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Old 26th January 2010, 03:01   #1
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Default Peculiar problems with Alto LX (800cc)

Hi all,

I have been facing some problems with my Alto, two of which have not yet found any resolution. Please find them enlisted & explained below:

Problem no.1. During cold starts, a very harsh noise comes from the engine. It sounds as if there is friction somewhere or, that some part is struggling to move. The sound vanishes completely after some time i.e. when the engine has warmed up. The duration for which this sound persists has also increased with the onset of winters. Also, an observation was that the sound dissappears when the clutch pedal is depressed.

Problem no.2. There is pinging in the engine when it reaches high rpms, irrespective of speed or gear. This has started increasing with time, & the problem seems to be due to faulty timing as every time, it becomes advanced on its own. It's some thing like, if I would get the timing set now then it would go back to advanced (by the same measure) by evening max.
I have also tried using petrol from the best petrol pumps, even premium petrol. Strangely though, with premium, the pinging increased. So reverted back to normal petrol. The A.S.S. guy says it could be the valves & another mechanic (outside A.S.S) says it could be the distributor which develops play & leads to this problem with timing getting disturbed. Plus, nobody is sure, they say it can be multiple problems as well.

Please help guys. The car has run more than a lac now, without any mods. It's a make of year 2004, in case there were some differences then in the technicals of the car.

Looking forward to getting some valuable advice/suggestions.

@Mods: I searched for threads containing resolutions to these problems, but couldn't find anything that I could use. I request you to please put up some links here in case I may have missed them out.

Last edited by blackfire_9 : 26th January 2010 at 03:05.
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Old 26th January 2010, 17:04   #2
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Hi all,

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Please help with these problems people, anything that you might think/know as a possible cause.
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Old 26th January 2010, 17:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
Hi all,

I have been facing some problems with my Alto, two of which have not yet found any resolution. Please find them enlisted & explained below:

Problem no.1. During cold starts, a very harsh noise comes from the engine. It sounds as if there is friction somewhere or, that some part is struggling to move. The sound vanishes completely after some time i.e. when the engine has warmed up. The duration for which this sound persists has also increased with the onset of winters. Also, an observation was that the sound dissappears when the clutch pedal is depressed.
Let me go with the first one. Are you refering to cranking noise? Can you post a video with the sound pls? Helps more.
Alternatively, pls post details of the last oil change, clutch overhauling, last service odo & current odo readings, fuel pump service or replacement.
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Old 27th January 2010, 20:00   #4
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1) I am not a big expert, but a few more details would help and also was the clutch replaced ?
If possible, please put up the parts replaced, recent service remark by service center, etc.

2) Your car has run for more than one lakh kms. If timing is going wrong, get it repaired as soon as possible. You may have to replace coils also along with plugs.
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Old 27th January 2010, 22:29   #5
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Suggestions in underlined italics

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
Hi all,

I have been facing some problems with my Alto, two of which have not yet found any resolution. Please find them enlisted & explained below:

Problem no.1. During cold starts, a very harsh noise comes from the engine. It sounds as if there is friction somewhere or, that some part is struggling to move. The sound vanishes completely after some time i.e. when the engine has warmed up. The duration for which this sound persists has also increased with the onset of winters. Also, an observation was that the sound dissappears when the clutch pedal is depressed

does it reappear when the clutch is released?and is this noise present irrespective of the time of the day?If yes, one bearing in the gear box lay shaft must have started wearing out

Problem no.2. There is pinging in the engine when it reaches high rpms, irrespective of speed or gear. This has started increasing with time, & the problem seems to be due to faulty timing as every time, it becomes advanced on its own. It's some thing like, if I would get the timing set now then it would go back to advanced (by the same measure) by evening max.
I have also tried using petrol from the best petrol pumps, even premium petrol. Strangely though, with premium, the pinging increased. So reverted back to normal petrol. The A.S.S. guy says it could be the valves & another mechanic (outside A.S.S) says it could be the distributor which develops play & leads to this problem with timing getting disturbed. Plus, nobody is sure, they say it can be multiple problems as well.

A no-risk solution - Use Nulon.A 300ml can could cost approx Rs.500.You will definitely find the engine smoother.

Please help guys. The car has run more than a lac now, without any mods. It's a make of year 2004, in case there were some differences then in the technicals of the car.

Looking forward to getting some valuable advice/suggestions.

