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Oil filter dissection reveals a few SMALL metal bits -- IMS or other c


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Hi Renntech'ers!

 

This is my first Porsche. Bought it about a year ago. 2002 with 60k miles. Original IMS.

 

I drive it only a few thousand miles per year, including occasional AX'ing and an annual track weekend. But I'm nervous about the IMS, so I'm changing the oil (Mobil-1 0W40) every six months

 

The first oil change revealed only some black plastic bits, which did not raise concerns.

 

The second oil change (yesterday) revealed a few metal bits. The largest was a flat flake a approximately 2mm x 3mm. There were a few smaller ones. And there were some tiny flecks, which may have oxidized overnight(?) since they appeared orange/brown by the time I took the pics the next days. There were no metal bits on the LN magnetic drain plug, however, the plug was covered in a kind of silvery, greasy residue -- kind of like a silicon grease. 

 

Please see attached pics. 

 

Are these cause for concern? 

 

Thanks!

 

Charley

post-93210-0-62936800-1412485061_thumb.j

post-93210-0-85139100-1412485070_thumb.j

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post-93210-0-16036500-1412485087_thumb.j

post-93210-0-88780800-1412485105_thumb.j

post-93210-0-49861600-1412485242_thumb.j

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A silver metal paste is what you can sometimes see when the IMS is completely toast and the bearings have vaporized.  If the IMS is so far gone that the ball bearings disintegrate into tiny particles, it can create a metallic "paste".

 

As stated, you need to see if the metal is ferrous (use a magnet).  If the metal is ferrous, you should be concerned.  If it's not ferrous, then it's likely nothing to worry about...but I would change the oil frequently to monitor things until it's consistently clean.

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Likely nothing to be concerned with if a large magnet does nothing with the largest flakes.  As I said though, I would change the oil and keep an eye on it....and probably change the oil again in another 1K miles or so.  Just to make sure everything has stabilized and there's nothing else in your oil filter on subsequent changes.  Glad to hear it's not ferrous.

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NO, even a strong magnet does not appear to attract the two largest metal flakes.

 

The sand-sized bits don't attract either, but they're covered in oil so I'm not sure they'd lift out of there anyway.

 

Probably not anything to be overly concerned about, but I would suggest using a spin on oil filter if you are not already doing so.

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Thanks guys.

 

Question: what if the metal bits were ferrous? What would that indicate? Just trying to learn...

 

@JFP -- I've thought about using a spin-on filter but then I wouldn't be able to cut apart the filters anymore. Does the superior protection of a spin-on outweigh the risks of not being able to cut apart the filter?

 

@Silver_TT -- Any other explanation for the silvery paste? I'm guessing it's not that my IMS bearing is vaporized... otherwise, wouldn't be seeing other symptoms? :)

 

Patrick

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If the metal bits were ferrous, further investigation would be needed ASAP and you should stop driving the car; you would potentially be looking at an engine rebuild in the worst case.  Some folks have reported flushing the engine numerous times to try to get all the metal particles out after the IMS fails, but it's ill advised given all the "pockets" that stuff can stay trapped in.  This is why it's very important to get out ahead of any IMS issues--because by the time a failing IMS has manifested itself, it can be too late.  This is hard for some folks to wrap their head around because they figure "why fix what doesn't seem to be broken?"

 

Not sure what that metallic paste is but I wouldn't be overly concerned if it doesn't contain ferrous metal.  Just keep a close eye on it and change the oil more frequently until it stabilizes and you are doing oil changes with consistently nothing in the filter.

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Thanks guys.

 

Question: what if the metal bits were ferrous? What would that indicate? Just trying to learn...

 

@JFP -- I've thought about using a spin-on filter but then I wouldn't be able to cut apart the filters anymore. Does the superior protection of a spin-on outweigh the risks of not being able to cut apart the filter?

 

@Silver_TT -- Any other explanation for the silvery paste? I'm guessing it's not that my IMS bearing is vaporized... otherwise, wouldn't be seeing other symptoms? :)

 

Patrick

 

If the metal grit was ferrous, you would most likely have an IMS bearing heading south.

 

The spin on's can easily be cut open using tools as various as an exhaust pipe cutter (about $15 at Harbor Freight) to some sophisticated filter cutters:

 

image_21651.jpg

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