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Old 7th November 2013, 20:37   #31
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

Great thread for newbies on the forum and drivers who have just started their long automotive journey.
Looking at what happened here and with the VW Polo thread as discussed on the forum a few days back, its a shame that we still have such roads in the country.
Taking a low GC sedan or hatchback on a non compatible road is one thing but the kind of roads we pay the tax for are just not acceptable and are bound to cause such incidents more frequently than presented here....
No pin pointing particular states as the trend is monotonous apart from a few that offer a paradise to the driver.
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Old 7th November 2013, 23:16   #32
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

I own a classic Alfa Romeo Spider and these are relatively low cars. For years I was part of the technical committee of the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register.

Every year we had several members, cracking their sump. On the Alfa engine the sump is made of cast iron and even a relatively small hit can cause it to split into two. The most remarkable case I witnessed when we were out in Italy with about 25 Spiders. We had to pull over the whole group unexpectedly and the technical committee moonlighted as traffic wardens as well. So we were directing Spider to various safe spots on the road. I direct one of the nicest Spiders we had in the club, a beautiful Duetto, he proceeded very carefully, less than walking space. Unfortunately neither of us saw a big rock and he just bumped into it at less then 3-4 km/h and cracked the sump completely. There is some 7 liter of oil in these Alfa Engines, and all of it spilled out in a matter of seconds! Pretty amazing, pretty messy and the local Italians didn't like it one bit we were messing up their pretty village.

Our advise was to always fit a sump guard. Some members did not like that as it does lower ground clearance by several centimeters. But still, we found it more advisable to scrape the sump guard then to actually bump the sump off.

I've replaced so many of these sumps, I can't even begin to count. But usually when the sump was hit to the point of it shattering/breaking there tended to be more damage. The very least was the bolts that attach the sump to the engine base. Typically they would shear off, or at least get badly mangled and they were a real bugger to get out. Also, the oil sump filter, oil pump and oil intake might take a knock. So if you have a damaged sump, I would alway wanted to make sure that there is no other mechanical damage to the engine inner parts, mostly the lub oil system.

Also, often overlooked, you need to inspect your engine mounts. They are designed to accommodate forces downwards and not upward. If you hit your sump on something it will push the engine upwards and the loading on the engines mounts is exactly opposite as to what it supposed to be. To some extent that could be true for the mounts for the gearbox as well. So better check if nothing has been torn apart. Easily forgotten/overlooked.

Based on my own experience fitting a sump guard does not protect you from all evil. A few years ago I took a speed bump a bit to enthusiastically.

The sump guard was bent inward, hit the sump and pushed the whole engine upward. There is less then 3-4 mm clearance between the oil filler cap on top of the engine and underside of the bonnet. Oil filler cap was pushed from underneath into the bonnet.

Total damage:
- replace the sump guard
- replace the sump
- replace the engine mounts
- replace the oil filler cap
- fix the dent in the hood and a respray

Lucky me, no damage to any of the oil pump components. Still, it was a sizable and expensive job to fix it all. Took me quite some time, and a lot of money.

So, drive carefully and consider fitting a sump guard if you find yourself scraping along regularly!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 7th November 2013 at 23:21.
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Old 8th November 2013, 08:06   #33
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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I've replaced so many of these sumps...
Call it vicarious curiosity, but how often do you get to see engine damage as a result of the cracked sump? I'm sure a lot of gents on this forum would be rubbing their hands in glee, saying, "See, you get rocks on the road that break your sump, in Italy too! Why blame just Indian roads?"

A cast iron sump? I don't suppose someone tried fabricating an aluminium sump which might have been lighter (and perhaps less prone to cracking ). OTOH, 7 litres is a lot of oil given the displacement of those engines.
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Old 8th November 2013, 08:23   #34
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Call it vicarious curiosity, but how often do you get to see engine damage as a result of the cracked sump? I'm sure a lot of gents on this forum would be rubbing their hands in glee, saying, "See, you get rocks on the road that break your sump, in Italy too! Why blame just Indian roads?"

A cast iron sump? I don't suppose someone tried fabricating an aluminium sump which might have been lighter (and perhaps less prone to cracking ). OTOH, 7 litres is a lot of oil given the displacement of those engines.
When it comes to cracked sumps, luckily my experience is mostly limited to Alfa Romeo Spiders. But the principle would apply probably across the board. On most engines the oil pump sucks the oil from the lowest part of the sump. Typically you will find some strainer device and the oil inlet leading up to the pump. There isn't, for obvious reasons, to much clearance between the lowest part of the strainer/inlet pipe and the bottom of the sump. Very often you will also find that there are some anti-slosh bits installed. You don't want the oil pump to suck up air. So its usually a pretty tight fit. Doesn't take much movement on the sump to hit some of these components. Certainly when the sump shatters and bits or all fall off, it is very exposed, it will be the lowest part of the car!

I have said it several times before, India does not have exclusivity on bad roads. Plenty of roads around the world that are better, but there are plenty of roads that are similar or even worse, e.g. try parts of Africa, South America etc. And even the most civilized roads in the world, will have the odd pothole and rock. My theory is that if you're not really used to many potholes and rocks you are very likely to hit the odd one, because you're just not expecting it. Some would revert to Murphy's law, but I'd say its just human nature.

Well spotted, its not cast iron, these are made of cast aluminum, my mistake. but both can and do shatter.

Yep, most Alfa engines tend to have large oil quantities. Many Alfa owners will tell you that you need to be very careful with an cold Alfa Engine. Really go easy on it before it's properly warmed up through and through. Cooling water on an Alfa will reach it's normal operating temperature long before the oil temperature does. As a rule of thumb, you don't rev an Alfa engine until at least 10, preferably 15 minutes of calm driving. That with ambient temperatures well above freezing. When it gets cold, it can take longer.