@Mods: I searched for threads containing resolutions to these problems, but couldn't find anything that I could use. I request you to please put up some links here in case I may have missed them out.
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Old 28th January 2010, 13:04   #6
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Hi all,

Thank you for your responses. PFB my comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Let me go with the first one. Are you refering to cranking noise? Can you post a video with the sound pls? Helps more.
Alternatively, pls post details of the last oil change, clutch overhauling, last service odo & current odo readings, fuel pump service or replacement.
No it is not the cranking noise, the sound/noise comes after the engine has been cranked successfully & it is firing. The last oil change happened around a 2000 kms back & the clutch overhauling had been done around 25K-30K kms back (& it is due again). The current odo reading is somewhere around 126845 kms but cannot be sure as I am on tour currently. For the same reason, I cannot post a video now, but I will try asking my dad to shoot & mail me a video. About the fuel pump servicing, I am not aware of the service routine of this unit, kindly enlighten me with the details of when & how this unit should be serviced.
Also please share your thoughts in case you suspect anything as the cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) I am not a big expert, but a few more details would help and also was the clutch replaced ?
If possible, please put up the parts replaced, recent service remark by service center, etc.

2) Your car has run for more than one lakh kms. If timing is going wrong, get it repaired as soon as possible. You may have to replace coils also along with plugs.
Yes, the clutch was replaced about 25K-30K kms back. And it has gone bad again, due for replacement. I will have to dig down for the bill, but from what I can remember it was the entire clutch setup that was replaced, which I guess includes the pressure plates, clutch plates, some springs etc. I am sorry for not being specific, but I am not aware of what goes into the clutch of a car & also this job had been done quite a while back resulting in a faint memory.

About timing, the plugs had been replaced last week only when I got the timing corrected again, but still no use. Sir, can you please enlighten me with the reasons of why a coil might cause this problem of impr0per timing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Suggestions in underlined italics
Yes, the noise reappears if the clutch pedal is released, but then this happens only in mornings (more pronounced in cold weather) or when the car has been started after a long time like during the night, or by the time I leave office in the evening (the car has been left for the whole day).

Once the engine has warmed up, if the igniton is switched off & then the engine is started again, the sound doesn't come.

Also, as the engine reaches operating temparature, it becomes difficult to change gears, the clutch pedal becomes hard & the gear lever gets a little difficult to slot into different gears. Based on this, I learnt that the pressure plates are finished & need replacement.

@all: Apart from these problems being faced, one question that has been bugging my mind is whether I should upgrade to a new car. I have a tight pocket & would only change the car if it makes any financial sense for me. Also, a new car means only an Alto or maybe Spark as they fall in the similar price bracket. Please suggest if you think it would/could make any financial sense for me?


Thanks.
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Old 28th January 2010, 13:14   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
The A.S.S. guy says it could be the valves & another mechanic (outside A.S.S) says it could be the distributor which develops play & leads to this problem
I thought all Altos were MPFI models. Do they have distributors or "Delcos" as they were commonly called?
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Old 28th January 2010, 15:05   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I thought all Altos were MPFI models. Do they have distributors or "Delcos" as they were commonly called?
Hi Gansan, yes, I think they do. While the 1.1 Alto has 2 DDLI coils which are triggered by the ECU, the 800cc Alto has a traditional ignition coil with 3-point distributor. On the ignition coil is an "igniter" block (Maruti-Suzuki terminology) which is triggered by the ECU. From the ignition coil, the spark is distributed to the cylinders via the distributor. If I remember correct, on the F8D, timing is adjusted by turning the distributor assembly...
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Old 28th January 2010, 16:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
Hi Gansan, yes, I think they do. While the 1.1 Alto has 2 DDLI coils which are triggered by the ECU, the 800cc Alto has a traditional ignition coil with 3-point distributor. On the ignition coil is an "igniter" block (Maruti-Suzuki terminology) which is triggered by the ECU. From the ignition coil, the spark is distributed to the cylinders via the distributor. If I remember correct, on the F8D, timing is adjusted by turning the distributor assembly...
Hey srini,

I think you are right because I saw the mechanic remove the air filter asembly (there's a black plastic box sort of a thing with a rubber pipe coming out) & then using a particular sort of screwdriver to adjust the timing. Then he used the timing gun to check if it was correct or not.

By the way, any idea on why the timing may be getting disturbed on it's own like that? Also is there a life of the distributor & if yes, is there any particular component of the same that needs replacement? I inquired about the cost of a new distributor unit & it would cost around 3K-3.5K according the non-A.S.S mechanic.

