Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th October 2014, 16:09   #1
BHPian
 
arunkk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 183
Thanked: 42 Times
Default Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

With heavy heart I am starting this thread here. I purchased my 1.3 MJD Grande Punto 4 years back. It was a decision taken from heart and I loved the vehicle throughout my ownership.
Eventhough there were many niggles with the service centre during TATA times as well as after changeover to FIAT, I have never complained about it as this car was very close to my heart and I wanted the FIAT brand to shine.

I have done all the services on time and have done all the suggested replacements from the service centres till now.

Story starts 1 month back when I have taken my car for early 60K service when it had clocked 55800kms at Vecto motors Bangalore (Singasandra). I was well within my 15k service interval from previous service. I only had minor issues like glow plugs change and some minor rattle sound from rear seat.
After leaving it for service, I got a call from service advisor Dayanand stating that there is some sound coming from engine timing belt and he is suggesting to replace it. As per his own words, this timing chain replacement is not mandatory for 75hp punto, but for 90hp punto/linea it is scheduled to replace during 60k service. He suggested me to go for it as my extended warranty was going to get over. He quoted a price of 11.5k for doing this.

I had a few concerns over this
1) I was unsure of changing the timing belt so soon @ 55800. I heard from many friends that it needs to be changed only at 1Lakh+
2) It was not a recommended change from fiat service manual
3) He was not able to show me the engine noise that he was suggesting when I went for taking delivery
5) I didnt had enough money to shell out for it before getting the salary. Already regular service bill was coming to 14k.

With all this in mind I told them I will come back later for doing the timing belt replacement.

Three weeks later, I was driving to Trivandrum from Bangalore for Pooja holidays with family. Starting from bangalore, the car showed no signs of any problem. I was able to take it to 120+ kmph. 40kms before Salem I started feeling reduced power from engine. It is not able to gain speed much. Still there are no indicators coming up in the console - no low oil, no engine heating. I thought of getting it checked in Salem fiat service as it is going to be night drive after that.

At 57400 kms at odo I drive it into Salem Truesai motors service centre. The service advisor there was a helpful person and quickly started checking for any problem. First thing that he noticed is engine oil level is very low (around 1.1 litres only) and it shouldnt happen to a car serviced only 3 weeks back. He topped up the engine oil and suggested me to get it checked again in trivandrum. After that he notices the most dangerous symptom. Smoke coming out of engine oil dipstick nozzle. He didnt recommend to drive it at this state and he needed more time to tell me what is the problem. I leave the car there and hire a taxi and continue my journey to Trivandrum.

After 2 days of Pooja holidays, I get a call from Salem service centre which has given me the biggest shock in recent times. That the engine is gone bad completely, there are scratches all over the crankshaft bearings. He is unsure of why this happened. For furthe analysis, the engine needs to be opened completely. He said the repair possible is an engine overhaul which will cost me possibly 1Lakh+ !!!!

I raised a complaint with fiat-india customer care describing my problem in detail. I get a call from Fiat india to give it to Vecto motors and they will follow up with them. I tow the car from Salem to Bangalore and give it to Vecto motors last Monday.

Yesterday, I get call from Vecto motors saying that the engine has gone bad and the reason for that is I didnt change the timing belt !!! They gave a reply by mail to the complaint I raised to fiat also giving the same reason.

My questions to fiat india were simple
1) Why would a timing chain problem cause such serious engine damage?
2) All this damage was caused only during that 1500kms (in 2 weeks) which I ran after the service?
3) What reason will you tell me if I had brought my car for service only now at 57k kms which is still within 15k service interval and only 13 months from last service?

Without any satisfactory answer to these questions, fiat has closed my complaint.

I would request fellow bhpians to help me with what all options I have here.
I am not in a position to spend over 1Lakh for engine repair.
Can I escalate it to some more higher authorities in fiat and request them to cover it under extended warranty which got over just few weeks back.
Do you guys really think that a timing chain problem which comes at just 57K kms can damage the engine so much?
arunkk is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 16:20   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
funkykar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,358
Thanked: 1,727 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Sorry to know about the situation you are in.

When FASS suspected timing chain issue and suggested you to change, this was a critical moment. You chose to push it for a while and used the car and got into this mess. If you wanted to question, you should have questioned then about why a early change was being suggested or why the chain went bad so early and probably asked for a replacement if warranty was valid. I presume bad timing chain caused rest of the issues.

Last edited by funkykar : 10th October 2014 at 16:24.
funkykar is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 16:24   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
paragsachania's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belur/Bangalore
Posts: 4,264
Thanked: 10,567 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

A very bad experience Arun and to tell you the fact, only in the last 6 months I have seen 2 cases (Linea and a Punto) which faced exactly the same problem only because the Timing chain was not replaced on time - Either because the ASC simply didn't have it in stock or the customer ignored it.

The timing chain, as it ages will start rubbing against the case and knock off/Skin tiny metal debris that will mix up with the engine oil and then start damaging rest of the vital engine components.

