Metal Shavings in Oil Pan

I recently bought a used 2010 Chevy Malibu. It had roughly 124k miles. I’ve only driven about 7000 miles. I just got me second oil done and the mechanic noticed metal shavings -similar to glitter in the oil pan - they are very small. They didn’t noticed anything last time I had it checked. I haven’t heard any noises or noticed anything abnormal about my car, but I don’t know the full service history. From everything I’ve read, it sounds like I’m looking at an engine repair. I might return the stupid POS to the used car dealer I got it done because it’s been worthless since I got it. Anyone have a metal shavings the size of glitter in their oil pan or something similar?

Sure, I’ve seen glitter in the oil pan right before and a LOT right after the engine blew up.

The dealer is not going to just let you return it. They might buy it from you ( at a really low price ) or take it in trade on another vehicle ( again for a lot less then you paid for it ).

You can do an oil analysis and they’ll tell you what the metals are and where they likely came from. But yeah, that’s not a good sign at all.

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No noises? You don’t list any issues besides glitter in oil? So why is it a pos?

Does it start and run ok? If so, there’s not much that can be done about the glittering bits of metal at the bottom of the oil pan problem at this point, so one alternative is to pay attention for any symptoms that might develop, and otherwise just keep driving it. If there’s a serious problem causing those metallic specks you’ll know soon enough, if only by the weird noises the engine will start making.

The most common cause of that btw is the engine’s internal bearings are starting to disintegrate. Second, piston rings doing likewise. Either would be really unusual in a 2010, unless the engine had severely overheated or run low on oil.

Metallic shavings could be any one of a dozen things; or more than one. It depends on what type of metal those shavings are.

I hope you don’t think you can return this car to the dealer and just walk away from it. Things do not work that way. The dealer will take it back but it’s going to cost you one way or the other.
If it’s a Buy Here/Pay Here lot; maybe.

Yeah as Bing said your best bet is oil analysis it is very fast and very informative and accurate. They will tell you literally what metals are in the oil and what car parts most likely they belong to. I used Blackstone labs before, I was very satisfied.

Thanks for the advice.

No noises or issuing losing power. The other problem I had with it was there was gunk in the oil filter the first time I had the only changed. The lube shop replaced the filter and did a flush. 3,000 miles later there’s metal shavings in the filter. If I’ve got to rebuild the engine after 5 months of driving I’d say it’s a PoS.

Yeah, it starts and runs just fine. If they didn’t tell me about the metal flacks in the filter I wouldn’t have thought anything was wrong. There’s no weird noises or lose of power yet. I’ll find out soon enough. The engine hasn’t overheated since or been low on oil since I’ve had it, but I’ve only had it for five months. I don’t know the full history. The only other thing I can think of is that last time I had the oil changed there was gunk in the filter (which was the first oil change after buying it). I got a new filter and a flush. Thanks for the advice.

You might consider reviewing what kind of oil and filter was used.
Some of super-cheap filters are known to fail and let oil (and dirt) to get around it.
Also check if proper grade of oil is getting used

Thanks for the tip

I’ll look into that. Thanks for the advice.

I don’t see why anyone would pay for an oil analysis?

The oil has metal particles in it. That’s a good enough analysis for me.

Why the metal particles are there is moot.


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