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Old 16th October 2013, 00:40   #1
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Unhappy Engine Rebuild Cost?

This is about a 2004 Honda City owned by my first cousin. He currently resides in Singapore. Therefore, his car is used by his parents in Udupi.

Since my uncle knows nothing about cars, he was employing a part-time driver, who also knows nothing about cars. Once somebody turned the AC setting to heat and he kept driving like that for weeks saying AC is faulty. His ignorance finally caused a much bigger disaster.

My uncle, his wife and his sister were coming back from a function. They were following a truck carrying small stones (Jally stones). They noticed that the stones were falling frequently from the truck. They asked the driver to back off and maintain safer distance. He ignored the advice saying nothing will happen. But it happened. One of the rocks hit the underside hard. Soon a red light appeared on the dash. My aunt noticed the red light and asked the driver about it. The driver says he doesn't know what that means and kept on driving. She didn't believe him and asked him to stop and check. So he stops, opens the hood and says everything is ok. My uncle notices an oil trail behind the car and shows it to the driver. The driver says it is just dirty water. My uncle points out it is oil and not water. Driver finally admits something may be wrong. So they decide to drive to the service station. But the car wouldn't start again. The driver gets into the driver seat, puts car on 1st gear and asks my uncle to push from behind. The car doesn't move. A pair of guys passing by on the bike see this 74 year old man pushing the car while a much younger driver is in driver seat. They stop and see the gear position, oil spill and abuse the driver verbally. To cut the long story short, relatives came and took the ladies home, car was towed to the service station. The engine needs complete rebuild.

The car was given to Peninsular Honda at Mangalore. They gave a quote for 1.25 lakhs and work had began. Now they are singing a new song. My cousin got the following email.

Quote:
Dear sir/madm,

Asper our last discussion about your honda car bearing reg
number KA19Z3572 its rough estimated repare cost rs 1,25,000 and its
approvel taken from your side. Now we recieved all the spare parts
from Honda and its assembling work is on progress. While assembling we
found cylinder block crankshaft seating portion is minor damage due to
the exessive heat generation at the time of accidental driving
condition. Asper company norms we have to replace the whole cylinder
block assy and its additional cost rs 1,00,000, other wise if you will
agree we are ready to do the lathe work and fix it back to the car. So
we are waiting for your further approvel for repare.


With regards
XXXXX
Service Advisor
Peninsular Honda
Mangalore
Keep in mind this is a 2004 model car. Spending 1.25L itself is a big decision. Now they are saying one lakh more. If they had said 2.25L in the beginning, my cousin would not even have bothered. The whole car isn't worth that much in the market right now.

What are his options now? Should he go with the lathe work, how safe is it?
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Old 16th October 2013, 00:53   #2
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Got any photos?

From the email it looks like the one of the seats for the crankshaft are damaged.

For such an old car, go ahead and do the lathe work. My guess is worse case you will have some vibrations more than normal if the lathe work is not perfect.
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Old 16th October 2013, 01:10   #3
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Do lathe work and get it over with at 1.25L if the vehicle is not in sufficiently acceptable shape after that then sell it off in as is condition then.
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Old 16th October 2013, 03:14   #4
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Samurai,

In a lathe, you probably could only enlarge the hole- to machine off the damage. Then you probably need to use oversize bearings (to accomadate the oversized crank seating location) and a new crankshaft.

In the factory, this operation is not done in a lathe- it is done in a custom machine. It will be difficult to get to the same tolerances as in the factory.

Ask the dealer to return the parts he bought and order a short block from Honda. that should be around 1.5L and with warranty. I'm pretty sure no assembling work has been started yet. They must have noticed this damage while disassembling it.

OT :- since it is a stone hit, why don't you claim insurance??
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Old 16th October 2013, 08:21   #5
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

I would look for a secondhand engine and plank it in. The Honda engines are made to high tolerances so lathe work may not solve issue
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Old 16th October 2013, 08:42   #6
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
Ask the dealer to return the parts he bought and order a short block from Honda. that should be around 1.5L and with warranty. I'm pretty sure no assembling work has been started yet. They must have noticed this damage while disassembling it.
Yeah, I wondered about that too. First, they order a whole bunch of parts. Now they are saying whole block needs to be changed. Won't that make many parts they ordered redundant. Hard to know unless they mention all the parts they have ordered so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
OT :- since it is a stone hit, why don't you claim insurance??
They did not claim insurance so far. May be too late now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I would look for a secondhand engine and plank it in. The Honda engines are made to high tolerances so lathe work may not solve issue
Won't that make the legality of the car questionable?
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Old 16th October 2013, 08:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Yeah, I wondered about that too. First, they order a whole bunch of parts. Now they are saying whole block needs to be changed. Won't that make many parts they ordered redundant. Hard to know unless they mention all the parts they have ordered so far.

