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Old 01-11-2014, 05:42 AM   #1
jesperd OP
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Paper-ish something in engine oil

Hi,

I have just changed oil and noticed this small piece of something that looks a bit like oil soaked paper. When teared, it feels like thin dry paper. I don't know much about engines, so I wanted to see if anybody had an idea of what this could be and if this is something I should worry about.

I haven't noticed anything when riding, like strange sounds, etc.

It was sitting on top of the filter when I took it out, like this:


A close up of the "something":


Could it be filter material? Any thoughts?

Jesper
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:52 AM   #2
krellheat
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Shop towel shred from an insecure BMW technician in his first oil change.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:16 AM   #3
Jim Moore
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As a note, it also looks like your oil filter o-ring may be stuck on the engine instead of coming off on the filter itself.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
jesperd OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
As a note, it also looks like your oil filter o-ring may be stuck on the engine instead of coming off on the filter itself.
It was.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:53 AM   #5
jesperd OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krellheat View Post
Shop towel shred from an insecure BMW technician in his first oil change.
This was my first oil change, and even to an oil-change rookie like me, it is not that hard to not get unwanted stuff in there during an oil change. I guess that makes me a better oil-changer that some out there doing it for a living. Somehow that makes me feel good inside. And a bit scary at the same time, I guess.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:13 AM   #6
JetSpeed
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Definitely not filter media, likely a piece of a paper towel as already noted.
Any idea who/where changed the oil last?
My only small concern would be if there were more of this still in the engine, a very likely place for this to collect would be the screen on the oil pick-up tube, if this paper collects there it could impede oil flow and possibly cause a problem later.
The problem is that to check you have to split the cases, which I wouldn't do.

You may want to make sure there isn't any more of this stuck up in the drain hole, look in the hole with a light if you can, if you see some use a thin pair of tweezers to try and pull it out thru the hole.

It probably isn't going to hurt anything in the long-run though.

Things like this are precisely why I don't take anything into a shop for service, if I can avoid it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:34 AM   #7
def
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I don't know of a BMW shop that I would allow to change a light bulb on my GS....
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
jigginjim
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Definately looks like a small piece of paper towel. I wouldnt worry about it too much - at least that bit is outside the engine now

If the oil ways were impeded to dangerous levels it would cause a drop in oil pressure and your oil light would come on. Wouldnt do any harm to run a flushing oil round the system though I guess?

As mentioned, the only way to be absolutely sure is an engine strip and I wouldnt do that either!
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:38 AM   #9
Wallowa
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Not Sure...But

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperd View Post
This was my first oil change, and even to an oil-change rookie like me, it is not that hard to not get unwanted stuff in there during an oil change. I guess that makes me a better oil-changer that some out there doing it for a living. Somehow that makes me feel good inside. And a bit scary at the same time, I guess.
Not certain where you are worried about contaminating your oil during a filter/oil change. You first blow off/ brush off and wipe off around the filter at the crankcase before removing it....as mentioned be certain to remove the old o-ring, as they often stick to the filter mounting surface on the crankcase...double O-rings = leaks...

Then I fill my new filter with clean oil and wipe a finger dipped in the clean oil around the new o-ring...visually check to make certain no contaminants are on the filter mount and then slowly and carefully screw the new filter into place..for me it is finger tight plus 1/4 turn..don't over tighten..

Same cleaning procedure for crankcase engine oil drain plug...I do use a new crush washer each time...I hate worrying about them and they are cheap.

Same for the filler hole on the cylinder valve cover...clean before removing plug and be certain the funnel you use to put oil into engine has been rinsed out [I use a solvent and then oil] so that you don't flush crude into the motor with the new oil.. clean off filler plug and don't leave the plug out while doing other things...I smear a light coating of oil the o-ring in the plug before replacing.

I also do not do any of this work when a wind is blowing in my work area [flying grit]...but I have a heated shop to work on the bike in..


PS...Just me, but I would cut open that filter with the contaminant on top in your photo to check how much got into the filter...and of course check the oil drained out of crankcase for this same debris..
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallowa View Post
Not certain where you are worried about contaminating your oil during a filter/oil change. You first blow off/ brush off and wipe off around the filter at the crankcase before removing it....as mentioned be certain to remove the old o-ring, as they often stick to the filter mounting surface on the crankcase...double O-rings = leaks...

Then I fill my new filter with clean oil and wipe a finger dipped in the clean oil around the new o-ring...visually check to make certain no contaminants are on the filter mount and then slowly and carefully screw the new filter into place..for me it is finger tight plus 1/4 turn..don't over tighten..

Same cleaning procedure for crankcase engine oil drain plug...I do use a new crush washer each time...I hate worrying about them and they are cheap.

Same for the filler hole on the cylinder valve cover...clean before removing plug and be certain the funnel you use to put oil into engine has been rinsed out [I use a solvent and then oil] so that you don't flush crude into the motor with the new oil.. clean off filler plug and don't leave the plug out while doing other things...I smear a light coating of oil the o-ring in the plug before replacing.

I also do not do any of this work when a wind is blowing in my work area [flying grit]...but I have a heated shop to work on the bike in..


PS...Just me, but I would cut open that filter with the contaminant on top in your photo to check how much got into the filter...and of course check the oil drained out of crankcase for this same debris..
You must be reading a heck of a lot more into his comment than I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesperd View Post
it is not that hard to not get unwanted stuff in there during an oil change.
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:44 PM   #11
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If your oil filling plug was lose, some SOB might have stuffed a receipt in to it.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
JeffinTD
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For that to have to have gotten there from inside the engine it would have had to have gone through the pick-up screen and oil pump.

I wonder if there was a piece of debris caught behind the filter when you pulled it off, or if someone wiped the filter mount with a tag before installing that filter and left a bit behind.

Anyway, it might be interesting to cut the filter open to see if there is anything to see.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:16 PM   #13
Wallowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
You must be reading a heck of a lot more into his comment than I did.

Ya...you are correct..way too much down load...but since this is his first ever oil change on that bike.....and it doesn't have to be scary but does for certain take attention to details...
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:24 PM   #14
Anorak
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A commercial shop uses cloth shop towels not paper towels so it would be unlikely that it happened that way. Anyhow, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:22 AM   #15
billdonna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak View Post
A commercial shop uses cloth shop towels not paper towels so it would be unlikely that it happened that way. Anyhow, I wouldn't worry about it.
Yeah, I loved the old red cotton towels too....but most shops now use the throwaway reinforced blue paper towels for safety reasons. Almost as good as old red cloth, but no metal chips from some ass wiping down drill presses to shred your fingers.

The paper shred I see reminds me of the brown hand towels that one finds in washrooms. If you used one to wipe an oil gasket flange face, it is very likely to snag and tear leaving a remnant like is shown. Very poor workmanship!
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