Jeroen
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Old 8th November 2013, 09:46   #35
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Most ASCs will advise you to replace the sump. If it is a steel sump and the damage is minimal, removing the sump, hammering out the dent and welding the hole is going to work as well as replacing the whole unit.
On my 2004 Palio ELX 1.9 D (sold some years back), I had suffered a minor dent on the sump due to bad roads in Uttarakhand. Unfortunately , could not get the dent hammered out due to lack of access - there was an inside skin and an outer shell. So had to replace the sump.
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Old 8th November 2013, 09:53   #36
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Because someone has reported a cracked sump for his Punto in a thread, to which I have linked. Do all models of the Punto come with a sump guard?

Hi SS-Traveller

Yes, the sump guard is a standard fitment in all varients of Punto and Linea.
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Old 8th November 2013, 10:28   #37
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Oil pressure gauge - yes, again, can be installed easily. Only issue IMO would be where to place the meter on the dash. And how many folks keep an eye on all the meters?
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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Very True, but for people who are interested to dig deeper, some OBD scanners show temperatures of coolant, oil etc.
A question about OBD scanners.

The data that you see on the dashboard - through the temp gauge etc - that comes from ECU or directly through the sensors?

In case the sensor fails, won't both OBD and dash meter show incorrect reading?
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Old 8th November 2013, 10:45   #38
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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The data that you see on the dashboard - through the temp gauge etc - that comes from ECU or directly through the sensors?

In case the sensor fails, won't both OBD and dash meter show incorrect reading?
I think you are right but the point is, many cars show just the "idiot light" glowing (Engine Check light). The detailed info such as oil temperatures and pressures would also help you get more detailed information than what vehicle dashboard offers. So the point was, if you have some more detailed info, it may help. And the ideal scenario would be - if an app provides you audible warnings on deviations from standard values for your car, your job is much easier! IMHO, Of course when time is bad, everything might either fail or you would forget to notice and the catastrophe will happen but that is no excuse for well preparedness
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Old 8th November 2013, 10:46   #39
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

A small list of hatches and sedans with best ground clearance which may be relevant to the issue (of course this alone will not make the vehicle immune) -

Hatches -

Fiat Grande Punto - 185 mm (195 mm base model)
Chevy Sail U-VA - 174 mm
Toyota Liva - 170 mm
Maruthi Swift - 170 mm
Maruthi Ritz - 170 mm

Sedans -

Fiat Linea - 180 mm
Maruthi SX4 - 170 to 180 mm (model dependant)
Toyota Corolla Altis - 175 mm
Mahindra Verito - 172 mm
Toyota Etios & Maruthi Swift Dzire- 170 mm
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Old 8th November 2013, 11:14   #40
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
I think you are right but the point is, many cars show just the "idiot light" glowing (Engine Check light). The detailed info such as oil temperatures and pressures would also help you get more detailed information than what vehicle dashboard offers.
I do use OBD scanner and Toque pro regularly on my car and it does show all kinds of info. I think if the sensor fails, OBD would give out more details - 'data not available' or something. Not sure though.
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Old 9th November 2013, 11:08   #41
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Certain cars are more vulnerable than others, due to their abysmally low ground clearance, exactly where the sump is located. This has to do with design, and there's not a lot that you and I as the owner can do about it. Please feel free to share your experiences of sump damage and the specific model of car you drive, on this thread.
One car I'd add to this list is the Ford Figo. I went over a stray rock, in the middle lane on the mumbai-pune expressway. Wasn't doing high speeds thankfully as there were a few trucks ambling in front of me. On getting it checked at the service centre, a leak was detected in the sump which was fixed.

Even a partially loaded Figo is susceptible to scrapes on speed humps, no matter how much you baby it over.

A question, can we get sump guards fitted in the after market? Anyone in Bangalore who does this work?

If yes, would love to get one for my Figo.
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Old 12th November 2013, 12:24   #42
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

I feel the front wheel driven vehicle have a engine placed lower which means a lower sump , generally , off course there are exception with the expensive cars which are rear wheel drive and the whole body is placed low for better stability.
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Old 12th November 2013, 16:03   #43
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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A small list of hatches and sedans with best ground clearance which may be relevant to the issue (of course this alone will not make the vehicle immune)
But the problem is that if the car goes over a large bump through the centre then the sump or any under body would get damaged. The list that you say is correct but the car must be driven sensibly to avoid any damages.

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I feel the front wheel driven vehicle have a engine placed lower which means a lower sump, generally, off course there are exception with the expensive cars which are rear wheel drive and the whole body is placed low for better stability.
The FWD are nose heavy cars and pitching is high so even stones of small to medium height will hit the under body eventually.

Anurag.
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Old 12th November 2013, 17:57   #44
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Default Re: Underbody Hit & Cracked Sump : Implications, Vulnerabilities, Responsibilities

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Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
But the problem is that if the car goes over a large bump through the centre then the sump or any under body would get damaged. The list that you say is correct but the car must be driven sensibly to avoid any damages.



The FWD are nose heavy cars and pitching is high so even stones of small to medium height will hit the under body eventually.

Anurag.
I did make a disclaimer when I compiled that brief list stating that good ground clearance alone would not make a vehicle immune.
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Old 12th November 2013, 18:35   #45
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I did make a disclaimer. when I compiled that brief list stating that good ground clearance alone would not make a vehicle immune.
I agree bro. I ain't blaminh you or staying you wrong. Just echoed my feelings with yours. No offence.

Anurag.
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