Hoo boy. Didn't expect to find THIS when I checked my oil this morning. I wiped the dipstick on a shop cloth and noticed the oil on the cloth seemed to have a little extra glimmer to it. I thought maybe it was the oil slicked fibers of the cloth, but when I was able to pull a "fiber" off, roll it around between my fingers, and discovered it to be anything but soft, I got a bit worried. Dipped the dipstick back in, pulled it out, and noticed flecks along the edges of the dipstick. It seems I can consistently pull up shavings by wiping the dipstick off and sticking it back in, though to be fair I only tried it twice.
I managed to get a rather large hair-like piece on the dipstick on an attempt for a picture. I wish I could say I was happy to have so succeeded. You can see the shard of metal to the left of the shop cloth, just below the dimple on the dipstick.
With the flash.
I'm running Redline 5W-30 and a K&N filter, which I put in/on just before the track day in October, so I've only got around 2000-3000 miles on this combo. Only other engine-related mods are the Vararam intake and Billet Prototypes catch can.
Oil pressure according to the OBDII port, which I monitor using my Aeroforce gauges, has remained high, as much as above 50 at higher RPM's. I've kept the oil level above halfway on the dipstick at all times. Right now it's just a tick above the full mark.
Only noticeable odd occurrences were a cylinder misfire code at the track; a strange dark, gritty splatter I found inside the catch can last time I emptied it about a month ago; and of late what sounds like a ticking lifter, like there's a bit of lash in a single valve on a single cylinder. No other strange symptoms. Engine still sounds good, revs freely, and doesn't seem to have lost any power. No codes. No used oil.
Engine should still be under warranty, though I don't know if they'd complain about my use of a non-approved oil. Given Redline's reputation as a high-quality synthetic, though, I'd be surprised if this was caused by the oil.
So any words of wisdom here? Any potential diagnoses? Feel free to ask any questions.
I suppose it's worth noting that one of the shards seemed to have black on one side, and the bare metal on the other. Reading around, apparently the dipstick tubes or dipsticks can leave shards on the sticks. Not sure if this is possible on our cars. Mayhaps I should cut the filter open.