Metal particles on OEM Drain plug with magnet

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Aug 10, 2003
Edmonton, Alberta
My 2002 Chev Cavalier with 2.4L has an OEM Oil Drain Plug with a magnet at the tip. When I changed my oil yesterday, there was a considerable amount of metal particle residue on the magnet. The car has 20K Km and has run only M1 5-30 after a 1K interval on the factory fill.

I'm new to these forums but have learned a lot. I'm now trying the GC and have changed my Orange Can to NAPA Gold. I have the following questions on this magnet thing.

Q1. Will the magnet affect my results if I do a UOA, since it holds some metal particles that would otherwise be suspended in the oil.

Q2. If there are particles on the magnet, should I be worried about the filtration of my oil filter or the quality of my oil, or is this a normal condition.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
1. supposedly the analysis does not read solid particles (like you find on a magnet) in the analysis it only reads the very small particles that are dissolved into the oil so the magnet should not have any affect, I added a “superplug” to my truck the iron readings looked normal is hard to say what is a lot with words, it is normal to find some metal on the magnet and for the first few changes as the motor breaks in quite a bit of metal can be expected, it should be mainly powder with some small slivers mixed in at 20k, there should be less and less as the engine gets fully broken in, at 45k there is only enough to make a short dark smear on a paper towel almost all of the particles smaller than I can see
What you are probably getting is some metal from the break-in process. If it is just some dark sludge type particulate, that is normal wear metal pulled from suspension. I have not seen any solid proof that a magnetic drain plug will effect a UOA. My guess it that it would at least bring the iron down a bit.
Is that the QuadEngine?? My son has the LowTest version and has a magnet on the plug. I can't recall ever seeing any debris on that plug. His UOA's have been supberb over 85K miles. I just changed with 11,600K on and will send out the sample tomorrow. .
The engine is not the original Quad4 that GM had in the 90s. I had a 90 Grand Am with the 2.3L Quad4 HO DOHC 180HP. It was a wonderful engine I thought even though some said it had reliability issues. I sold it with 200K Km without ever having a problem. It did not have a magnet on the drain plug so I cannot compare it to my new car, which is a reworked Quad4 2.4L Twin Cam.
As to filtration, by this time the ferrous debris being caught by the magnet are too small to be trapped by the filter (sub-20u). They're probably too small to be of significance, but, if the magnet snags 'em, all the better. My better half has a 2000 Cavalier with the 2.2 liter OHV-4. I still clean small amounts of ferrous tailings from the factory supplied magnetic drain plug even at 71,000 miles. But, it sure ain't like it was during the first 20,000 miles.
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