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Old 15th October 2014, 10:40   #76
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

If the above is true, then should not all customers be informed about the need to change before 60K? Was this done either by sending a mail, or updated in Service Manual or advertised prominently in Service Stations?

By giving the 3rd option, FIAT is in cahoots with Service Station to make money from gullible people who would not have heard about announcement and part with their hard-earned money when it goes wrong.

All these years, I thought Timing Chains are more robust than belts which usually last the until an engine is opened up. But based on above, timing chains can fail and there is no way for folks to know.

Last edited by DWind : 15th October 2014 at 10:42.
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:48   #77
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

I have the FIAT Linea from the first batch in India (2008 manufactured). I too missed the circular FIAT sent out to TAS for the timing belt replacement under warranty. My car was way beyond warranty. Yet, they agreed to replace within warranty and waive off the labour cost as well. But I still had to shell out about 9K if I remember correctly as the delayed replacement had done more damage to other related parts. I didn't care what the related parts were. It was done by Concorde Motors opposite Christ College.

I'm not conversant in engine internals. So, pardon my stupidity. If I were in you position, I would have just swiped the credit card and done the repair.
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:52   #78
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

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Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
That's a very good question that occurred to me as well - and I'm not aware of a replacement interval of the timing chain in the 90 hp engines in Europe.

I've attached the service advisory from FIAT ( courtesy TFI ) that mandated the timing chain change in 2012. This change was NOT part of the scheduled service when the Linea was introduced in India in 2009. When 2009 cars started reaching around 60k in 2012 and the chain started to fail, FIAT conveniently introduced this as part of the scheduled service.

So the only conclusion can be that the timing chain used in India by FIAT is of poorer quality than that used in Europe.
Fiat can't even manufacture their own engines right. What' the point of a timing chain when all it lasts is 60000 km. The same engine is present in the Ertiga, SX4, Indica Quadrajet 90, Manza. None of them have asked for any timing chain replacements at these intervals.

Having 15 K service intervals in a country like India to beat the competition is what is spoiling the broth for Fiat and will spoil the cars of other manufacturers too. Marketing guys don't know what they are asking for, people who handle service department from the company side just want to beat the competition anyhow.

15 K service interval for a common man means, gaadi will be looked after only at 15 k intervals, other than that, mostly they won't even open the bonnet. So let's see what that will include

No water removal from the diesel filter for 15 thousand k --> Must be done after 7 to 8 thousand km

No Air filter cleaning for 15 thousand k --> I ll be chocked like a brick.

Engine oil won't be changed for 15 thousand k --> How does this last so much in Indian conditions if its city driven ? Synthetic or not, the interval is too long.

Without a regular oil change, the timing chain won't last. Please forget what the company says and change your oil at regular intervals if you do plan to keep the car long, a diesel car will see a 1 lakh kilometers easily for many of us.

Last edited by humyum : 15th October 2014 at 10:54.
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:55   #79
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

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Originally Posted by opendro View Post
I have the FIAT Linea from the first batch in India (2008 manufactured). I too missed the circular FIAT sent out to TAS for the timing belt replacement under warranty. My car was way beyond warranty. Yet, they agreed to replace within warranty and waive off the labour cost as well. But I still had to shell out about 9K if I remember correctly as the delayed replacement had done more damage to other related parts. I didn't care what the related parts were. It was done by Concorde Motors opposite Christ College.

I'm not conversant in engine internals. So, pardon my stupidity. If I were in you position, I would have just swiped the credit card and done the repair.
But in my case, it is not the 90hp engine version for which timing chain replacement was suggested by fiat. It is the 75hp engine and the change suggested was purely out of gut feeling by the SA. Still the timing chain is intact and they couldn't show me any wear and tear when it was opened.

Still I believe my case is a classical example of service center not filling proper quantity of engine oil. If they are so confident about timing chain issue, why they are shying away from giving an explanation to the other symptoms noticed?
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Old 15th October 2014, 10:58   #80
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

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Originally Posted by DWind View Post

All these years, I thought Timing Chains are more robust than belts which usually last the until an engine is opened up. But based on above, timing chains can fail and there is no way for folks to know.
Timing chain failure is a disease afflicting only the FIATs. There are lacs of vehicles running the 1.3 MJD - as well as other vehicles using timing chains in India - compared to the miniscule number of Lineas and Puntos on the roads.

