sample, change your filter and you will have about 1/2 quart of used oil to play with that is in the filter housing.

The reason the dip sticks on these cars look like they do is that they have to twist around a lot of stuff before it gets into the oil sump. Pushing anything thicker down its pathway is tempting fate, as you discovered. As for where the rest of the tubing may end up, it would probably end up on the bottom of the oil pickup in the sump, or in the sump itself. The oil pick up has a mesh covering to prevent picking up anything solid along with the oil because the next stop would be the oil pump itself, which is a gear style unit, and therefore does not like inhaling anything but oil. Most likely, that is where the bits are. Will they casue issues long term? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends upon them getting past the mesh on the pick up and into the pump itself.

DSC07825.JPG

Pic5.jpg

You can probably get most, if not all, of the tubing bits out by pulling the sump cover and baffle system so you can see the pickup.

Edited by JFP in PA
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First of all, for anyone out there thinking about getting an oil sample this way, don't do it. If you want an oil sample, change your filter and you will have about 1/2 quart of used oil to play with that is in the filter housing.

That picture explains why I could not successfully use my oil extractor to change my oil.

Can you change the oil filter without first draining the oil from the pan?

I too plan to send my oil to Blackstone, but would be nice not to have to do a complete oil change.

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First of all, for anyone out there thinking about getting an oil sample this way, don't do it. If you want an oil sample, change your filter and you will have about 1/2 quart of used oil to play with that is in the filter housing.

That picture explains why I could not successfully use my oil extractor to change my oil.

Can you change the oil filter without first draining the oil from the pan?

I too plan to send my oil to Blackstone, but would be nice not to have to do a complete oil change.

Changing the filter does not drain any oil from the sump; the oil filter can simply be removed and replaced, along with the o-ring on the canister. Be sure to top up your oil to make up for what was in the filter.

You should also note that the photos looking up into the sump area are after the lower baffle "box" assembly has been removed, so there is even more stuff in the way then what you are seeing here.

Edited by JFP in PA
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Thank you everyone...especially 'JFP in PA'

Had the car towed to Kahler's. They put a scope down the dipstick tube, couldn't see the missing piece. Dropped the pan, and got it!

I felt (and am) stupid, but felt better once I got behind the wheel to drive home.

Moral of this story? A good chunk of my maintenance expenses have are self-induced. I'm going to stop worrying and stick to driving.

Will post the Blackstone results when they're back.

Thanks again..... :D

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not sure if i need to put a separate topic. I have opened oil pan today on my 996c4s (2003) (50k miles) and found two metal flakes (not sure if they are aluminium but most likely they are Alu as one side is matte and othe is shining mirror). should i be worried? is there any way to find out where they are from?

post-20455-0-70837100-1301180683_thumb.j

post-20455-0-93149600-1301180697_thumb.j

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thank you. did that and here is the result. I also picked up few additional flakes form the filter. metal ones are very thin flakes (hard to take picture) and non metal ones are thicker

post-20455-0-33666500-1301258263_thumb.j

Edited by SA321
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Obviously, it is hard to diagnose these issues “long distance”, but if you are indicating that the metal “flakes” can be picked up by a magnet, you have a serious issue that is not going to get better on its own. Without seeing the metal close up, I would have to say that it is probably from one of a couple of potential sources: (1) The IMS bearing. When these unit crap out, they tend to shed a lot of ferrous metal, usually as a granular material, but sometimes as flakes. If it is, you need to stop running the engine immediately as failure of the bearing will total your engine. (2) Something in the valve train such as a failing spring (not uncommon) or something in the VarioCam system. The non metal bits can be the cam tensioning “paddle” wear covers coming apart, but they can also be the IMS bearing seals breaking up as the bearing starts to wobble.

You need to get the car to someone that knows these engines well, and I would suggest not driving it there.

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thank you for the advice. not many people around me that know the engine :( (plenty of people that "just get the new one" type). i am i right to think that engine needs to come off even for people that know them?

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thank you for the advice. not many people around me that know the engine :( (plenty of people that "just get the new one" type). i am i right to think that engine needs to come off even for people that know them?

Depends upon what the problem is; the IMS can be changed with the engine in the car, as can a valve spring, although changing springs can be a bit time consuming.

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(as the idiot who lost a bit of plastic tubing in the engine)...I'd go with the 'do not drive' recommendation. The tow cost can be claimed from your insurer.

Whatever the ultimate cause, driving this one to the garage is only likely to make it worse...take the tow!

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