The Importance of Magnetic Oil Drain Plugs

The one thing that’s been running decently, despite a few times that I’ve oil-fouled the plugs, is my engine. Well, I shouldn’t say the one thing, there’s lots of things that work right on my bike, say, the seat. I haven’t had any problems with the driver seat. The passenger seat on the other hand is in need of a new layer of duct tape…. but that’s not what I’m talking about here!

A bike as old as mine will have more metal shavings running through its system than, say a 2013 model. I wasn’t sure that a magnetic oil drain plug would actually do anything for me when I got it, but I’ve been surprised time and time again with it.

Oil Drain Plug Metal Shavings from a 1986 Honda Rebel

So when I made the decision to get a magnetic drain plug for my Honda Rebel, I wasn’t expecting too much. But it was only about ten dollars, so I figured that if it worked out, it’d be money well spent, and if it didn’t, well, I’ve spent more money on worse things before! There are a number of retailers for magnetic oil drain plugs, but I got mine from

I generally stay on schedule with my oil changes, every 1,000 to 1,500 miles or so, but this time I’d gone almost twice that, more through negligence than anything else. I just hadn’t been watching my odometer like I normally do.

Oil Drain Plug Metal Shavings

In any case, after looking at the metal shavings from this oil change, I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to keep up with a 1,000 mile schedule, because the magnet on the end looked as though it might not be able to catch any more shavings from the engine, with all that was there already. My Honda Rebel may be old, but the last thing I want is all of those shavings getting in somewhere and clogging things up!

I ended up posting in the Honda Rebel Forum about the magnetic oil drain plug, in their stickied post regarding them, with a diagnosis of “holy crap that’s a lot of metal shavings for one engine.” It’s made me think critically about the life of my engine and whether I’ll end up seeing 100,000 miles (my ultimate goal). At this point, I think I’m just going to make sure I change my oil every 1,000 miles and hope that the shavings get less and less. I’ve had oil changes with a lot less shavings on them, definitely, so I’m not sure if it’s a long-term issue or just a “things were rough for a while” issue.

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