In case of the Linea since the approach by the ASC was lackadaisical (No stock and hence no replacement) and the fact that they later gave a letter stating that they didn't have the part in stock made things easy for the owner to claim as much as he could from the extended warranty for an almost full engine Job that was carried out at Mysore.

Even cars from Maruti with the Multijet Engines have faced timing chain related issues leading to Engine seizure and they too advice replacement between 60-80k (although I may have either missed or am confident that the owner's manual doesn't mention the replacement Interval).

This is the reason why an ASC in Bangalore who was researching on such failures asked a copy of the owners manual of a FIAT model to refer to and escalate that to Maruti engineers.

Sorry to say but in your case, it is you as an owner who has ignored/rejected the replacement of the chain for reasons mentioned by you that has led to this situation and I have very less hope if FIAT or the ASC can help you here unless somehow it is proven that it was premature failure of the timing chain!

Last edited by paragsachania : 10th October 2014 at 16:28.
paragsachania is offline   (15) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 16:43   #4
BHPian
 
arunkk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 183
Thanked: 42 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Sorry to say but in your case, it is you as an owner who has ignored/rejected the replacement of the chain for reasons mentioned by you that has led to this situation and I have very less hope if FIAT or the ASC can help you here unless somehow it is proven that it was premature failure of the timing chain!
Agreed. But is the timing chain supposed to go bad as well as spoil the engine in 15000 running? When I took it to service and they detected the problem, I believe some damage to engine was already done. Again what if I had taken it for service only now which is still within 15k from previous service?
arunkk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 16:51   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
funkykar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,358
Thanked: 1,727 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkk View Post
Again what if I had taken it for service only now which is still within 15k from previous service?
Its tricky! Possibly you would have had a breakdown and towed to service center and they would have done all work under warranty.

But in your case, you visited early and even after diagnosis you used the vehicle and possible it caused further damage. That's where it ends.

Last edited by funkykar : 10th October 2014 at 16:53.
funkykar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 16:57   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bangalore / TVM
Posts: 8,975
Thanked: 16,772 Times
Default FIAT Punto engine failure at just 57000 kms !

Quote:
Originally Posted by funkykar View Post
But in your case, even after diagnosis you used the vehicle. That's where it ends.
True but unfortunate.

They made the correct diagnosis and suggested replacement. OP chose to ignore it at your own risk. Puts the ball in their court.

Please do not just dismiss the service advisors recommendation since you 'heard from friends' otherwise. If you had proof from a friend or expert that the SA was wrong, deny it. Else go along with their recommendation. Unfortunate that the OP have a hard lesson here.

Timing chain replacement is mandatory for the 90hp for 60k service. I had it done as well.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th October 2014 at 17:05.
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 17:00   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
funkykar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,358
Thanked: 1,727 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Timing chain replacement is mandatory for the 90hp for 60k service. I had it done as well.
This is a case of 75HP. Looks like some premature failure but was diagnosed at FASS.

Only way out could be: Have them evaluate everything again and see if they can prove to you that not replacing timing chain caused this. IF they cannot conclusively prove, then you may have a case with Fiat if warranty/ext warranty still valid.
funkykar is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 17:06   #8
BHPian
 
arunkk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 183
Thanked: 42 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

In my case they got this timing chain issue. Unfortunate but I have to agree to it.
But when I was entering my car there, I saw another fellow who has come there with few bhpians to talk to them regarding a similar engine failure for his linea which clocked 90000kms. He also got it serviced from the same place during the same time as mine and it also broke suddenly on the road and needed towing.

In his case also first FASS raised the timing belt issue as they couldnt find his last service record. He got the last service record from another FASS which they couldnt update due to system failure and showed them that he did the timing chain replacement. Immediately the reason changed and they started looking out for other issues which would have caused damage.

I am wondering whether my case is similar but unfortunately I am not having much say here. If its really due to the 1500 kms (2 weeks) I ran after they suggested replacement, then let this be a lesson for all fiat car owners here.
arunkk is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 17:09   #9
Distinguished - BHPian
 
paragsachania's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belur/Bangalore
Posts: 4,264
Thanked: 10,567 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkk View Post
But is the timing chain supposed to go bad as well as spoil the engine in 15000 running? When I took it to service and they detected the problem, I believe some damage to engine was already done. Again what if I had taken it for service only now which is still within 15k from previous service?
If the problem is detected by ASC and they recommend replacement as the solution, it is always wise to get that replaced right then.
Now to answer your question on the extent of damage done in the last 15k kms, you would still be on the safer side when the replacement is done and the ASC verifies the internal damage and raises a flag that the manufacturer would know to assist you too as it would be a clear case or premature failure and a quality issue.

Last edited by paragsachania : 10th October 2014 at 17:21.
paragsachania is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 17:28   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
arnabchak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MH-04
Posts: 1,319
Thanked: 1,084 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

@Arun

Very unfortunate incidence.
Yet, the onus of not heeding the SA advice will completely lie on you.

Its like a piggy off my back for FIAT ASC.
From their perspective, they are clear on the below aspects:

1) Identified that the timing belt needed to be changed.
2) Decision that it was not replaced was of the customer, so it absolves a lot of implications and liabilities off ASC.
3) Running 1500 kms post the timing belt change advice and attaining speeds upto 120 kmph. Again, they are not liable.

