Solid black grit in engine oil

hey guys. i did my oil change and in the bottom of the oil container i found some solid black grit". I also found a few in the oil filter.
to the naked eye, it just looks like regular carbon but unlike carbon, it does not smudge or fall apart. There are only a few of them.

my car is a 06 9-3 with 190k miles. engine runs smooth, no engine or oil lights. engine does not knock. regular oil change ever 3000-4000 miles with mobile one. no metal shavings in the oil filter.

what would it be? plastic? carbon?

What you might be seeing is the black plastic timing chain guide starting to wear out.



Run the used oil through a sieve to see if there’s anything else of note in there. I’ve used a discarded white t-shirt for doing that. Some oil sludge deposits can be pretty hard substances. You could also see what happens when you heat the grit up. If it melts, probably plastic. I expect it is oil sludge deposits, and means you should change your oil and filter a little more frequently. Especially true if your car has variable valve timing.

Did you recently switch from conventional dinosaur to synthetic oil? If so, this is probably normal.

3-4000 mile oil changes are pretty frequent though and with Mobil 1.

That’s true. Should be no need to increase oil change intervals beyond that.

hi, thanks for the response. i have owned the car for 13000 miles now and changed the oil 3-4 times since i bought it. mobil one has been used for every oil change apart from my last oil changed. idk what the garage used. doesn’t feel as smooth as mobil one

I think @Tester is probably right, hard black particles sounds like plastic to me.

So you have no idea how well the maintenance was done for the first 180k

The carbon you would find in an engine wouldn’t smudge or fall apart, it would be hard as a rock.

I’m going with Tester here though, timing chain guide.

It might be useful to clean those particles with alcohol to verify they are plastic.

If it IS a timing chain guide, you will know pretty soon. The car will clatter like a tin bucket of spoons at startup and idle. I think the engine has to come out on the 9-3 to replace the chain and guides. Pretty pricey.

Is this engine turbocharged?

Nick , you have 4 threads about this vehicle since March . This is a discontinued brand so my thought would be trade for something that lets you sleep at night.

I remember when the Ford soft plastic valve stem seals would petrify, disintegrate, and clog the oil pump pick-up screen. I would guess the black particles in the Saab’s oil are plastic from somewhere.

I think he meant 130,000 miles not 13,000. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

I think it does makes sence. :wink:


what am i expecting to see after i clean it with alcohol?

im thinking of getting a v70. good looking cars and safe. are they reliable?

to be able to see if the pieces are plastic or metal. or something else.

what else can it be?