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Old 6th November 2009, 21:27   #1
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Unhappy Skoda:Rain water entering the engine through the air filter

Greetings!
I bought a Skoda Laura AT L&K in August last year.
In June this year I was driving on one of Bangalore's main roads at night when it started raining. I came across what I recon was a few inches of water. Observing that cars like Zen's and Santros were crossing through I attempted the same.
The car suddenly jerked and stalled. My immediate reaction was to call the Tafe help line. I was instructed to wait for 30 minutes and start the car as the person said that the clutch occasionally comes in contact with water. I followed his instructions and as the car later started and I drove home. I called the service station in the morning as I noticed white smoke when I started the car and informed them of the same. They told me to bring the car in for a check to be on the safe side. I asked them if it was ok to drive there as the service station in the outskirts of bangalore and was informed that as long as the car was starting it shouldn't be a problem.
I got a total fright when I was informed by the technicians at Tafe that water had entered the engine via the Air Filter and had damaged the connection rods as well as the engine block! The estimate is now 2.5 Lakhs!

I would be grateful to know if this is a design problem and if many other members have faced this problem too. The People at Tafe said that every time there is heavy rain in Bangalore at least 5 cars land up the next morning with the same problem!
To make matters more miserable the insurance company is refusing to cover this as they are saying this is a “self inflicted “damage!!
Would be extremely grateful for any information.
Thanks a Ton
KK
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Old 6th November 2009, 21:37   #2
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Originally Posted by koshy10 View Post
I recon was a few inches of water. Observing that cars like Zen's and Santros were crossing through I attempted the same.
Few inches of water and this? Something wrong somewhere.

You said you drove down to workshop. You didn't feel anything? I'm finding it extremely abnormal. TAFE is known for what they do. Try out Vinayaka (after KR Puram).
Do not allow TAFE to open your engine.
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Old 6th November 2009, 21:50   #3
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TAFE is giving you a load of <you know what>.
Not possible for water to get to the filter (forget the engine) with a few inches of water.

And, with water-in-the-engineblock, wouldnt the engine totally stall ?
Take a 2nd opinion from Vinayaka. Also, see if there are any good independant garages to check it out.

Search for and PM other Bangalore Laura owners. Someone should be able to guide you well here.
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Old 6th November 2009, 21:53   #4
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Water entered into the engine via the air-filter, damaged the con-rods and block and yet the car was good enough to drive a fairly long distance.

SCAM ALERT!!

1. The air intake is at the top of the grille - in line with the top of the headlights. Unless water was till your bonnet, it could not have gone in.

2. If any water had splashed into the air intake - most of it would have been held back at the bottom of the air-filter box, some of it would have been absorbed by the element of the air-filter and a little might have gone into the cylinders.

3. If the engine was so severely damaged - you would have heard noise (expensive sounding noise at that) and would have scarcely been able to drive all the way to the workshop.

As Rudra has suggested, get a second opinion.

I have driven my Laura in pouring rain and through standing water and have never faced anything similar. Of course this does not mean much as things do not necessarily happen every time to every one even if there is a design fault. Hope other Laura owners share their experiences.

Cheers,

Last edited by Ravveendrra : 6th November 2009 at 22:10.
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
As Rudrah has suggested, get a second opinion.
Ravveendrra, from where did you get that 'h'?

koshy10, please do not allow TAFE to open your engine. They'll charge you some stupid amount as inspection fee and it's up to you pay that or say to NO.
Quote:
The estimate is now 2.5 Lakhs!
If this is the amount you're ready to pay then I suggest you call Vinayaka and tell them to help you to pull out car from TAFE. Even if you have to pay a little more than TAFE's inspection rate.

GOD!! I can't believe this racket.
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Water entered into the engine via the air-filter, damaged the con-rods and block and yet the car was good enough to drive a fairly long distance.

SCAM ALERT!!

1. The air intake is at the top of the grille - in line with the top of the headlights. Unless water was till your bonnet, it could not have gone in.

2. If any water had splashed into the air intake - most of it would have been held back at the bottom of the air-filter box, some of it would have been absorbed by the element of the air-filter and a little might have gone into the cylinders.

3. If the engine was so severely damaged - you would have heard noise (expensive sounding noise at that) and would have scarcely been able to drive all the way to the workshop.

As Rudrah has suggested, get a second opinion.

I have driven my Laura in pouring rain and through standing water and have never faced anything similar. Of course this does not mean much as things do not necessarily happen every time to every one even if there is a design fault. Hope other Laura owners share their experiences.

Cheers,
agree with you, this is not possible, this is scam for sure,
To the original poster Can u please scan the job card papers you got when you gave your car to service center, we just need to clarify first before jumping to solutions, thanks..
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:12   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Ravveendrra, from where did you get that 'h'?
Sorry, I had edited it just a few seconds before you corrected me!

Cheers,
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:20   #8
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The car wouldn't crank with broken rods. Here you've driven it twice. It's a scam.
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Old 6th November 2009, 22:30   #9
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If the con rod's were just bent since water entered was lil bit, it would start. Check my Crv thread, though water was not few inches in my case, but the air intake was sitting really high and in this case we suspect water entered from the exhaust side :(

At idle engine used to make tak tak sound thanks to bent con rod touching the cylinder wall/edge.

