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Old 8th March 2012, 23:09   #1
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Default A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

In anticipation of a long drive, I took the Figo down to the Ford A.S.S to get the oil changed (6K done on old oil but full city commute) and a general check up.

They raised the car on the lift to drain out the old oil but noticed a lot of dried/moist oil stains around the sump seal where the sump is fixed onto the block. There was no residue oil near the drain plug so it was clear the oil was from the sump seal and not the drain plug. Also the leak must be minor as my basement does not have even a drop of oil below the car. The SA said this was higher than what was seen on other cars and decided to remove the sump, remove the old seal and put in a new one. Ford does not use a rubber gasket for the oil sump but uses a sealant paste. This paste is made in Japan by Mazda. The sealant tube costs a whooping Rs.8,400. Luckily one tube can be used for 10 cars so actual charge is around Rs.900. This was free for me as car is under warranty.

They removed the sump by opening all the bolts, cleaned it up and applied the paste. They put the sump back on and started assembling all the bolts. At this point they realised that there was one bolt which was only half in length!!!! One stupid bolt broke and more than half is stuck in the threading of the engine block!!!! Frantic scenes followed with the GM coming down to see and 5-6 SA's all around my car. Finally the decision was made to remove the sump again and clean out the bottom of the block. This showed the sheared off bolt inside one of the threads a good 4-5mm deep i.e. not even a mm outside. SA took a photo of the bolt and they sent it to Ford HO in Chennai. Ford Chennai said they will get back with further instructions.

Not having heard from HO in 2 hours, the SA requested me to leave as nothing much can be done. They would keep me informed once they got some news. They covered the crankcase with a plastic bag to ensure no dust goes in. They said they can't do anuthing on their own as the car is under warranty and any action requires Ford approval. I thought Metro Ford really handled this situation well and did not hesitate to escalate the matter to HO. It helped that I usually am with the car for every service and checkup. Went back home a bit off colour which had nothing to do with Holi.

Today morning got a call from SA saying they were told to remove the bolt using a special anti-clockwise drill bit and this was being done as we speak. Basically they would drill a hole of a smaller dia into the screw that was stuck in the head. They would then insert an anticlockwise screw into the hole and turn it. This would cause the sheared screw to unscrew and pop out. Once the screw was removed, the oil sump was put back along with new seal. The SA called requesting permission to go for a 10km long TD to ensure there was no oil leak. I approved of the same and was then informed after an hour that there was no leak whatsoever and everything was working fine. Since I was to go on a long drive, the air filter was cleaned, coolant topped up, windshield washer fluid topped up, Ac filter cleaned, gear calibrated, brakes cleaned and car washed.

I could only collect the car in the evening at 5pm after work and when I reached the SA showed me the broken bolt. The threading on the bolt was intact which was a relief as that meant the threading in the engine block would also be alright. The bolt just gave way in the middle.

I took it for a spin and found everything alright. The bill came upto Rs.1,969 which was only for oil and oil filter replacement and 5 litres diesel.

Overall I was very satisfied with the way Metro Ford handled the situation. The experience was not unpleasant something that was possible given the circumstances.

What remains a mystery is how this bolt actually broke? There are only 2 possibilities. One being the bolt itself was defective i.e. metallurgical issue in manufacture. Second being that the mechanic overtightened the bolt causing it to break. They did use a torque wrench but one will never know if it was set for the right torque meant for that bit as per service manual.

It goes to show that even a small minor oil change can end up leading to a lot of complication and a stressful experience. Luckily I can now go for that long drive which I almost had to cancel.

Alls well that ends well.

Last edited by Eddy : 8th March 2012 at 23:25.
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Old 8th March 2012, 23:23   #2
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Wow, it is a good thing the broken bolt was found when the sump was off and being installed. Imagine it happened when the vehicle was running. You would get a slow oil leak I guess and if you didn't realise it, major problems.

Anyway, all's well that ends well.
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Old 8th March 2012, 23:23   #3
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Commendable job by Metro. Thank god that it was identified in nick of time, saved you a couple of grand and heart ache.As for the bolt breaking, I am guessing its due to over tightening.

BTW, you must receive an infraction Vid, 3 smilies per post
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Old 9th March 2012, 00:03   #4
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
What remains a mystery is how this bolt actually broke?
Could be a number of reasons actually.
  • Faulty bolt from supplier to Ford
  • Overtorquing of the bolt when assembled in factory (highly unlikely)
  • Someone at the ASC noticed the oil leak the previous time, tried doing an extra tightening of the bolt, ended up shearing it, and left it there
  • Impact from road debris (stones etc.) on the bolt head
Good they managed to recover the sheared portion from inside the block - that's often a tough job to accomplish.
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Old 9th March 2012, 00:45   #5
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Could be a number of reasons actually.
  • Faulty bolt from supplier to Ford
  • Overtorquing of the bolt when assembled in factory (highly unlikely)
  • Someone at the ASC noticed the oil leak the previous time, tried doing an extra tightening of the bolt, ended up shearing it, and left it there
  • Impact from road debris (stones etc.) on the bolt head
Good they managed to recover the sheared portion from inside the block - that's often a tough job to accomplish.
I'm sure it's not the last 2 cause I have been with the car for last 2 services and noone touched the sump part.

Debris/stones can't reach the back of the sump. There was no damage on the head. Remember the head i.e. top of the bolt came off without any issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
Commendable job by Metro. Thank god that it was identified in nick of time, saved you a couple of grand and heart ache.As for the bolt breaking, I am guessing its due to over tightening.

