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Half-Engine replacement needed. I am doomed.

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by puntofreak, May 15, 2015.

  1. puntofreak

    puntofreak Novizio

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Few months back we wanted to have another car for our family, which was basically to be used by my parents. I did not want to invest more on the second car, hence wanted to get a second hand car. Came across a 2011 registered Punto Diesel Emotion model (75bhp) with an odometer reading of 60000 Km approx. Over all condition of the car was good. Checked car’s service history. Test drove it and checked few other things along with the most important dipstick check. Everything was ok. Decided to buy and after some bargaining grabbed the car at Rs.3,00,000/- during end of December 2014.

    After buying the car I took it to Fiat Service Station and did a complete paid servicing. They recommended me to change front shock absorbers, brake pads and the timing chain in next 2000-3000 Kms. Though it was not necessary to change timing chain for a 75bhp model, they advised me to play safe. I did as per their advice. Further, I spent around Rs.30,000/- to revamp the car (changed tires, changed seat, changed floor mat, interior treatment and exterior polishing). I almost made it to look like new. Now the total money spent on the car was Rs.3,50,000/- (car cost + expenses)

    60500 Kms – Complete servicing
    62134 Kms – Suspension & brake pad change
    63352 Kms – Timing chain replacement

    Everything was fine upto 25th April 2015 (Odo reading around 69500 Kms). On a way back to home our driver noticed “Low Engine Oil Pressure” warning and warning light. He then stopped the car and checked. There was no oil in the engine. Fiat Service guys advised to top up engine oil and took it to service station. They checked everything. There was no leakage. They advised us to report if engine oil level decrease again.

    The car run smoothly for another 1500 Kms, but the driver again noticed the same warning yesterday (Odo reading around 71000 Kms). and he took it to service station after adding engine oil. They checked it again and shockingly informed us that engine was damaged. Heavy smoke is coming out of the dipstick. The only solution as per them is half engine replacement which will cost me around 80-90k as per their preliminary estimation.

    I already own a Punto (Diesel 75bhp) which is why I had faith on the vehicle and hence I went ahead with buying another one. However I am suffering both mentally and financially after my decision. I doubt if these Fiat guys can replace the half engine properly. I do not have faith on them as they are unable to provide me a valid reason for the engine damage. Again I do not know if the car will be alright after the treatment. I do not want to spend another 80-90k in an old car. How much can I recover if I sell it. Guys please guide me.
  2. Deepak

    Deepak Regolare

    Punto Evo 1.3 90 HP
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
    puntofreek likes this.
  3. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    Which delhi FASS is this? How did they explain the first 'no engine oil' incident if there was no leakage found, and how did you accept the car back without such an explanation/diagnosis? This is bad, and demands that you contact FCA directly. If the resposibility is theirs, even partially, and so it would seem from what you've stated, they must be held to SOME financial account as far as your engine semi-rebuild is concerned.

    keep us updated.
  4. kookaburra

    kookaburra Amatore

    IMO you should have gone into bottoms of the cause when you first first no-oil incident.
    There must have been something that was draining the oil.

    Moreover you might not know the history of the damages the engine or related parts might have while the car was with the first owner.
    Coming to the cost part, I think it's still in line. IMO no other manufacturer (atleast B2 hatch) would do a half engine job for less than a lakh. It may look a big spend considering the price you paid for getting the entire car, but in absolute terms the cost is quite reasonable if the engine has really been damaged to that extent.
    Turbothinghy, puntofreek and prabhjot like this.
  5. Sujit508

    Sujit508 Amatore

    Bangalore , Karnataka
    Retro / Classic FIAT
    Get a second opinion on the Engine Damage. Oil Loss can be from the Turbo as well. The Seals can leak and the engine oil will be entering the combustion chamber along with the inlet gases. and the oil will be burnt along with diesel.

    What remains to check is. whether running on low oil has damaged the internals of the engine which requires half engine replacement.
    puntofreek likes this.
  6. RaviHegde

    RaviHegde Regolare

    14.62°N 74.85°E
    Grande Punto 1.4
    One piece of advise for all car owners: In this case car had given one big warning (first time low oil warning) before things went wrong seriously. If the owner had been checking oil level every week or two he would have caught oil loss in early stage. Assuming no leakages and the oil loss is because of oil burning - probably burning oil had changed exhaust characteristics. Had the owner observed the exhaust he would have suspected something is wrong with the engine and investigated it. First low oil incident without leakage should have sounded high decibel alert - it is unexplained problem. Whenever an unexplained problem happens it needs thorough investigation because unknown problems can be very dangerous (be it machine or human). If you care for your pocket you better treat your machines with care :D
  7. puntofreek

    puntofreek Timido

    New Delhi
    Thanks for your replies. I respect your views, however what could have I done?

    When someone falls ill, what does he do? He goes to a doctor. The doctor checks and prescribes something and says take those medicines and come after a month, I will check again and confirm. After a month the doctor confirms cancer. Exactly the same has happened with my car :inpain:

    When the first warning light came up, I suspected some big issue as there was no leakage. However the Fiat ASS told me not to worry. As per them engine oil loss is typically seen in cases where a timing chain is replaced. When I insisted for a through checkup as there was no leakage, they told me that they could only come to know about the engine issue only if the engine consumes further oil (after the top up).

