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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Metal in oil - advise needed!

Hey there all! As you all know I am brand new to this forum. I had my jeep commander for about 3 weeks.

I'll get to it.

Commander is a 4x4 5.7 Hemi with 134k miles.

Previous owner used full synthetic.

I did an oil change yesterday (7 quarts.. OUCH $$) but noticed that the oil had a lot of metal shards in it.

I also noticed I'm losing antifreeze. Maybe around 2-3 mm a week and when I am on a steep grade the needle for temp will move from cool-side middle to -hot side middle.

I have the HEMI tick also. Not nearly as bad as some of the videos I've seen but it's there.
Should I be concerned?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 02:02 PM
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I don't think there is supposed to be metal shavings in your oil. One of the more experienced guys here can probably give you more advise but it sounds like you have something grinding in there that shouldn't be. Do you notice any abnormal sounds when your shifting? I hope it's not anything too serious.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2014, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin4622 View Post
....but noticed that the oil had a lot of metal shards in it.....
How big are these metal shards? Do they look like slivers? OR you talking metal powder?

Hard or soft? i.e. can you bend it or break it, or it will cut your finger.

What color? dark/black/silver/rusted?

And you have no other symptoms of something wrong with the motor?

Metal in the oil for an engine is never good. Most likely something fractured or sheared away under friction/pressure of the engine. Its possible that it wasn't critical and didn't do anymore damage as it made its way to the oil pan. Maybe the surface it sheared away from or the small part that fractured off from, has enough surface/strength left that it continue to function without getting worse, but its just as likely it won't. Unlikely, but possible, something fell in the motor during maintenance/repair or a non essential part corroded and flakes fell off it to give you the metal in the oil.

You have to clean and exam the shards and try to figure out what they might be.

Does the Hemi have a magnet in the pan? My NAG1 trans has a big magnet in the pan, I just changed the trans fluid, and I had a big shock when I found shards of metal in the bottom of the pan. I had some metallic powder as well, but that is normal for a automatic trans, the clutch material will wear and leave behind a small amount of metallic powder in the oil, usually clumping on the magnet like a goo. After cleaning the shards and examining them, as well as cleaning the pan magnet, I discoved the rather soft black shards were from the magnet that had an edge of it crumbling away, and NOT hard silver metal from the trans components, that was a relief.

Hopefully someone has some really productive suggestions, because I can't really think of what you can do, except hope for the best and be prepared that your engine may need rebuilt/replaced. For peace of mind, you could changed the oil again, very soon, like in a 100miles, and see if your getting more metal shards in the oil. One time incident, with no other symptoms, you're probably ok, if your motor keeps putting metal shards in the oil, you've got big problems that likely means you have to tear open the motor, or decide if you're just going to drive it till it quits and replace the motor then.


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Last edited by Mongo; 07-11-2014 at 08:44 AM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
How big are these metal shards? Do they look like slivers? OR you talking metal powder?

Hard or soft? i.e. can you bend it or break it, or it will cut your finger.

What color? dark/black/silver/rusted?
Thanks for the reply.

They were very small silver pieces. Very light and bendable. I felt like they could almost disintegrate. It reminded me of a gold pan and finding small flakes of gold. There were only a few that were bigger.

No other problems with engine, no problems at all in fact.

The oil was black as night. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin4622 View Post
They were very small silver pieces. Very light and bendable. I felt like they could almost disintegrate. It reminded me of a gold pan and finding small flakes of gold. There were only a few that were bigger.
Sounds like bearing material. But there could be something else inside the motor that is zinc coated and some of the zinc simply flaked off.

Did you get any fine metal powder in the oil?

Some zinc coating flaking off a part in the motor might NOT cause any problem at all. (but I can't think of anything in the motor that would be zinc coated, oil splashes all the inside of the motor and wouldn't need a zinc coating, unless it there impact, like bearing surfaces).

Bearing material coming off the bearing is NOT good, but if something happened to cause a little material come off, but most of it is still there, the bearing will probably still perform just fine for years to come.

Have you noticed a difference in oil pressure? You probably don't have an oil pressure gauge, all the manufacturers stopped putting them in the dash anymore?

Or you could have spun a bearing and the symptoms are yet to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin4622 View Post
No other problems with engine, no problems at all in fact.
That, and the fact the slivers are soft material, you may be lucky and the motor is going to be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin4622 View Post
The oil was black as night. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.
You can't judge the condition of the oil by appearance alone, but excessive dirt or darkening of any fluid, although it might be just fine, could mean the oil is bad.

Did you let it go too long before an oil change? Did you encounter or take you jeep into harsh conditions (lots of moisture, dust/dirt, extreme heat/cold, lots of winter road salt)?


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Last edited by Mongo; 07-14-2014 at 12:59 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 09:57 AM
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This just occured to me, your slivers may just be threads from the oil pan drain plug hole?

Do they seem like the same material as the oil pan? (I don't know, does the Hemi have an aluminum oil pan?) are the slivers curved, the same curve/arc as the opening of the drain plug hole?

That would be a relief, although the drain plug stripping out of the pan is a real pain in the ass, it would mean there is no engine damage. And the drain plug often can loose a few threads and still be fine the rest of the life of the motor, although threads coming out with the drain plug could mean it will totally strip out in a few more oil changes. If this is the case, stop overtightening the drain plug, and get a new drain plug, the threads may be damaged on the plug and thus the plug threads will continue to damage the pan's threads more every time you remove and reinstall it.


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