Your engine oil is supposed to lubricate all of the hard-working parts of your Land Rover’s engine. However, it will have a significantly harder time doing that if it has metal shavings in it. If you’ve found metal shavings while changing your own oil, or you’ve been told by your mechanic that your oil had metal shavings in it, you may be wondering how they got there. We’ll walk you through what this means for your vehicle, why your Land Rover has likely developed this problem, and what you can do to avoid it in the future.
How Did Metal Shavings Get into Your Oil?
Your engine oil is always in contact with the different parts of your engine, and they are metal. When you don’t have enough oil in your Land Rover, the metal parts of your engine aren’t lubricated and are still in direct contact with one another. This can cause damage to the parts and shave pieces of metal off them, which are then deposited in what little oil there is.
Although this is the most common way for metal shavings to get into your oil, it isn’t the only way. When your mechanic looks at the metal shavings they will examine what kind of metal it may be and the size of the chunks. Shavings that look like steel, copper, brass or bronze may be from different parts of the vehicle or from somewhere else entirely. Your mechanic may also use a magnet to look for iron shavings, which are often from rotating parts of your vehicle.
Signs of Metal Shavings in Engine Oil
Without looking at the oil yourself, are there any signs that there are metal shavings in your Land Rovers oil? There are. Here are several of the signs:
- Knocking sound: The knocking sound in your engine is typically from a lack of lubricant. The knocking sound is the different parts of the engine hitting each other without the friction-reducing benefits of oil. The knocking sound is a sign that metal shavings are being created.
- Ticking sounds: A milder sound, ticking is still concerning. It usually means that oil isn’t moving smoothly through all of the parts of your Land Rover’s engine. It could be restricted because of the metal shavings, or for another reason. Either way, a lack of proper oil will create more metal shavings over time.
- Oil pressure drops: Of course, if oil can’t move through your vehicle’s system properly, you will find that the oil pressure has dropped. This can cause serious problems in your engine.
- Rough idling: Without the proper flow of oil, your engine will be rough. You may especially notice this when it is idling. It may shake or vibrate when idling if your oil problem is bad enough. This problem may happen with or without metal shavings in your engine oil, but it certainly merits checking the oil.
Of course, the only way to know for sure whether your vehicle has metal shavings in the oil is to check it out. Your mechanic can drain your oil and measure the number of metal shavings in it. Having some shavings is fine, as there is usual wear on a vehicle, but more than an eighth of a teaspoon of metal in just the oil from the oil filter is too much.
Reduce Your Odds of Getting Metal Shavings in Your Oil
Your mechanic can fix your oil for now and troubleshoot any other problems that the metal shavings have created in your vehicle. But, what can you do to avoid this problem in the future? They may be able to tell you, but you can also follow these steps:
- Change your oil regularly: Missing oil changes will increase the odds that your vehicle will develop metal shaving. Oil that has developed sludge or absorbed too much won’t move through your Land Rover as it should, which means parts will be poorly lubricated and will create the shavings.
- Choose the right oil: Every vehicle needs a specific type of oil. If you’re not sure what your Land Rover needs, don’t guess. You can find the information in your owner’s manual, or the team at AutoScope can help you.
- Make sure there’s enough oil: Too little oil is just as bad as old oil. Always be sure that you’ve added the proper amount to your Land Rover.
We can help you take proper care of your Land Rover. Schedule your appointment at one of our three locations today! Contact us online here.