Any wierd sounds from the engine in this case?
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Old 6th November 2009, 23:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
......
we suspect water entered from the exhaust side :(

At idle engine used to make tak tak sound thanks to bent con rod touching the cylinder wall/edge.

Any wierd sounds from the engine in this case?
That is a possibility - the Laura might have stalled (it is notorious for stalling if in 2nd when it should have been in 1st) and water may have entered through the exhaust.

On the other hand, TAFE guys have told him that water came through the air filter.
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Old 6th November 2009, 23:37   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
On the other hand, TAFE guys have told him that water came through the air filter.
Trust me on this, be it Skoda or Honda the dealers and their SA's/Mech's are most often clueless as to the cause. To check one needs to just look at the air filter element, it will SHOW if it was wet at any point of time.

On the other hand exhaust doesnt have any such checks and even the Honda guys scratched their heads for 2 days, partly thanks to me in my case.
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Old 6th November 2009, 23:50   #12
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I doubt that you have a chance buddy. If you want to make sure what TAFE says is correct, you can inspect the engine yourself. If the dealer says that the con rod is bent & the block is scored then in all possibility your car's engine is already opened by now by the TAFE workshop.

Nevertheless, if you want to confirm the source of water entry; you check the complete intake side for traces of water left behind. Your car is a 4 cylinder Turbocharged diesel. (Read: The engine breathes heavy and hence there is a possibility of water getting sucked in). I have serious doubts if the water entry is through the exhaust manifold. It is the high pressure side of the engine with the flow directed away from the cylinders.

Regarding your question on how can the engine with bent connecting rod start, it is not uncommon. An engine with marginally bent/warped connecting rod can start without any major tell tale signs except excessive smoke.

Way out: Put the responsibility on insurance company. It was by accident you drove into water. They might say: User carelessness and hence con rod bent etc. But to this, you can maintain that even if the user had exercised due caution, the water had already entered into the engine. Hence, the insurance company cannot 100% deny the claim. Minimum they must cover is Filters, Lubes, Gaskets & Disassembling/Assembling of cylinder head. For an engine stalled in water, this is minimum payable by the insurance company.

Now, if the dealer told you to crank the engine that's his misfortune. You can take this up with the dealer (or Skoda) that they ought to be taking the burden of the balance of parts viz Half block assembly.

It is really sad situation . If you wouldn't have driven the car post it getting stalled in water, the claim was payable 100% by insurance company.
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Old 7th November 2009, 00:12   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamerBoy View Post
Nevertheless, if you want to confirm the source of water entry; you check the complete intake side for traces of water left behind. Your car is a 4 cylinder Turbocharged diesel. (Read: The engine breathes heavy and hence there is a possibility of water getting sucked in). I have serious doubts if the water entry is through the exhaust manifold. It is the high pressure side of the engine with the flow directed away from the cylinders.
If by any chance the accelerator was eased and engine stalled/close to stalling the water could get sucked in at the tail

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamerBoy View Post
Way out: Put the responsibility on insurance company. It was by accident you drove into water. They might say: User carelessness and hence con rod bent etc. But to this, you can maintain that even if the user had exercised due caution, the water had already entered into the engine. Hence, the insurance company cannot 100% deny the claim. Minimum they must cover is Filters, Lubes, Gaskets & Disassembling/Assembling of cylinder head. For an engine stalled in water, this is minimum payable by the insurance company.

Now, if the dealer told you to crank the engine that's his misfortune. You can take this up with the dealer (or Skoda) that they ought to be taking the burden of the balance of parts viz Half block assembly.

It is really sad situation . If you wouldn't have driven the car post it getting stalled in water, the claim was payable 100% by insurance company.
Insurance might work, but dont think any manufacturer/dealer, will honor the dealer end bit.

Last bit, so very true, one of the lessons i have learned last year with owning cars. Water damage, just leave it there and record it proper.
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Old 7th November 2009, 13:36   #14
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I have a feeling that the thread starter's Laura has indeed suffered significant damage. Reasons:

Quote:
what I recon was a few inches of water.
Subjective term. Plus, he clearly posted that the engine jerked & stalled.

Modern cars work well as long as the conditions are ideal. It probably wasn't the best decision to drive a premium Euro through floods. Turbo + DSG + electronics + low slung car + driving through flooded area = Murder. I suggest:

1. Taking a detailed written quote from TAFE.

2. Getting a second opinion from an independent.

BTW, its November already and you state this incident took place in June. What's been the status of the car for the last 5 months?
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Old 7th November 2009, 14:11   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Water entered into the engine via the air-filter, damaged the con-rods and block and yet the car was good enough to drive a fairly long distance.

SCAM ALERT!!

1. The air intake is at the top of the grille - in line with the top of the headlights. Unless water was till your bonnet, it could not have gone in.

2. If any water had splashed into the air intake - most of it would have been held back at the bottom of the air-filter box, some of it would have been absorbed by the element of the air-filter and a little might have gone into the cylinders.

3. If the engine was so severely damaged - you would have heard noise (expensive sounding noise at that) and would have scarcely been able to drive all the way to the workshop.

As Rudra has suggested, get a second opinion.

I have driven my Laura in pouring rain and through standing water and have never faced anything similar. Of course this does not mean much as things do not necessarily happen every time to every one even if there is a design fault. Hope other Laura owners share their experiences.

Cheers,
Something really fishy here. I too have driven my Octy in pouring rain and never had a problem at all. Check at Vinayaka.
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