aluminium particles in used oil

Messages
6,614
Location
southeast US
The car is a 2006 Toyota RAV4 3.5L V6 with 28000 miles. Oil (Castrol dino 5W30) changed after 5000 miles of mostly hwy driving with 4-6 people and sometimes hot weather (up to 100F recently). There was little boat towing (<200 miles). There were multiple small metallic particles at the drained oil, best seen in direct sunlight at the bottom of the drain pan after some decantation. Easy to miss if one does oil change indoors. Most particles were wery small, well under 1 mm but one larger, 1-2 mm. Not magnetic and looks like aluminum. Some gray metallic sludge on magnetic drain, but little. This is not the first time I saw it, but this time the biggest piece got me worried. I will send the oil for UOA. The first UAO on this car was benign: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...true#Post803213 Is this coming from pistons? What could be casing it? I did not know this engine (2GR-FE) had any issues. I did a search here and came with a few similar threads but with no follow up or more info: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...rue#Post1475589 http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1463680&fpart=2 Thanks for help!
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
This engine is a lower wearing engine and thus might take this many miles to completely break in. I wouldn't worry about it. Doing a UOA is a good idea to make sure imminent failure isn't about to occur in the 0.01% off chance. Sleep easy! \:\!
 
Messages
1,478
Location
Iowa
I've got this same 2GR-FE engine in a 2008 sienna, and I know exactly what you're talking about. Small, shiny flakes that look like aluminum. Last oil change was at 10,000 miles, and there was one of these flakes in about every third filter pleat. I didn't examine the used oil that closely. I'm not sure where they're coming from. UOA was normal.
 
Last edited:

friendly_jacek

Thread starter
Messages
6,614
Location
southeast US
Thanks for replies. I wish I took pictures, but the particles were similar to this picture but much smaller: from http://www.cancutter.com/how_to_inspect.htm According to that side, "small flat slivers are most likely tin or chrome. Probable tin source is washers. Usually not cause for concern." and "Very small metallic particles found in the oil are best seen in bright sunlight. Take a oil sample out into the sunlight. Any small metallic particles such as microscopic particles of brass will reflect sunlight. Indoors the same particles may be invisible." I wonder why we don't hear about it at BITOG. I guess most people don't decant used oil or examine debris in direct sunlight. Edit: I came across this simple analysis method and will use it next time: http://www.sacskyranch.com/metfram.htm
 
Last edited:
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I almost forgot... I found similar in my friends '09 Rav-4 when I did their first oil change a couple of weeks ago there was metal bits in the oil filter and in the oil drained from the pan similar to the photo. Their truck had 5K miles on it so I didn't want them driving 700 Miles back to home without first having an OC. Sorry only got 3 hours sleep last night, couldn't sleep... So I'm tired.
 

friendly_jacek

Thread starter
Messages
6,614
Location
southeast US
 Originally Posted By: StevieC
I almost forgot... I found similar in my friends '09 Rav-4 when I did their first oil change a couple of weeks ago there was metal bits in the oil filter and in the oil drained from the pan similar to the photo. Their truck had 5K miles on it so I didn't want them driving 700 Miles back to home without first having an OC.
What was the outcome?
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
Truck is running fine. I replaced the cartridge filter with a Toyota OEM, cleaned out the canister and the housing on the engine before putting the new filter media in and filled up with PP. I wasn't worrying because the engine operated normally, and was so new so I figured it was just break-in. When I first got my Santa Fe I had an abundance of metal inside my filters some of which my Filter-Mag magnet caught on the sides walls of the filter. Now I have hardly anything in the filters. I honestly wouldn't worry. Do a UOA and keep an eye on the filters for a bit. If it's still happening with 50K Miles then I would think their might be a problem to worry about. You could take the filter open to Toyota and show them and see what they think. ;\)
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
I have performed all oil changes on my wife's 07 Avalon, which has the same 2GR engine and 5-spd auto trans. I have not observed such particles in the oil or in the filter medium, but ours only has ~18k miles at the moment (she's a low-miler...). Next change coming up in a couple months. I'll check more carefully, including both the sunlight test, and blotter cards. A few years back, I found this alarming mess in the M1 filter I had attached to my then-ride, an 04 G35 sedan. Despite this ugliness, including sludgy swirls and eyeball-visible particles, the UOA was amazing. The oil was green GC of early 04 vintage, IIRC. This is a cropped/zoomed photo into the filter can (I had just dissected the filter, opening it w/ a pipe cutter). I was very concerned when I saw this "stuff," but less so after I saw the UOA. Oil and filters are there for a reason. Even clean, modern engines still get grungy and generate chunks of junk (mostly harmless I'd say, especially if filtered). Recommend you withhold judgment until you see your UOA.
 

friendly_jacek

Thread starter
Messages
6,614
Location
southeast US
 Originally Posted By: Samilcar
I've got this same 2GR-FE engine in a 2008 sienna, and I know exactly what you're talking about. Small, shiny flakes that look like aluminum. Last oil change was at 10,000 miles, and there was one of these flakes in about every third filter pleat. I didn't examine the used oil that closely. I'm not sure where they're coming from. UOA was normal.
Does yours tick when cold? Mine is quite noisy. There is a major problem with ticking 2GR-FE engines as it turned out recently in TSB_0094-09: http://home.comcast.net/~michaelgove/Toyota_TSB_0094-09.pdf
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
 Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
Thanks for replies. I wish I took pictures, but the particles were similar to this picture but much smaller: from http://www.cancutter.com/how_to_inspect.htm According to that side, "small flat slivers are most likely tin or chrome. Probable tin source is washers. Usually not cause for concern." and "Very small metallic particles found in the oil are best seen in bright sunlight. Take a oil sample out into the sunlight. Any small metallic particles such as microscopic particles of brass will reflect sunlight. Indoors the same particles may be invisible." I wonder why we don't hear about it at BITOG. I guess most people don't decant used oil or examine debris in direct sunlight. Edit: I came across this simple analysis method and will use it next time: http://www.sacskyranch.com/metfram.htm
Add this picture to the oil filters are useless appendage.
 
Messages
1,478
Location
Iowa
 Originally Posted By: friendly_jacek
 Originally Posted By: Samilcar
I've got this same 2GR-FE engine in a 2008 sienna, and I know exactly what you're talking about. Small, shiny flakes that look like aluminum. Last oil change was at 10,000 miles, and there was one of these flakes in about every third filter pleat. I didn't examine the used oil that closely. I'm not sure where they're coming from. UOA was normal.
Does yours tick when cold? Mine is quite noisy. There is a major problem with ticking 2GR-FE engines as it turned out recently in TSB_0094-09: http://home.comcast.net/~michaelgove/Toyota_TSB_0094-09.pdf
Depends on what you'd call ticking. Mine makes a faint sewing machine sound which goes away completely after about a 30 second warm up. It's so faint, that you can only really hear it from outside the van. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubb...rue#Post1433360 I couldn't find the original post, but this post has the same picture of a spread out filter from a 2gr-fe. The particles in my filter looked exactly like this when I did my first oil change at 800 miles. These same particles showed up at the 5000 and 10000 mile changes, just greatly reduced in number.
 
Top