How Dangerous Are Metal Shavings When They Are Found In Your Oil Filter

Posted in Oil Filters | Asked on Jun 2, 2010

I bought a Chevy HHR in May and when I had my oil changed, the mechanic showed me metal shavings that were in my filter. I took the filter to the service center of the dealership to show them and was told that the shavings did not look like they came from my engine and that it was not uncommon to have this happen in new cars. They also told me that since there was no noise or loss of compression in my engine, that I should not worry. This is my first new car that I have ever purchased and I don’t want problems down the road. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

There are 12 Answers for "How Dangerous Are Metal Shavings When They Are Found In Your Oil Filter"

  1. cashdog137 says:

    very

  2. Bear Naked says:

    How about like sand in your tooth paste?

  3. Duo says:

    That does seem a touch odd. But if its the first oil change I suppose it might be a possibility that things fit together too tight and are creating those shavings. If you’re not loosing any compression or anything, don’t hear a knock, ping or any other unusual sounds AND don’t see it again next time, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
    Besides, with a problem like that if its going to be something big it’s going to be something big soon, and it’ll still be under warranty and you can take it back to the same dealer mechanic and be like “See? I told you there was something wrong!”
    -Duo
    -Duo

  4. wynterwood says:

    It’s not unusual for metal shavings to appear in the first oil change or two, since your engine is brand new and the machined parts shed a bit of metal. That’s why you need to be good about getting that first oil change quickly for a brand new car. I recommend a change after the first one thousand miles, and then you can switch to the recommended schedule.

  5. Grendle says:

    The dealer is handing you a load of crap. While some metal particles are normal in new engines (which is why it is important to change the oil after 500 miles), “shavings” are not. This is an indication that some component of the engine is wearing excessively and will probably fail (probably just after the warranty expires).
    The HHR is not a low-rent vehicle. I would insist on the dealership giving you a formal, written explanation for the shavings so that when the engine implodes next spring you will have the basis for a suit.

  6. dont ask says:

    your ok man

  7. Orthodox_Ted says:

    Some shavings after a first oil change is normal.

    Your car is covered under the lemon laws in your state – I would go to another dealer and ignore the ******** who tried to scare you into spending big money.

  8. col says:

    If your car is running OK then the metal shavings could have been left in the engine from new & the filter has stopped them going into the pistons or anywhere else & causing major problems. Take your filter off in a couple of weeks & check it is clean If not go back to the garage to have it checked out but I think you will have no more problems

  9. Vulcan 1 says:

    Use a magnet to see if this is aluminum or metal(steel)
    If this is aluminum I wouldn’t worry,it could be just pistons wearing into the cylinders.
    BUT
    If this is steel than you may have a default bearing(BAD)
    it may take many miles before you start hearing a noise but it’s best to cure the problem before it’s too late.

  10. John C says:

    he is correct ,, if you have not lost compression then that rules out any piston , ring , valve or lifter damage,,, you have to remember that even though you have oil in the engine,, you still have metal to metal contact,,, clearance on some parts are as little as .001″ which is a very minimal amount,, and that breaks down the oils lubricating properties (known as viscosity — the ability to withstand heat and thermal breakdown),, this is a natural occurance throught out the life of your vehicle,, thats why its so important to change your oil regularly,, about every 3mos or 3000 miles,, because the metal deposits in the oil will “score” (severely scratch) your clyinderwalls and piston rings, causing blowby and loss of compression, which would result in eratic running of you vehicle and significant reduction in gas mileage,, also, make sure to add one Quart of either Rislone additive or Stp oil treatment after each oil change, this will help to reduce sediment deposits and keep your valves and rings clean !!!

  11. Motorpsycho says:

    On your next oil change take a sample and send it out for analysis.

  12. robertsearles17 says:

    your bearings are going if they havent gone already