I'm sure any recurrent chain failure on any other vehicle would've been reported on this forum. AFAIK, the only car having a scheduled change of the timing chain is the Cruze @60K - there's no other car manufacturer having a timing chain change as part of scheduled service.

I'm quite sure this a quality problem on FIAT's part.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 15th October 2014 at 11:06.
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Old 15th October 2014, 11:13   #81
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

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Originally Posted by arunkk View Post
Still I believe my case is a classical example of service center not filling proper quantity of engine oil. If they are so confident about timing chain issue, why they are shying away from giving an explanation to the other symptoms noticed?
You have a point. Even if they doubt the causes (either your fault or the service engineer), they should repair it free of cost giving you the benefit of doubt, that is, if they are serious about building customer trust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
I'm quite sure this a quality problem on FIAT's part.
May be yes, but what else can we do? I can neither sell my car (it won't sell) nor fight with FIAT on every issue! But honestly, I don't think I will ever buy another FIAT (not satisfied with service, problems in resell, etc). I have driven for almost 6 years now, doing great so far and will drive for another 10 years and dump it.
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Old 15th October 2014, 14:39   #82
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Was the Palio Stile Multijet on sale before the Grande Punto arrived? What about the impact of this problem on the Stile's?
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Old 15th October 2014, 15:01   #83
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Sad to see this but the issue is definitely NOT timing chain related, if it had failed then the car wouldnt start. Even if it is a slip, in a DDiS engine engine would be messed up bad that it wont fire up. This seems to be related to low oil level, which resulted in seizure. If oil leak, head gasket or some other issues caused it? would be just a guess now since engine has been dismantled.

Is there a easy way to claim, i don't think so, since warranty is anyways over. Unless Fiat offers some goodwill gesture.
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Old 15th October 2014, 17:07   #84
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Agree. From description doesn't sound like timing chain failure as engine wouldn't start if it had failed.

Most likely seems to be an issue caused by overheating of engine.

Gonna be really difficult to prove if FASS was at fault, Very bad luck and extremly difficult situation to be in as a car owner, these are the times that make you realize owning a Car is not an investment but a liability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Sad to see this but the issue is definitely NOT timing chain related, if it had failed then the car wouldnt start. Even if it is a slip, in a DDiS engine engine would be messed up bad that it wont fire up. This seems to be related to low oil level, which resulted in seizure. If oil leak, head gasket or some other issues caused it? would be just a guess now since engine has been dismantled.

Is there a easy way to claim, i don't think so, since warranty is anyways over. Unless Fiat offers some goodwill gesture.
ArunKK - You will have to keep arguing with FIAT and ask them to put their hands-up and own the issue resolution (and ideally consequential damage as well). Good luck buddy!
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Old 17th October 2014, 15:21   #85
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Update: Fiat guys are not giving any response to my mails / fb posts (in fiat fb page) now. No answer is given to my question linking timing chain to low engine oil level. No response after their last mail giving me 25% discount on part cost and labor.

I have only 2 options left. Go the legal way and put more pressure on them. Or get the engine overhauled in some good workshop and sell it. 1st option seems very painful for me as legally they are at no fault since the car is now out of warranty period. I am considering the 2nd option now and checking out few workshops.

Lessons learnt from this experience
1) Always check for engine oil levels / other symptoms of engine malfunction regularly.
2) Never trust the service center to always do their job properly.
3) Never ever go with another fiat car. This is the reason why I am planning to sell my car to some dealer after getting the engine work done.

Last edited by arunkk : 17th October 2014 at 15:45.
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Old 17th October 2014, 15:34   #86
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Last option - get a MJD engine from Mayapuri Delhi, Its one of India's Largest Scrap Market.

If you get a running condition engine from a accident vehicle - use it (any MJD with minor redressing should work in any MJD engine'ed car).

Last edited by svsantosh : 17th October 2014 at 15:36.
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Old 17th October 2014, 15:46   #87
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Last option - get a MJD engine from Mayapuri Delhi, Its one of India's Largest Scrap Market.

