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Old 9th October 2014, 00:16   #1
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Exclamation Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

This happened to my cousin' Honda Amaze Diesel VX MT on Aug 3rd. He was crossing a pool of water on the road during the monsoon season at Kottayam, Kerala and the car stopped mid way. He told me other cars were crossing the same pool of water on road with ease. And from the picture below it doesn't look like the depth was an issue either.

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Luckily, he didn't crank the car after the engine died and rang Honda RSA. They towed the car to the workshop where Honda diagnosed the issue to be some sort of a hydrostatic lock.

The car was with them for close to 2 months and the following things were changed. From the bill, it looks like Vision Honda is trying to make hay while the sun shines.
Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking-altalv0j6sfg_atb5mscm_xa6e14jqxw86pacfyejai1v.jpg
Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking-altanxzbhfcr5bi197cvntytjfreobz97grusewwuvzo0d.jpg

Since my cousin didn't try to start the car even once, insurance agreed to cover for about 70% of the expense.

He says there are two other Amaze Diesels lying in the workshop with the same issue and one of them with a blown engine, where insurance is unwilling to cover the expense as the driver cranked the car repeatedly thereby blowing the engine completely.

And a simple search on Google will fetch you many such cases across the country.
http://www.grahakseva.com/complaints...n-rainy-season
https://www.facebook.com/HondaCarInd...73596982662310
https://www.facebook.com/HondaAmazeC...16731885036938
http://www.customercarehelp.co.in/ho...n-highway.html

I thought it was a one off when my cousin told me about it first. But when he sent the photo of the car standing in that pool of water, I was taken aback. And seems like its happened to different cars across the country.
  1. Has anyone else come across this?
  2. What could be the issue here? I am puzzled at why a car will have such severe issues while going through shallow water.
  3. Is it only limited to Amaze or a problem with the 1.5L iDTEC engine?

Last edited by deetjohn : 9th October 2014 at 00:19. Reason: typo.
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Old 9th October 2014, 01:24   #2
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The 'puzzle' is to figure out how shallow the air intake is.

how shallow is it anyway? I know in my linea it is almost at the level of the hood.
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Old 9th October 2014, 02:31   #3
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
T
  1. Is it only limited to Amaze or a problem with the 1.5L iDTEC engine?
This looks to be an issue with the IDTEC Engine. After reading this thread I searched the internet for issues with the City and found the below

http://www.carwale.com/honda-cars/ci...ews/43290.html

This is definitely concerning, as it looks like a clear case of design flaw in the placement of the air intake opening which seems to be too low.

Cheers,
pdma.
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Old 9th October 2014, 07:41   #4
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by drsingh View Post
The 'puzzle' is to figure out how shallow the air intake is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdma View Post
This is definitely concerning, as it looks like a clear case of design flaw in the placement of the air intake opening which seems to be too low.
Normally, the air intake is at the height of headlight. But how can it be placed so low in Amaze that it sucks in water even when the water depth is just 1/4 of the wheel? Isn't it too obvious a problem?
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Old 9th October 2014, 08:29   #5
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
Normally, the air intake is at the height of headlight. But how can it be placed so low in Amaze that it sucks in water even when the water depth is just 1/4 of the wheel? Isn't it too obvious a problem?
Take a look at the engine bay, (Pic taken from the official team-bhp review)



Sorry about your cousins car! Thankfully insurance covered 70% of the repair bill. Has he got the car back ? is it normal no issues?
Is the intake pointed downwards? can any Amaze Diesel owner Confirm this?
This looks like an serious issue.

Last edited by Captain Slow : 9th October 2014 at 08:30.
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Old 9th October 2014, 08:36   #6
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
And from the picture below it doesn't look like the depth was an issue either.
While the water level is quite low in the picture (at standstill), it must be pointed out that passing vehicles will create a bow wave that will increase the water level for the following vehicles, and vehicles on the opposite lane.

That said, the fact that other cars were able to come through safely is indicative that its not just the water level, but definitely something specific to the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
From the bill, it looks like Vision Honda is trying to make hay while the sun shines.
Indeed. What are the two cooling fans that have together amounted to 21k? It feels expensive (gut instinct, not experience based). Also, have all the replaced parts been returned?

I presume that this dealer has taken a typical (but more sweeping) approach of replacing anything they suspect to have been affected; even when they are repairable. Given that its a new car (Jan 2014, per the invoice), its slightly acceptable, as doing so will keep warranty intact.


Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
  1. Has anyone else come across this?
  2. What could be the issue here? I am puzzled at why a car will have such severe issues while going through shallow water.
  3. Is it only limited to Amaze or a problem with the 1.5L iDTEC engine?
You have done your research well, and have found other cases of similar issues. That is concerning, since its not isolated. Its surprising that this hasn't been reported further, nor has there been any official statement/action from Honda.

Looking at this picture of the iDTEC engine bay from the official review, it is really full. The air-filter box is in the top-right corner, but I don't see where the air intake is - as mentioned by the others, it is possible that its been put lower (below the battery?) due to packaging constraints.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
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Old 9th October 2014, 09:09   #7
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Take this up with Honda at the highest level. If it really is a design flaw, Honda ought to refund the full amount.

