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Old 10th September 2011, 10:02   #16
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
A few days ago, he was travelling on the highway and his car went through a small puddle. There was a loud thud and he could feel the car behaving in a strange manner.
The only reason i am saying something is not sounding right is because this statement above gives me an impression that he went through a small puddle (If it was small how come the water got into the engine), Also there is no mention of speed hence the thud could be what i get 10 times every month on Bangalore speedbreakers.

So either the info above is not accurate or complete, and if it is then this does not sound like a scenario where in the sump would break and engine oil would get drained. Also the small puddle does not give an impression that the car went through really deep waters. I myself have driven my Baleno through more than a feet deep water (And i cannot call it puddle) and only the carpet was wet which needed repair/replacement. Nothing on engine at all, and as far as i understand even in 2 feet water the possibility of it getting in engine is very low.
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Old 10th September 2011, 10:11   #17
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
The only reason i am saying something is not sounding right is because this statement above gives me an impression that he went through a small puddle (If it was small how come the water got into the engine), Also there is no mention of speed hence the thud could be what i get 10 times every month on Bangalore speedbreakers.

So either the info above is not accurate or complete, and if it is then this does not sound like a scenario where in the sump would break and engine oil would get drained. Also the small puddle does not give an impression that the car went through really deep waters. I myself have driven my Baleno through more than a feet deep water (And i cannot call it puddle) and only the carpet was wet which needed repair/replacement. Nothing on engine at all, and as far as i understand even in 2 feet water the possibility of it getting in engine is very low.
The puddle is just a massive coincidence.

It just happens that the engine produced a major thud sound when he went through a puddle here. I can tell you from experience that even when driving through slightly big puddles the Punto doesnt complain or make big thud sounds. If the suspension made a thud, it must have been quite a big puddle taken at pretty high speeds.

The reason for water entering the engine has most likely nothing do with the puddle.
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Old 10th September 2011, 11:01   #18
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

Yeah i find it hard to believe that going through a "puddle" would cause major engine damage to modern cars. These are not the Padminis of the 70s and 80s that we are talking about. And they too would only merely stall, requiring a push start and nice family bonding time

Anyway, back to this one, either the said "puddle" was hiding a pothole and a rock wherein the tyre went into the pothole and the rock did the damage, AND the speeds were not really "moderate"
OR
the seven day period in the garage is suspicious. But then the driver experienced the problem before the car went into the garage, right?

Either ways, picture is not clear.
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Old 10th September 2011, 11:02   #19
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
...he was travelling on the highway and his car went through a small puddle. There was a loud thud and he could feel the car behaving in a strange manner.
Sankalp, you do not mention anywhere whether or not water actually entered the engine through the intake of your friend's car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post
...a connecting rod for one of the pistons is bent. This occurs due to entry of water in the engine chamber and this is not under warranty.
Bent conrod + assumption that it is caused by hydrolock is not the way to arrive at the conclusion that this is damage due to user fault. There will be evidence of water ingress otherwise too. Ask for such evidence to be presented. There are other reasons why a conrod can bend too.

Also, does your friend's insurance cover floods? If yes, then damage to engine due to water ingress will be covered under warranty. Please ask him to read the fine print.
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Old 10th September 2011, 11:12   #20
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Sankalp, you do not mention anywhere whether or not water actually entered the engine through the intake of your friend's car.

Bent conrod + assumption that it is caused by hydrolock is not the way to arrive at the conclusion that this is damage due to user fault. There will be evidence of water ingress otherwise too. Ask for such evidence to be presented. There are other reasons why a conrod can bend too.

Also, does your friend's insurance cover floods? If yes, then damage to engine due to water ingress will be covered under warranty. Please ask him to read the fine print.
Does insurance cover for floods give me a blank cheque to drive into 3-4 feet of water?? Or can I drive into a big puddle at not so moderate speeds and expect the insurance to pay up??

I would imagine the insurance against flood would actually be for "floods" or cars getting stuck in extreme water logging and not to for insurance against a someone's carelessness.

I seriously doubt that hydrolock is the explanation here. There is something fishy about that 7day period at the dealership.
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Old 10th September 2011, 12:10   #21
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Does insurance cover for floods give me a blank cheque to drive into 3-4 feet of water?? Or can I drive into a big puddle at not so moderate speeds and expect the insurance to pay up??

