Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan
Rick <email@example.com> wrote:
> I desperately need a little advice as I'm heading out of town for
> the weekend and I think I may have created a problem for myself!
> I have a 1999 Volvo S80 that I had put away for the summer
> and I pulled it back out for the winter.
> The oil needs to be changed and I was checking the power steering
> fluid and the oil levels before driving it much further. When
> I went to pull the oil dipstick out, it got stuck and broke into
> several small pieces.
> I was able to get most of the pieces out but one of the small pieces
> fell down the tube.
> Assuming the piece went all the way down, what are the risks?
> Could that little piece cause a blockage and, perhaps cause
> engine seizure?
> Would changing the oil remove the piece? Would it be safe
> to drive a few miles to the dealer to have them fix it?
> Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! The quicker
> the better!!
Depends how big it is. I dropped a small bolt into the sump of a 350
chev years ago - down the distributor hole. The bolt was probably a
5/16UNC bolt about 12mm (1/2") long, with a captive nut under the head.
IIRC, it was one of the bolts that held the coil bracket onto the inlet
manifold and I was removing it to convert the engine to electronic
The bolt stayed in the sump for several years, coming out when I
removed the sump for an unrelated reason. I think it was the sump that
got squashed in a crash, but might have been when I was changing sumps
to put the engine in a different car. Don't remember, but doesn't
The bolt had a few gouges in it where it had obviously been a bit close
to moving parts of the engine, but there were only about 2 or 3 marks
and there was no obvious damage to the engine, which is still in a car
(a Volvo, even) and runs fine.
I don't know enough about the specific model of engine or the size of
the broken piece, but as a general rule, I'd suggest that a small piece
shouldn't do too much damage provided that it is too big to be picked
up by the oil pickup and ends up falling into the bottom of the sump.
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