BTW, you must receive an infraction Vid, 3 smilies per post
lol. Infraction for one extra smiley? I missed out the one in the middle before posting. After all mods are also human beings.
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Old 9th March 2012, 11:27   #6
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Vid6639, glad that Ford was able to take out the sheared bolt without much trouble. I guess it was a case of material defect.

I am very nervous with oil change especially when I am not around the car. So much can actually go wrong. I am always anxious about A.S.S filling the wrong oil or someone cranking the engine before refilling, or filling more oil than needed.

I think all A.S.S should allow the owners near the car during service. What they got to lose? After all, they gain a free pair of very conscious eyes & ears to oversee the whole thing.
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Old 10th March 2012, 21:29   #7
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Glad that your car is back on track.

What disturb me is that you can actually drill through bolts that is used by ford india on engine parts, thats a critical part of the car.

I am a DIY guy and and know a fact that bolts made by TVS cannot be drilled though with hand operated tools.

It can be drilled with desk/table drill though, which has steady flow of water jet.
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Old 10th March 2012, 22:01   #8
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

@Vid6639: I think this sort of transparency endears the customer to the service station; instead taking a risk at your expense Metro Ford has stuck by the book and done it right with messing it up.
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Old 10th March 2012, 22:38   #9
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

I don't know if this is how it works but I might have a different theory here. Maybe the adhesive (Loctite etc.) used for the bolt must have held it in the block which coupled with the metallurgical defect in the bolt made it to give way at mid section. I have never used Loctite or similar stuff but I think it is only applied at the head of the bolt or within the nut (the part you rotate while loosening) rather than along the whole threaded portion.
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Old 10th March 2012, 22:50   #10
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

The bolt which broke was jammed, probably because it was not lubricated properly ( moly grease) when it was inserted at the factory. It seized because of rust, and the workshop would have used force to remove it, breaking it. In my experience that is the way bolts break. Over tightening can cause rounding of the head.
When a bolt breaks like that, the way they took it out is the standard way of doing it. They need to use the correct grade of drill bit and have patience while drilling.
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Old 11th March 2012, 10:26   #11
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Hi, good to know that they could manage to remove the broken bolt without much difficulty. Because sometimes situations like these can be very tricky. What the A.S.S. did was a correct way to do it. It is a right procedure to remove a broken bolt. The anti clock wise drill bit is called as reverse tap, which is used to remove broken bolts. There is a possibility that your bolt was defective or had a crack in it. If you see the cross section of the bolt you can see the old crack & new crack. The old crack weakens the bolt & when you give torque it gives way then one ca see the fresh crack.
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Old 12th March 2012, 21:54   #12
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

Just back from a 2000kms drive over the weekend and there was not a single problem. Checked underneath and no sign of oil even after 2000kms of highway driving. This should have been the true test and would have exposed any issues after the seal and bolt was replaced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
I don't know if this is how it works but I might have a different theory here. Maybe the adhesive (Loctite etc.) used for the bolt must have held it in the block which coupled with the metallurgical defect in the bolt made it to give way at mid section. I have never used Loctite or similar stuff but I think it is only applied at the head of the bolt or within the nut (the part you rotate while loosening) rather than along the whole threaded portion.
It's not loctite. It's some paste and it is not used for the bolts at all. It is placed around the sump and then the bolts are applied.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mgh View Post
The bolt which broke was jammed, probably because it was not lubricated properly ( moly grease) when it was inserted at the factory. It seized because of rust, and the workshop would have used force to remove it, breaking it. In my experience that is the way bolts break. Over tightening can cause rounding of the head.
When a bolt breaks like that, the way they took it out is the standard way of doing it. They need to use the correct grade of drill bit and have patience while drilling.
No rust was seen on offending bolt anywhere. It was clean as a whistle Even the other bolts were not rusted. The threading also seemed fine. It looks to be a failure of the bolt either by over torquing or due to a manufacturing defect.
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Old 13th March 2012, 11:56   #13
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

This is one more reason why a car is to be got serviced at workshop/dealership equipped with proper gadgets and tools. With a broken stud extractor the dealership was able to do a better job. Some other ordinary workshop or mechanic would have used some punch/ chisel hammer to completely spoil the whole show. Or would have done some dismal job with out informing the customer and would have resulted in the oil getting drained off later causing severe damage and a breakdown at some remote place.
Metro Ford did an exceptionally excellent job.

Last edited by rajeev k : 13th March 2012 at 11:57.
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:40   #14
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

No one asked 'what if' the FA$$ was not able to use the broken-bolt-remover - the answer is remove the entire engine, dismantle it down to the naked block and lathe out the broken part and re-sleeve a new thread into place if needed and end paying a lot of $..!!
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Old 13th March 2012, 13:24   #15
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Default Re: A simple oil change that could have gone horribly wrong in my Figo

I'm extremely impressed (a) with your report and (b) with the way Metro Ford handled the matter. The service engineer in charge of the actual oil change showed a lot of diligence and an extremely strong work ethic by noticing that one bolt was too short and then making a sufficiently big deal out of it. He could have easily just screwed a short bolt back in to the thread casing.

Kudos to Metro Ford indeed.

Off topic: My Ikon 1.6 which I still own used to be serviced by Shaman Ford in Bombay and they used to show the same work ethic once upon a time, but their quality eventually became so pathetic that I stopped going to them. They subsequently shifted from Ford to VW and Honda.
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