Thanks.
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Old 28th January 2010, 19:36   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
I think you are right because I saw the mechanic remove the air filter asembly (there's a black plastic box sort of a thing with a rubber pipe coming out) & then using a particular sort of screwdriver to adjust the timing. Then he used the timing gun to check if it was correct or not.
Coincidentally, a fellow-BHP-ian needed information from the service manual on the procedure to set timing on the F8D engine about a month ago - I took these pics then...

Peculiar problems with Alto LX (800cc)-f8d_ignition_timing_0.jpg

Peculiar problems with Alto LX (800cc)-f8d_ignition_timing_1.jpg

Peculiar problems with Alto LX (800cc)-f8d_ignition_timing_2.jpg

Peculiar problems with Alto LX (800cc)-f8d_ignition_timing_3.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfire_9 View Post
By the way, any idea on why the timing may be getting disturbed on it's own like that? Also is there a life of the distributor & if yes, is there any particular component of the same that needs replacement? I inquired about the cost of a new distributor unit & it would cost around 3K-3.5K according the non-A.S.S mechanic.
As you can see, the timing is set by physically rotating the distributor, try scoring or marking the distributor once the timing has been set & check if the distributor's rotated off the set position once the problem resurfaces. It's then just a question of figuring out why the distributor's not maintaining it's position once set.
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Old 15th December 2010, 12:57   #11
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Default "ssss" sound in my Alto

Hi all,

I am facing a small problem with my car for the past couple of weeks. It basically started when I got my ICE upgrade done.

Anyhow, the sound comes irrespective of whether or not the music system is switched on or off, irrespective of whether or not the car is engaged in a gear.
It sounds like "sssssss" & is more prominent in the early mornings though it's quite easily audible throughout the day as well. It comes when the engine is at idle, or when I release the accelerator pedal (both at standstill or when the car is moving) which causes the engine rpm to decrease.

Initially, it was suspected as a leak some place but the MASS are not able to figure out the problem.

Any pointers as to what this might be? Please help.

Also note that the engine oil, gear oil, coolant are in healthy state, & there is no loss of power or any other observations suggesting a possible problem.

Drive safe.
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Old 16th December 2010, 19:47   #12
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Default Re: "ssss" sound in my Alto

Experts? any idea of what is the "zzzz" sound? or is it blackfire_9, your problem was identified?

I suggest you take the car to MASS and see what they identify with (may be with some leads towards the sound, our Experts might pitch in with suggestions on how to fix it).
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Old 16th December 2010, 20:11   #13
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Default Re: "ssss" sound in my Alto

Take a small piece of garden water pipe of about 1/2m length, place one end near your ear and other to various parts of engine when its running at idle. Its just like what doc. does with stethoscope. You will hear the ssss sound very prominently from the pipe if you get the exact problem point. Check near the bearing parts like alternator bearing and near timing belt cover. Did your car went over water logged road or you got it pressure washed recently? I suspect busted bearing.
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Old 16th December 2010, 20:26   #14
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Default Re: "ssss" sound in my Alto

^^ thanks guys for your responses. The MASS haven't been able to diagnose the problem yet & with my SA on leave, I really can't trust much on others.

Hey nfs, I will try taking it to a nearby mechanic & see what he has to say about it & then post it here as that may shed some light on it.

hashim, thanks for the idea mate, I will try doing it over the weekend & hopefully I can isolate the sound. But the car did not go over water logged area & hasn't been pressure washed in over 2 months. I am also suspecting a faulty alternator bearing, but can you tell me what can cause the alternator bearing to fail. The car was perfectly fine just before the ICE install & after the ICE was added & the engine started, this sound started coming. Is it possible that while laying the power cable to the amplifier from the battery, the guy might have damaged something to have caused this problem?

Drive safe.
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Old 30th December 2010, 19:24   #15
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Default Re: "ssss" sound in my Alto

Hey guys, an update finally. I am sorry for the delayed post but hadn't been able to find time to take the car again for diagnosis.

Anyways, the sound was because of loose tappets. Once they were adjusted again, the sound vanished. The mechanic said that there is a belt that makes this noise if the tappets are loose & more so, on high mileage engines. I couldn't comprehend the technical jist but I am happy that the sound has vanished. However, if anybody could understand what exactly might have caused this sound, please explain.

Drive safe.
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