It would be very difficult to prove your case my friend, unless magically you can prove that the timing belt was faulty in the first place.

Many cars have the timing belts change schedule at 1 lac kms but as a precautionary method, they are changed between 65K-80K.

You will have to fight it our Arun. No other way here!!

Last edited by arnabchak : 10th October 2014 at 17:30.
arnabchak is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 17:34   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,192
Thanked: 4,254 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

At just 1 liter of oil, why didn't the oil pressure warning light came on? And how did the oil level went down? Not able to understand but why would a worn timing chain make the engine burn oil, if that was the case? Could have been the other way round that the oil level was low somehow and the engine's lubrication was compromised, which also led to timing chain wear? Could it be a possibility?

Edit: @OP: Did you check the oil level before the journey? Are you sure that there were no leaks from the engine oil sump and oil filter?

Last edited by saket77 : 10th October 2014 at 17:35.
saket77 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 18:01   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 4,116
Thanked: 3,490 Times
Default

When you said you'd come back later, why didn't you?
I think in this instance, fiat have a solid case of not paying out anything.
Although, i do have to question the longevity of a part which is, by norm, changed at 1l kms, and that too mostly proactively.
mayankk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 18:30   #13
BHPian
 
chaudh2s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 197
Thanked: 243 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

I don't think this issue is related to timing belt failure. Your car was still running (albeit with reduced power) when you went to salem, so your timing belt was Ok. Had the timing belt actually broken, the engine would have siezed instantaneously. A noise in timing belt cannot make the engine consume engine oil. The reason why the engine only had 1.0L of oil can be attributed to a mistake/mischief of mechanics while servicing. You should argue your case with Fiat based upon this premise. Fiat salem should provide back up to your claim of 1.0L engine oil. This low engine oil caused all the problems, IMO.

Thats the reason why i never leave my car un attended while servicing. A fabia in our family faced similar problem when the service centre guys didn't bother to change/fill engine oil during service. I have personally experienced such lousyness at tata-fiat when the mechanic was just about to fill some automatic transmission fluid in the power steering fluid compartment, saying it's all the same. I manged to stop him in the nick of time. When i insisted on the correct fluid, he said it was out of stock. These service centre guys can stoop to any extent just to keep the cash counters ringing.
Meanwhile, punto user manual clearly states replacement of timing belt at 80K-90K as far as i remember.
chaudh2s is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 18:40   #14
BHPian
 
bullboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 577
Thanked: 35 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

So sorry to hear that . I can only sympathise with you. When I went to last service of my ford I was advised to change the timing belt . I did question the SA saying that why I need this in a 36k vehicle. He said that the belt has damage , both belt and idler need to be changed else in case of failure engine can cease. I have no other choice but to go ahead with it.
bullboy is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2014, 18:40   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
humyum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Leicester/Mumbai
Posts: 2,306
Thanked: 2,188 Times
Default re: Fiat Punto engine failure @ 57000 kms!

Sorry, I don't buy this timing chain theory of your service station AT ALL.

A timing chain before it conks of will give you so many warnings, that you need to be completely oblivion to the noises to ignore it.

Starts with a noise, remains a noise, and the noise increases a lot before it finally is history. Your service adviser heard a noise, did you ? sometimes like the 'clutch has gone saar scam', the timing belt is a scam too to jack up the service bill.

Let me tell you guys something more. Major wear and tear of the timing chain occurs because of these long oil change intervals. Timing chain is lubricated by the engine oil.

15 k is too long an oil change interval for a hatchback which most probably will be used in the city, the highway run ones are comparatively less prone to these hazards.

My DDIS Swift has done 1 lakh and 2 thousand km. Except maybe twice, I have always change the oil at 5 to 7 thousand kilometers when its fully city run and at around 8 thousand km when its majorly highway run. There is absolutely no noise from my timing chain and not to mention, the engine is as quite as it was on day one.

I would advice you to mention the 1 liter oil part to fiat and get the other service station to back it up and secondly make them replace the engine or do the engine work under warranty. Timing chain snapping at 60 k is clearly a manufacturing defect or stupid servicing standards.
humyum is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hyundai Santro Xing - Crankshaft & engine repair/ failure-only 26000 Kms & 2 1/2years Murugan Long-Term Ownership Reviews 85 22nd April 2017 06:51
Beauty of the Beast Skoda Octavia RS - 57000 km review ajmat Long-Term Ownership Reviews 203 4th February 2017 20:31
Fiat Palio MJD: Engine Failure & Rebuild antorquetik Technical Stuff 19 14th September 2013 21:24
Swift VDI+ABS or Fiat Punto MJD or New Fabia 1.2 Diesel. Edit- Booked Fiat Punto MJD magnanimousdude Hatchbacks 59 27th October 2010 13:18
Skoda Fabia 1.2 57000 offer sam_sant2005 The Indian Car Scene 33 1st October 2009 14:32


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:55.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks