I was replacing the oil today when I noticed torn metal inside the engine -- never a good sign. This is a 2005 Pontiac Vibe 1ZZ-FE, on which there is a lot of documentation but none proved useful to an amateur such as myself.

Here are the pics:

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It doesn't seem to manifest itself in any way, no smoke, sputtering, etc, but I'd hate to regret ignoring this later on.

What part do you think this is and how severe/urgent does it seem?

Thanks all!!

  • 1
    looks like the tray that keeps oil from splashing around. it also looks like something bent and cut it. looks awful close to the cam. may want to pull the valve cover and fix that.
    – Ben
    Nov 15 '17 at 17:42
  • Could it be aluminum foil from the the top of the new oil container that accidentally fell in ? Check to see if it is magnetic ( ie, steel ). Nov 15 '17 at 17:58

Update: reddit nailed the problem.

I like @blacksmith37's way of thinking, but @Ben was closer.

What probably happened was, back when I paid other people to do my oil changes, some underpaid mechanic at Walmart wanted to get his day over with and haphazardly jammed the metal oil gun into the filler too hard, which bent and broke the oil baffle, which can be seen below the oil cap here in this 2AZ-FE. This is a known problem, and care is advised.

Fortunately, it should be easy to remedy. Bending it back into place, removing it, welding/repairing it, or replacing the valve cover are all possible solutions given in order of increasing difficulty and/or price. If left alone, it could indeed molest the cam shaft as @Ben conjectured, or it could break off and send shards in places where shards would not help the car run better.

Do your own oil changes, folks.

  • Can you also mark this as the answer? That will be helpful for the community. ;) Nov 15 '17 at 21:17

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