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Old 5th May 2009, 15:36   #1
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Default Engine Problem in Chevy Optra 1.6

Dear Friends,

My Chevy Optra 1.6 (2004) has come for major repair (Rs 70k),
It has done 48,000 kms. last service was done at 39,000 kms.

It all started on a busy day last week when i was driving towards my office, As usual i had a quite and smooth ride and Suddenly out of the blue I started to hear a loud clanking noise under the hood: Shockked: i had to move about 20 mts further to the side to park and check the problem. I stopped and tried to restart but the car never responded but for the loud clanking noise, there was no Engine Check indication while the car was running and also while the clanking noise started, it indicated only when i stopped and tried to restart the car. It took me 2hrs to get the service truck(24/7) from Sundaram motors to come and check the problem and on the advice to get the car towed to service station (Sundaram Motors Bangalore) it took me another 2hrs.
Few of the problem listed are as follows,

1. Ball bearing has worn out, kind of melted
2. Valves have jammed
3. Timer belt has slipped out etc.etc.

I would like to know if any of you guys can throw some light on how can this kind of mayhem happen?
Is it something that the service station has not attended to my car during my previous service, or is it expected after the car runs for around 50k kms? or is it just that i got unlucky????
and most importantly will the car be the same back form repairs??

Last edited by GTO : 5th May 2009 at 18:18. Reason: No more than 2 smilies per post please
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Old 5th May 2009, 16:12   #2
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Optra has crucial Timing belt setup which can cloak your Valves if not taken care at time. Looks like a case of timing belt slipping/snatching and hence jamming valves. Usually timing belts needs a replacement @ 60K as per GM schedule.

Anyhow are you following the service schedule ??
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Old 5th May 2009, 16:18   #3
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Sounds like a timing belt issue, were there any other indicators/malfunction earlier to this?
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Old 5th May 2009, 16:32   #4
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Prima facie a timing belt problem! The timing belt would have snapped taking along the Bearings to the graveyard. Its better to get any GM car thoroughly checked at 60-70K levels. The entire timing system would have to be overhauled which would probably cost you a bomb. Do keep us updated with the estimates given by the dealer. My 12 year Old Astra got an estimate of around 36k (For AC Overhaul, Brake discs replacement,normal service, alternator replacement) from Regent Auto, a GM dealer in Delhi!
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Old 5th May 2009, 16:42   #5
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yea sounds like the timing belt snapped and your pistons slammed into the valves, damaging them.

i'm not sure what the service schedule for the chevy timing belts are (60k is what someone mentioned), but generally it's a good idea to change your belt a little earlier than the recommended because the belt can go even before the recommended life in some cases.

now your car is 48k old, but it's also 5 yrs old and i think that with 60k as the recommended life span, you were due for a belt change. unfortunately it looks like in the optra (unlike a few other cars) a belt failure screws your valves.
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Old 5th May 2009, 18:18   #6
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Quote:
3. Timer belt has slipped out etc.etc.
Should have changed that timing belt! I usually perform the change at 60 - 70,000 kms irrespective of car. A thousand or two rupees go a long way. Link to maintenance thread (Maintain the car yourself. A service checklist).
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Old 5th May 2009, 19:52   #7
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It's almost certainly a timing belt issue as has been pointed out by everyone. In hindsight (which is a perfect science), it would probably have been useful had you specifically asked about the condition of the timing belt during the last service.

Normally, the timing belt should have held good for 60K kms, or thereabouts. In your case, I guess it's just a case of foul luck. During this repair, do check the condition of other parts that might be due for change as well. At least future incidents can be prevented.
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Old 6th May 2009, 00:50   #8
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I got the timing belt of my Optra 1.6 changed at 45K / 4yrs. The original belt that was taken out was in good condition. Only the timing belt was changed since the service adviser at the GM A. S. S. told me that everything else like water pump etc. was fine. Now can failure of a related component like tensioner bearings etc. lead to a timing belt failure eventually leading to catastrophic engine failure ? if yes than what else should be changed together with the timing belt ?
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Old 6th May 2009, 08:58   #9
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It is normal to see the belt is in good condition when you take it out. Defects in it are hard to see until one fine day it snaps and your engine is gone for a toss.

Usually, when one changes the timing belt, the tensioner and the pulley bearings are all changed with it. Did your A.S.S forget to do this critical part?
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Old 6th May 2009, 10:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murali View Post
Is it something that the service station has not attended to my car during my previous service, or is it expected after the car runs for around 50k kms? or is it just that i got unlucky????
Yes, pure unlucky. It should have lasted atleast 60k. 48k is little too early.

But then check ur optra's manual. Corsa has it at 60k. When my friend's corsa went to sundaram for 60k service, they charged him 16k Rs(for a regular service), and told him that timing belt is good for some more time.
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Old 6th May 2009, 10:53   #11
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What really makes me wonder is the life of belt. Of course this all depends on the conditions in which the car is operated, but generally before 50K, this must not happen.
Also does Optra 1.6 have interference engine ? If yes, its bad news as the damage will be extensive. And if you tried to restart the car, then again there will be more damage. Also if this is interference engine, why not a timing chain ? I remember a similar case with Jalsa777 for his Skoda Octavia.

All the points indicate on timing belt.

I think in manuals there are some ways mentioned to check the condition of timing belt. We have such in our Maruti 800 manual too. They have diagrammatically described how to check. I think this must be there in Optra's manual too.

Its just case of pure bad luck.
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Old 6th May 2009, 11:05   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
We have such in our Maruti 800 manual too. They have diagrammatically described how to check. I think this must be there in Optra's manual too.
While OT to the one who started the thread, but somewhat still relevant, can you please reproduce the diagrams here for everyone's benefit with due credits to Maruti Manual?

takecare and drive safely
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Old 6th May 2009, 16:19   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
It is normal to see the belt is in good condition when you take it out. Defects in it are hard to see until one fine day it snaps and your engine is gone for a toss.

Usually, when one changes the timing belt, the tensioner and the pulley bearings are all changed with it. Did your A.S.S forget to do this critical part?
According to the Service Station Manual of Optra besides both the camshaft gears and the crankshaft pulley the timing belt runs thru water pump pulley , auto tensioner, and idler pulley camshaft position and crankshaft position sensors are also present in the timing belt area. maybe a failure of any of these can cause premature timing belt failure.
When my timing belt was changed only the auto tensioner was changed with it . btw I read somewhere that now in modern engines both the oil pump and water pump will be electric driven and under the control of the ECM
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Old 6th May 2009, 17:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Optra has crucial Timing belt setup which can cloak your Valves if not taken care at time. Looks like a case of timing belt slipping/snatching and hence jamming valves. Usually timing belts needs a replacement @ 60K as per GM schedule.

Anyhow are you following the service schedule ??

Yes, I have followed the service schedule so far without a hitch....I have not even ignored a minor problem so far.
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Old 6th May 2009, 17:50   #15
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None...Last time when I got a malfunction indication was @39k kms when the Oxygen Sensor went wrong.
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