I was changing the oil in my 2004 Chevrolet Siverado 1500 this weekend, and when I was going to put the plug back in, I noticed a few tiny wire-like metal shavings sticking to the magnetic oil plug. They were varying from about 1/8" to 3/8" in length. The shavings were slightly curly/twisted, but about the same thickness as you would see on a wire brush (small fraction of a millimeter).
My question is, how worried should I be? Is it time to start shopping for a newer truck? Or is this expected wear?
Some background info and context that might help answer this question: I bought this vehicle used just a few years ago, and it currently has 190,000 miles on it. It runs very well, and I change the oil every 3-5000 miles, and don't put a lot of miles on it (maybe 5-8000 annually). What might also be very relevant: just a day earlier we bought a new camper, and I was towing it back to the house (about 90 miles). I kept my speed reasonable (60mph max), and I suspect this is the heaviest trailer this truck has ever towed (4200 lbs empty, out of a 6100 lbs max towing capacity on the truck). I do know the previous owner used the truck to tow a small boat (don't know how far or how often). My suspicion is this could be engine "break in" adjusting to towing a heavy load (I have heard an engine and/or transmission will wear differently while towing). Does this sound like a reasonable guess, or are there other things I should be worried about?