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Old 11-17-2005, 21:01   #1 (permalink)
Rick
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Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan


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!!

Thanks!


--
"I'm just very selective about the reality I accept" -- Calvin
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Old 11-17-2005, 22:01   #2 (permalink)
athol
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

Rick <oh@mystarsandgarters.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
ignition.

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
matter.

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.

--
Athol
<http://cust.idl.com.au/athol> Linux Registered User # 254000
The state of infrastructure in New South Wales is a disgrace.
I'm a Libran Engineer. I don't argue, I discuss.
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Old 11-17-2005, 23:01   #3 (permalink)
Rick
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

athol <me@privacy.net> wrote in news:1132287448.302294@idlweb:

> 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.


I guess that's my big concern there: It's small, plastic and likely
to float and not go to the bottom.

Thanks for the response.

--
"I'm just very selective about the reality I accept" -- Calvin
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:01   #4 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

Rick wrote:
> athol <me@privacy.net> wrote in news:1132287448.302294@idlweb:
>
>
>>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.

>
>
> I guess that's my big concern there: It's small, plastic and likely
> to float and not go to the bottom.
>
> Thanks for the response.
>



If it's plastic it probably won't cause much of a problem, if it does
get into anything moving, it'll be shredded and end up as bits in the
oil filter.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:01   #5 (permalink)
athol
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

James Sweet <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Rick wrote:
>> athol <me@privacy.net> wrote in news:1132287448.302294@idlweb:


>>>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.


>> I guess that's my big concern there: It's small, plastic and likely
>> to float and not go to the bottom.


> If it's plastic it probably won't cause much of a problem, if it does
> get into anything moving, it'll be shredded and end up as bits in the
> oil filter.


That's pretty much my thoughts, too. Extremely unlikely to damage any
metal bits in the engine. If it floats, it might get bashed around a
bit and that's about that.

Of course, if you have some engine oil and another piece of the same
stuff, you could put it in a jar or similar and check whether it floats
or sinks. If it sinks, forget about it completely!

--
Athol
<http://cust.idl.com.au/athol> Linux Registered User # 254000
The state of infrastructure in New South Wales is a disgrace.
I'm a Libran Engineer. I don't argue, I discuss.
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:01   #6 (permalink)
xntrick
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

athol wrote:
> James Sweet <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Rick wrote:
>>
>>>athol <me@privacy.net> wrote in news:1132287448.302294@idlweb:

>
>
>>>>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.

>
>
>>>I guess that's my big concern there: It's small, plastic and likely
>>>to float and not go to the bottom.

>
>
>>If it's plastic it probably won't cause much of a problem, if it does
>>get into anything moving, it'll be shredded and end up as bits in the
>>oil filter.

>
>
> That's pretty much my thoughts, too. Extremely unlikely to damage any
> metal bits in the engine. If it floats, it might get bashed around a
> bit and that's about that.
>
> Of course, if you have some engine oil and another piece of the same
> stuff, you could put it in a jar or similar and check whether it floats
> or sinks. If it sinks, forget about it completely!
>

How about dragging a magnet from the outside of the sump all round to
the centre where you drain the oil and see if it shows up....ahem drain
oil first!!!
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Old 11-18-2005, 03:01   #7 (permalink)
Crazy Dog
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

xntrick wrote:

<snip>

> How about dragging a magnet from the outside of the sump all round to
> the centre where you drain the oil and see if it shows up....ahem drain
> oil first!!!


It won't. It's plastic. :)

--
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wfh at crazy hyphen dog dot fsnet dot co dot uk
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Old 11-18-2005, 04:01   #8 (permalink)
m-gineering
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

Rick wrote:
> 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?


Timing gear teeth are a regular find in the oilpan of B20 & B30 engines,
so usually small pieces pose no problem. Provided the sieve on the
oilpump is intact. This could be damaged if you have a large dent in the
bottom of the oilpan. You don't want the oilpressure relief valve jammed
open!

--
---
Marten
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:01   #9 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan


>>

> How about dragging a magnet from the outside of the sump all round to
> the centre where you drain the oil and see if it shows up....ahem drain
> oil first!!!



Given that it's plastic, I have slight doubts as to a magnet being
helpful :)
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:01   #10 (permalink)
blurp
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Re: Desperate: need advice on object that fell into oil pan

On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 21:58:19 -0600, the illustrious Rick
<oh@mystarsandgarters.com> favored us with the following prose:

>
>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!!
>
>Thanks!

Isn't that what an oil filter's for? It would stand to reason that the
filter stands between the oil in the pan and the engine. Perhaps next
time you change the filter you'll find the piece.

blurp.
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