Last edited by rajeev k : 9th October 2014 at 09:14.
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Old 9th October 2014, 09:23   #8
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Has he got the car back ? is it normal no issues?
Yes, got the car back in the first week of Oct. The A.S.S took exactly 2 months to fix the car. Thankfully, its running alright. No loss of power, unwanted noises and returns a very healthy F.E.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Is the intake pointed downwards? can any Amaze Diesel owner Confirm this?
Yes, that's what we need to confirm. Another friend of mine who owns an Amaze told me Honda revised the air intake plumbing on the 2014 cars. And is changing it on the cars manufactured earlier. Will be good hear some confirmation on this. If its so, ideally it should be a recall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
That said, the fact that other cars were able to come through safely is indicative that its not just the water level, but definitely something specific to the car.
True. Nano, Swift and Polo crossed that road with no issues while the Amaze was stranded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Indeed. What are the two cooling fans that have together amounted to 21k? It feels expensive (gut instinct, not experience based). Also, have all the replaced parts been returned?
No parts were returned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Looking at this picture of the iDTEC engine bay from the official review, it is really full. The air-filter box is in the top-right corner, but I don't see where the air intake is - as mentioned by the others, it is possible that its been put lower (below the battery?) due to packaging constraints.
Yes, it looks quite congested. We need to find out where the mouth of the pipe leading to that airbox is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Take this up with Honda at the highest level. If it really is a design flaw, Honda ought to refund the full amount.
Have asked him to write a mail with all details to Honda. Let's see what comes of it.
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Old 9th October 2014, 09:39   #9
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

The only way to hydrolock an engine were if the engine's air intake were submerged and the car was being driven at half clutch through that puddle.

Apparently the earlier models of Amaze had an air intake with holes at the end so that there was much more chance for water to get sucked into the intake filter along with air.

Newer amaze cars (since 2013 Aug) apparently have the holes dummied / closed up.

http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/fo...tml#post365320
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Old 9th October 2014, 09:43   #10
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

I just went through the other links mentioned here and googled this, and this seems to be a serious design flaw. Seems like Honda has not done their homework well. Minor water logging happens every where in our country, you cannot just avoid water puddles few inches deep.

Just like this, the BMW cars too are allergic to slightest water logging. In the rainy season just visit a BMW service station and you may be shocked to see number of cars suffering hydro-static lock.
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Old 9th October 2014, 09:54   #11
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Newer amaze cars (since 2013 Aug) apparently have the holes dummied / closed up.
That's what I heard too. But, the Amaze pictured above is from Dec 2013 batch. So, maybe the fix came in later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
I just went through the other links mentioned here and googled this, and this seems to be a serious design flaw. Seems like Honda has not done their homework well.
Looks like shoehorning that 1.5L Diesel engine and its components into the tiny engine bay of Brio was really a challenge.

Last edited by deetjohn : 9th October 2014 at 10:00. Reason: adding text.
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Old 9th October 2014, 10:05   #12
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
...
Since my cousin didn't try to start the car even once, insurance agreed to cover for about 70% of the expense.
...

Sorry for asking a not so relevant question. As much as I am happy to know that the insurance covered 70 percent expenses, but I am really curious to know, that on what grounds did the insurance cover the expenses?
Isn't the insurance supposed to cater to the "risks" involved with car? I mean how can a design flaw/mechanical issue be claimed under insurance?

Also, what insurance company is so generous to its customers? More often than not I find issues in insurance claims, but never have I heard such good news with regards to any insurance company.
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Old 9th October 2014, 10:29   #13
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

Even if the cooling fan motor failed, do we have to change the fans too?
What work was done at the lathe for 7865/-?
Why does the A/C gas and engine coolant need to be touched?
And headlamp assembly?

Pardon my ignorance on the subject.
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Old 9th October 2014, 10:45   #14
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

The dealer might have looked for any component at all that had dirty water and possibly dirt from the air intake filter, engine oil droplets etc sprayed on it through water entering the air intake. Instead of removing, drying and cleaning them he might have elected to replace every single thing the rainwater touched.

Either this is being very conservative, or it is being very money minded. I am not sure.
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Old 9th October 2014, 11:24   #15
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Default re: Design Flaw with Honda i-DTEC in Amaze & City: Susceptibility to Hydrolocking

One of the service advisors at honda who is a friend, told me this when i took my city for service last month, that the earlier batches of honda diesel engine had this serious design flaw, wherein it couldn't wade through even half a foot of water logging. Though this flaw has been rectified in later batches, the company hasn't issued a recall yet and am not sure how is it taking care of the affected batches?
Probably they are doing it during regular service, without telling the customers and media so as to avoid negative publicity. The service centre in which my friend works, alone have rebuilt numerous diesel amaze sedan engines. One rebuilt engine was being mounted onto an amaze on the adjacent service bay, where my car was getting serviced. Another diesel engine was lying in one corner of the workshop.

Last edited by chaudh2s : 9th October 2014 at 11:27.
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