I would imagine the insurance against flood would actually be for "floods" or cars getting stuck in extreme water logging and not to for insurance against a someone's carelessness.

I seriously doubt that hydrolock is the explanation here. There is something fishy about that 7day period at the dealership.


I agree with you, the question is, if it was a small puddle then how did the water get into the engine ? by small I assume that 6-10 inches in depth and at most 2 feet wide. I don't think that water can get into the engine in such a scenario, as for the sump getting cracked and oil leaking out, well, it could be possible but unless it was a really bad hit the sump can't crack because sumps was designed to take upto some extent of hit. I feel that the issue could have been something else and the dealer is trying to pull off a trick.
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Old 10th September 2011, 13:45   #22
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by DonnieDarko View Post
I agree with you, the question is, if it was a small puddle then how did the water get into the engine ? by small I assume that 6-10 inches in depth and at most 2 feet wide. I don't think that water can get into the engine in such a scenario, as for the sump getting cracked and oil leaking out, well, it could be possible but unless it was a really bad hit the sump can't crack because sumps was designed to take upto some extent of hit. I feel that the issue could have been something else and the dealer is trying to pull off a trick.
Like I said before, forget the puddle. It's a coincidence. Even if water did get in it had nothing to do with that puddle.

Also, there is no mention of sump crack. As a Punto owner, I have been through some really bad craters and shocks. And its properly thick sump guard is really really good and it would be a pretty big surprise if the sump was even damaged a bit.
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Old 10th September 2011, 16:17   #23
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

Where is the OP and his friend? I would want him to define 'Funny'.

Does the Punto have a Temperature Gauge? Because, if there was total oil-loss, the temperature gauge would also show 'funny' readings (which are close to hitting max).

Purpose of the above question actually was to know if the engine has actually seized or is the problem something entirely different? People drive into puddles all the time. Engines don't seize due to driving into puddles. Engines, though, can seize if the car stalls when driving through water-logged ares.

If I am not wrong, I think this puddle incident happened on 3rd September. My guess is this date because it actually rained quite a bit on that day leading to major water-logging. And I invariably go to Lavasa on the day it rains the most. (Have done it consistently twice in 2 years. ). So, I also happened to cross quite a few water-logged areas and puddles. If this 'puddle' & your friend's residence happens to be on Sinhagad Road or Baner Road, Your friend can hopefully claim insurance because of the inherent absence of storm water drainage systems at both these places. If not, I doubt the problem was caused due to water-damage.
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Old 10th September 2011, 16:41   #24
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Does insurance cover for floods give me a blank cheque to drive into 3-4 feet of water?? Or can I drive into a big puddle at not so moderate speeds and expect the insurance to pay up??

I would imagine the insurance against flood would actually be for "floods" or cars getting stuck in extreme water logging and not to for insurance against a someone's carelessness.
.
Accidents almost always are the direct result of carelessness or ignorance. If he has flood cover, he should be reimbursed.

Same case, if he hit a rock, there by losing drain plug/damaging sump > loosing oil > engine seizure > con rods bent.
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Old 11th September 2011, 08:49   #25
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by SankalpDesai View Post

his car went through a small puddle. There was a loud thud and he could feel the car behaving in a strange manner.

He visited the dealer again yesterday and saw the communication between dealer and FIAT motors.

Service engineer from Fiat informed the dealer that a connecting rod for one of the pistons is bent. This occurs due to entry of water in the engine chamber and this is not under warranty.

He has officially launched a complaint with Fiat regarding this issue but have not received any response.
Send a registered letter to your dealer to document the fault with photographs and ask the dealer why the fault occurred and what the the owner could have done to avoid it. The reply should be in writing too.

Whatever reasons are given, ask Fiat (by registered post acknowledgement due) to handle it under warranty cover. If they decline, it has to be written and with an explanation as to the reasons for the fault.