    I was not lucky. The engine consumed oil further after running almost 1500 Kms and Fiat ASS recommended me for engine overhaul. However the car still ran smooth, there was no loss of power and the mileage was as usual 18-19 km/ltr until the second warning light.

    I visited Fiat ASS yesterday and spoke to the mechanic. Finally he told me that dust had entered into the engine due to which wear and tear of the internal parts happened. I asked him how? He had no idea. But he confirmed me that it happened much before I bought the car from the first owner. If this was so why did not I notice any trouble when I checked, I asked. He said that the damage might have been smaller in the beginning but after running almost 10k kms (after I bought it) it multiplied and the problem showed up.

    I was not the owner upto 60k kms. The service history was fine upto 45k km. After which I bought the car and did a full service at 60k. Nobody knows what happened between 45k to 60k kms. Warranty is gone. Now, can I blame Fiat for this? Do I have sufficient reason to argue with them?

    I have following three options.

    1. Replace half engine at Fiat ASS at 80-90k INR approx. The Fiat 75bhp half engine block costs around 48k (confirmed from 99rpm website too) and Fiat ASS is saying other consumables alongwith labour would cost another 30-40k.

    2. Replace the half engine by an outside mechanic. I have also enquired. One mechanic who repairs same Fiat engines in Tata cars has quoted 35-40k. But I doubt as the half engine itself comes at 48k how can he quote very low.

    3. Sell the car. It is not easy to sell a car with such engine problems. However I have contacted 2-3 people and one of them has shown interest after observing the new like condition of the car (apart from engine). He has agreed to give me 2.5 lacs for the car if only the engine work (outside mechanic) costs him upto 50k. If the cost goes above he will give that much less.

    I found the third option most suitable if the deal goes through. I do not want to spend on a car which has given me enough trouble and further I do not know if that will give me trouble again after the engine work. I would prefer to lose 1 lac from my investment rather than spending another 1 lac and losing more :banghead:
    cassini likes this.
  8. vista7155

    vista7155 Regolare

    Very sad to hear the issue.
    The 3rd option looks very good because you can never trust the Fass and in future if some other issues comes up they will wash their hands and you have to bear the expenses.
    IMHO asking owners to check engine oil fortnight is uncalled and also how I can check the smoke while driving?
    Never trust the Fass you may get few SA good but major of the percentage are good for nothing.
    I have too many horror stories and my next car will be definitely not from fiat until and unless they make drastic change.
    By the way what happened to your car now did you sell or repaired?
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    delhi ncr

    That is a very, too harsh judgment, based no doubt on concrete bad experience-incidence at your end.

    However, my dad and I too have not had any 'bad' ones in over 6 years of owning several Fiats, TASS and new FASS too. Improve-able, surely, not-always-excellent, surely, but am happy enough with the FASS scene here in Gurgaon + Kashyap in delhi + DRS Faridabad too, including the FASS technicians who don't deserve the sweeping indictment you're pronouncing, not at all!

    However, here too there are one or two FASS that are, i would not say bad, but yes not-quite 'bankable'. And I say that from the heard-said, not from direct experience.

    Are other firms' ASS any/notably better all-told than our (admittedly specific) experiences with FASS here in Dilli-Gurgaon?

    I do doubt it, very much, from what one gathers from friends and family, except Toyota, whose ++ASS quality is in inverse proportion to the --quality (rather than just reputed 'reliability') of their Indian-market offerings.

    : am not trying to negate or depreciate your opinion, just restoring some balance to a rather generalizing hanging-judgment .
    cassini likes this.
  10. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Linea 1.3
    @puntofreek, replacement of half block will give a good lease of life to the car.

    Is the car with you right now or standing in FASC?

    Do you really need a second car right now?

    Will it not hurt to take a loss on the car of upto as you said about 1lac. when you actually want it? Again, do you want to keep it?

    Any mechanic who works on Maruti and Tata MJD engines (DDiS or Quadrajet) will be fully capable to execute this block replacement procedure.

    Also, what seems to have happened is that somewhere along the engine life the engine must have sustained damage due to some leak somewhere. Also possible that without knowledge of prior owner things might have gone wrong with the car. So lets also give him/her the benefit of doubt there.

    Meanwhile if you have the car yet. Try to locate the leak source with plain mineral oil 15W40 at first. Then you could try a race specific oil like 20W50 if available and see if the engine block regains the compression. Definitely do not try any fully synthetic oil just yet. You probably do not need it for this particular car's engine even in future.

    My advice to you, don't sell the car as it will be a scarring experience for a long time.
    Instead take it up as challenge, accept it as a bad luck event, a lot many people face it sometime or the other. So you are definitely not alone here.

    Also imagine in your mind how you could enjoy this car to the fullest after you fix the issues. That could help. Sorry for the psyche counselling, but you won't regret later if you follow this.

    EDIT: Also take official quotes from other FASC meanwhile about the labour component of this engine block replacement procedure.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
    cassini and Swaminathan.B.S like this.

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