If you get a running condition engine from a accident vehicle - use it (any MJD with minor redressing should work in any MJD engine'ed car).
But won't that bring RTO complications? One may use the parts salvaged from such engines though. However, a much better option would be to get the parts directly from market manufactured by the OEM suppliers to FIAT. I think they can cost as less as 25-30% if bought directly from the market when compared to FIAT ASC. Also, an independent (but good) mechanic would suggest you honestly about which parts need to be change rather than changing all internals.
Just my 2 cents on this.

Regards,
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Old 18th October 2014, 16:19   #88
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Why is the Fiat service centre and Mangesh Kodalkar bluffing their way out of a problem ?
  • If the timing chain was playing truant then will not there be a lot of other related damage ? Will the timing chain emerge in one piece ?
  • Why will it leave only 1.1 ltr of oil in the engine ?
  • Why was smoke coming out of the engine if timing belt was playing truant, wouldn't it have been all grinding, tinny noise and engine not moving altogether?
  • If you file a consumer complaint, in court then will not proper automobile foreniscs narrow the bluff that FIAT is carrying out in brazen fashion.
  • For heaven't sake why can't they behave in a transparent manner for once. Why is everything placed at the door of Mangesh Kodalkar ? Is that how things are managed at Toyota ? How many people have heard of Sandeep Singh, FYI he is the customer service manager at Toyota Kirloskar ? Has his name been referred to even once in a complaint in Team BHP ?
  • Fiat India should stop bothering people with their cars, and stick to manufacturing engines which can be supported by better auto companies like Toyota or Maruti. Tumhare bas ka nahin hain yeh kaam.

Last edited by lurker : 18th October 2014 at 16:20.
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Old 18th October 2014, 17:10   #89
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Arun , try asking for a Fiat engineer to inspect your car . With Maruti and other car makers it's possible to engage an engineer from the company in case of complex problems and in such cases of damage where there's a dispute between the ASC and the customer. Other manufacturers also have regional offices where you can follow up.

The mail from Fiat shows that they're relying entirely on the ASC version. They should at least be fair and try to find out what caused the damage instead of washing off their hands with a 25% discount.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 18th October 2014 at 17:14.
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Old 18th October 2014, 17:29   #90
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Default Re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkk View Post
Update: Fiat guys are not giving any response to my mails / fb posts


Lessons learnt from this experience
1) Always check for engine oil levels / other symptoms of engine malfunction regularly.
2) Never trust the service center to always do their job properly.
3) Never ever go with another fiat car. This is the reason why I am planning to sell my car to some dealer after getting the engine work done.

Ok Arun, I can tell you from personal experience, which was resolved, by following this:

1) At this stage: write a paper letter, with all photos, addressed to at least 3 officials in FIAT Pune HQ. Mangesh could be one, even a general address, like "VP, Customer Support" type, would work. Send by age old registered post WITH AD. This is one mode of communication, which all Company Secretaries fear, and is official record of communication which they normally would NEVER neglect. Unfortunately, our legal framework and rulebooks still state this as the most acceptable method of foolproof communication! Ask them to reply only in writing.
2) Do not be belligerent: state how you enjoyed the car, how it is a good car, but some "freak SA"/ ASC negligence is ruining your day. Mind you, you want a solution and not a fight. So, address the officials with bonhomie. Cut all the emotions.
3) Put forward all your justifications, 1.1liter oil issue, your conversation with the SA synopsis: everything. Never mind if it is 6 pages. Snail mails are read in DETAIL, by REALLY bothered persons in a company, because, left ignored, it can land the company in deep trouble. There will be more than an intern reading the letter......most probably a mid fifties seasoned professional.

4) Do not write assumptions and your/forums' technical judgements: it kills your case! Be an informed layman !

Wait and watch. It should bring about good results, unless, there is something we all are missing here/ you are missing out.

I am assuming you have not already done this. BTW, this lesson could have been learnt earlier, given all the material and experiences on TBHP and ample scope for homework. Cheer up, it will work out. I had 1/3d the car replaced: engine too, and its runs like a new car!

Last edited by lapis_lazuli : 18th October 2014 at 17:40.
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