Get the repair done (even if it is at your cost) but do not sign anything unconditionally ie if you agree to do it at your cost, write on the contract form that you dont agree with their analysis and that you reserve your rights to seek legal restitution. When you take delivery of the car, make sure that you do not sign that everything is OK. Take it as 'condition unknown, said to be OK by the dealer' Please check with your lawyer for exact wordings. Try to pay using a Banker's cheque and keep copies of it.

When you get the car back, file a case against Fiat and the dealer - consumer court. Make sure you photograph all the problems and repairs yourself too to support your case. Given the information you have posted engines should not fail in 2 months unless it has been used in rallying or as a submarine.
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Old 11th September 2011, 10:31   #26
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

In a recent episode of BBC TopGear, a Ford Fiesta was driven straight out of an amphibious landing craft, waded through sea water almost reaching the bonnet and made it to the beach without any issues. Some similar scenes were on news channels on Friday reporting on flooded Delhi streets. So ingress of water into engine due to passing over "puddle", however large or deep it may be, can be ruled out. The reason for bent con rod lies elsewhere.
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Old 11th September 2011, 11:08   #27
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

If the engine sump was indeed hit and oil indeed leaked out. The brain of the car could have stopped it from moving immediately. That does not seem to have happened.

Second thing conrod bend - again most probable cause, water in the fuel. Again the sensors could have detected that and stalled the car.

Something is missing here. The pieces don't fit. Was the car driven to the service center after this? or did it die and towed/carried there?

Car feeling funny for a average joe is shot suspension - the pothole could be the cause. Anything else the engine management system could have acknowledged it far before we got typing here.

Ask your friend to show him the opened engine, the error codes and the diagnostic's done at the garage. I am guessing the answer to that would be not possible by the dealer.

Whats the reputation of this service center otherwise?

Last edited by GTO : 12th September 2011 at 12:48. Reason: Please refrain from commenting on previous posts in a way that other's find offensive. Thanks
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Old 11th September 2011, 11:21   #28
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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When you get the car back, file a case against Fiat and the dealer - consumer court. Make sure you photograph all the problems and repairs yourself too to support your case. Given the information you have posted engines should not fail in 2 months unless it has been used in rallying or as a submarine.
i guess we are over reacting here as there are too many questions and no answers so far . if car was not driven properly than what FIAT has to do with it. now don;t tell me that they should start teaching driving as well.

I too think , that the dealer is playing some tricks here . car was with them for 7 days without any work. why they took 7 days to open the car ??

another question is was the owner there in front of the car when then they opened the engine. quite possible that some body in garage changed the parts and trying to put the costs on to the OP 's friend .
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Old 11th September 2011, 12:37   #29
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by .sushilkumar View Post
i guess we are over reacting here as there are too many questions and no answers so far . if car was not driven properly than what FIAT has to do with it. now don;t tell me that they should start teaching driving as well.

I too think , that the dealer is playing some tricks here . car was with them for 7 days without any work. why they took 7 days to open the car ??

another question is was the owner there in front of the car when then they opened the engine. quite possible that some body in garage changed the parts and trying to put the costs on to the OP 's friend .
The point is that we assume nothing. What you said is very true. There isn't a clear picture on whose fault it is (Please read the last line of my earlier post quoted). Under normal use, no engine should get damaged in the circumstances described.

But if the car is under warranty, the manufacturer has to prove that the car and engine was abused or misused and hence the need for proper documentation. The manufacturer is the principal and the dealer is his agent - so they both get the rap together and it is for them to sort it out between themselves.

My focus is that there is little point in simply talking to the dealer. Put your points out in writing in a polite, registered letter and just watch their response change. It will be different. The same with the manufacturer. As they sold the vehicle, they cannot refuse to repair your car, especially, if you pay for it if when they refuse to do it under warranty.

Always keep your options open to go in for legal recourse and document everything. The dealer will be very, very careful if you do so.
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Old 11th September 2011, 12:56   #30
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Default Re: Major expense in a brand new Fiat Punto

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But if the car is under warranty, the manufacturer has to prove that the car and engine was abused or misused and hence the need for proper documentation.
Though I am not very sure, but I think the warranty policy would mention that if there is a possibility that the damage was from improper usage then the manufacturer has the right to deny warranty coverage.

I think the agreement would most likely be made so that any benefit of doubt would go to the manufacturer and not the customer.
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