metal flakes in filter media - unknown cartridge, bmw m3

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Apr 26, 2015
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I recently bought a 2015 BMW M3 (S55 inline 6, twin turbo) with 21k miles, now at 22k miles.

I believe the previous owner took good care of the car. The seller (not previous owner) supposedly changed the oil, and I believe them, but I changed it myself to be at ease.

Miles on oil filter: unknown, but at least 1k miles, and at most 10k miles. I think it has 1k miles.
Filter taken out: R84327 South Korea 061521 P50039 cartridge filter with plastic endcaps. The part number matches Carquest Standard, but doesn't say Carquest like online photos.
Filter put in: Mann HU8011Z with open/glued ends like OE/OEM.

I've only used metal cans on my other cars before, so I've never opened a filter until today.

There are 1-2 metal flakes every couple pleats. Does that mean anything? The filter is doing its job? Or it doesn't necessarily mean anything by itself without an UOA?

I couldn't really tell from the drained oil, because my drain pan may already have had metal flakes that I didn't clean out.
old-oil-filter-2022-06-12-cropped.jpeg
filter-media-1.jpg
filter-media-2.jpg
 
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isobsr

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I did some tests and it's hard to tell if they're magnetic because they're so small and oily, but I think they are not magnetic.

Metal flakes in the oil is not normal. And a UOA may or may not show anything, it won't show those flakes as they are too large.

If it happens again next OCI, then something is wearing out? What would you do?
 

ZeeOSix

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With only 21K miles on the engine I would not be alarmed by what I see in the photos. I've seen a few non-metallic flakes in the oil filter on engines before with similar mileage. Just keep inspecting your oil filters to see if it gets better or worse.
 

ZeeOSix

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Similar thread.

 

isobsr

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Thanks all. I'll do regular changes, shorter than the 1 year 10k mi BMW suggests, and keep checking. Maybe a UOA in the future.
 
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I wouldn't worry about it. The engine has extremely low mileage. Perhaps perform a carfax and see how many potential oil changes the vehicle has had. It would have a break in service at around 1200 miles then every 1yr or 10k miles (whichever occurs first).
 

wwillson

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I've posted many oil filters cut to expose the media and every single one, without exception, has metal flakes. This is normal.
 
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