They did not claim insurance so far. May be too late now?

Won't that make the legality of the car questionable?
You need to notify the RTO and get their permission
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Old 16th October 2013, 09:37   #8
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Something sounds fishy, and 2.25 lacs for a petrol engine doesn't sound right. If the head is OK, and the problem is only with the connecting rod bearings/crank, then if you want to use the car for a long time, I'd suggest you get a whole half engine. It wont cost much, and will work as good as new.

Also, for a 2004 model car, another option is to pull the car out of the A.S.S get the work done from a local garage for ~30k, and sell the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
You need to notify the RTO and get their permission
I dont think you can get a second hand engine endorsed. However, I'm also traveling in the same boat. The information I could gather is, you will need the old vehicle number, old vehicle documents, proof that old vehicle was scrapped, kilometers done on the old vehicle and the last insurance copy. This is virtually impossible with engines from scrap market.
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Old 16th October 2013, 13:05   #9
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

It's a 10 year old car, Samurai! No point in giving it to the authorised workshop. The pricey repair costs simply don't make sense vis a vis the car's book value.

You could get the engine overhauled at a fraction of the cost at a good independent garage.

Ajmat's option is a good one, but it'll be a headache to source a used engine, check its health, overhaul (if necessary) and update the RTO records.

Simplest solution is to tow the car to a competent independent and get the necessary repairs performed.
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Old 16th October 2013, 16:03   #10
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post

They did not claim insurance so far. May be too late now?
I would call the insurance company and see what they could do. It is a legit accident.
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Old 16th October 2013, 16:20   #11
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

oh oh! welcome to the dark side of (H) ownership. So typical of them to take you for a royal ride.

My suggestion, see if they can complete the repair without changing block. Ask them to send you pics and see for yourself if it is minor or major. If its minor just go ahead. They might not give you warranty on the build but that's the best option. Get it fixed and run it. If it is major, see if they will accept a second hand block, its painful to identify one but definitely doable. Again they will not honor warranty on the build.

Second option: take it out and get it done elsewhere. Worst case pay for the parts and labor so far to get the vehicle released. My colleague did this when Honda quoted obnoxious estimate. Luckily they hadn't opened the engine so just had to pay minimal tow charges.

Third option: Bite the bullet, get all work done. Run the car for another 5 years.

Insurance may not work now, it will be just another set of headache that is all.
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Old 16th October 2013, 19:01   #12
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

I would agree with the others in that it is probably better for the parts to be returned back to the dealer, take the old parts back, and go to an independent garage for a rebuild.
Regarding insurance, claims inspectors normally like to inspect damages while on the car - so I doubt if they would process. No harm in trying though. But one point, given that the cost so far is already 2.25 L quoted by dealer, and that it is probably >80% of the book value, they may actually tell you to write-off the car and settle for liquidated damages.
But, I am sure many will agree that probably the utilitarian value of the car is much more than the settlement your uncle is likely to get from insurance. Hence, spending between 30k-50k at an independent garage now, using the car for a year or so and then selling it on is likely the more practical option.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 16th October 2013 at 19:19. Reason: Added a comment
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Old 16th October 2013, 19:34   #13
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Its not late. check your insurance policy and file a claim. Exact same thing happened to my friend in MI...cracked his oil pan driving through a snow bank (got a new engine at 20K mi paid by insurance)

In all possibility they might decide to write it off since its an old car.

Dealer is the last place you should go to for a car of this age and damage of this extent.

Get a replacement engine out of a crashed car or get a short block and do all the repairs outside.
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Old 16th October 2013, 20:18   #14
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post

OT :- since it is a stone hit, why don't you claim insurance??
This will be classified as consequential damage and the insurance company will only agree to bear the cost of the part damaged initially due to stone hit - Sourced from an insurance surveyor in a similar case of an oil filter getting damaged and engine ran without oil. Insurance co agreed to replace the 150 rupee filter FOC. :P
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Old 17th October 2013, 00:01   #15
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Default re: Engine Rebuild Cost?

I was travelling during day, so couldn't reply.

I spoke to my cousin today evening. He said he was shocked by the so called approval for Rs.1,25,000 mentioned by the SA in the email. He had only approved upto 70K, he is wondering how the SA thinks it is 1,25L.

Anyway, he is trying to get photographs of the damaged items and list of the ordered items, before deciding on the next step.
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