Floating steel shavings...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1985 Cadillac Seville with 75,000 miles on it. On a trip, the camshaft went out on me. One lobe rounded off all the way, and two others were starting to go. I had the work done at a Cadillac dealership. They replaced the camshaft, 16 lifters, the timing chain and gear, and so on. I was surprised that during this procedure, the oil and filter were never changed. So I assume the steel shavings from the camshaft are still in the motor. The Cadillac dealer said the oil filter would take care of the steel shavings. Is this true?

RAY: The steel shavings were probably captured by the last SEVERAL oil filters, John. The camshaft didn't come apart on that one trip. It's been wearing down for months. And as the shavings came off, most of them probably were trapped by the filter.

TOM: But there's no excuse for not changing the oil and filter after a job like this. Whenever you have an engine apart, all kinds of stuff can fall in. You can lose scrapings from the timing case cover gasket, crud can get in when you have the valve covers off...

RAY: We have a particular problem with deviled eggs. Often when we eat lunch near an open engine, we inevitably lose a couple of deviled eggs.

TOM: So it's absolutely essential to change the oil and filter whenever you've had the engine apart. We're surprised that after charging you what must have been $1000 for this repair, they didn't do a $20 oil change. Do it now, John. It's never too late. And make sure you're using the oil GM recommends for this car (5W-30), or you may need another camshaft before long.

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