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Old 25th January 2011, 18:00   #1
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Default Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

My Manager has an Alto which was purchased in 2005. Its done 45000Kms so far and vehicle was bought and serviced regularly from Bimal Auto.

20 Days after the recent service he took his car to Kerala during the last week (First long trip ever since he bought a car) and while coming back to Bangalore he started facing problems:

Near Dharmapuri, the car over heated and broke-down, he called up the MASS helpline and they helped him to tow the car to the nearest MASS and they checked the vehicle and replaced the gasket and told everything was fine and started driving to Bangalore. While nearing Krishnagiri, the vehicle broke down again with the same problem. This time he called up Bimal and had them tow his car to Bangalore. (Paid Rs.6000 as towing charges.).

The next day, he went to Bimal to check the status of his car and people out there were waiting with an estimation of Rs.55000 and in the estimation he sees that he has to replace the half-engine. This guy doesn't understand who in the world would change the engine at 55K Kms on Odo. This guy is confused and shattered. Could you guys please help him in this regards ?
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Old 25th January 2011, 18:09   #2
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

So what is this half-engine ? Can you post more details on what BIMAL has confirmed that needs to be replaced . A blown head gasket(if that was the problem) can lead to multiple problems. So just to make sure your boss isn't being taken for a ride, try and post details of what all parts needs to be replaced as per BIMAL and their diagnosis.
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Old 25th January 2011, 18:26   #3
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

@rjstyles: Here are few details about the parts:

This is first part of the bill, the second half he has left it at home and hasn't bought it:

Half Engine Alto LX (Low Friction)
Gasket Cylinder Head
Water pump Assembly
Oil Pump assembly
Strainer Comp Aoil pump
O'Ring
Gasket Oil Seal housing
Gasket oil pump case
Gasket water pump
Seal Oil

In the other bill, it seems that they have mentioned something about replace pistons and rings. Also they have told him that the crankshaft has been broken due to dryness and needs to be re-place.

But is this behavior normal on a car which is run just 45k Kms ?

Does he need to write to someone higher at MUL asking for justification ?

Please suggest.
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Old 25th January 2011, 18:35   #4
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Depends on the damage incurred. Has this engine seized due to overheating? How bad is the seizure and has it scarred the block, pistons etc?

One option is to rebore instead of replacing the bore, that will bring the cost down. And i dont see any reason why they are replacing all the pumps (typical A>S>S procedure i guess). If engine is being repaired then he can might as well replace only the failed component, ie the oil or water pump instead of both.

First try to understand from the garage what is the actual issue.

Having said all that, if money is not a major issue and if he plans to keep the car for another 3-5 years, replacement will be a better option.
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Old 25th January 2011, 18:42   #5
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Try to get an engine from gujili or maybe just crank from there. All symptoms indicate oil starvation or oil pump failure.

First breakdown indicates head gasket failure. Does this guy service his car properly. Take it to an expert with small garage. *** is not bothered with saving you money.
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Old 25th January 2011, 18:53   #6
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

2500 CC: Looks like some major damage has taken place from what has been explained so far (gasket replacement, crankshaft broken, piston and rings etc)

What is exactly meant by half Engine here? Not full replacement and repair only? Just curious

Also what is the explanation from BIMAL as to why this has happened? Engine Oil leakage / Coolant issue possibly? Has the vehicle being serviced properly and periodically?

Exactly like MPower suggested above, I would also suggest to take it to another trusted mechanic (TBHP Bangalore Directory has SEJAL Motors well known as Maruti experts, also Suraksha-Lokesh could be tried as options - few pointers for help)

I personally dont have any good experience with BIMAL guys while they serviced my old Maruti Zen - would like to ad here.

All the best
narayanang76

Last edited by narayanang76 : 25th January 2011 at 19:01. Reason: comment about BIMAL
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:03   #7
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
So what is this half-engine ?
A half engine is what Maruti sells as a factory-assembled set of the top half of the engine, i.e. the engine block with pistons and rings all assembled; . Everything is ready to fit & use. It excludes the cylinder head and the bottom half, i.e.the crankshaft and clutch unit. It's a great time-saver, since an engine with cylinder/piston/ring/valve failure in a combination (usually due to severe overheating) can be put back into operation within a day. No need of going through the rigmarole of disassembly, clean-up, lathe work, individual bits and pieces to be bought and assembled, a few days of downtime etc. - esp. where the quality of workmanship may be suspect. But it's expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
...car over heated and broke-down...checked the vehicle and replaced the gasket...vehicle broke down again with the same problem.

...an estimation of Rs.55000 and in the estimation he sees that he has to replace the half-engine.
First off, it appears that the Dharmapuri MASS did not address the root cause of the overheating problem, and just replaced the gasket (blown head gasket is a symptom of overheating, not a cause). As a result the pistons, rings, valves etc. burnt out.

The 55k INR estimate is rather on the high side, since the MASS is replacing a lot of peripheral parts like water pump assy, oil pump etc. (possibly without confirming whether they need change). My guess would be that they're also including a new pre-assembled cylinder head in the estimate. Half engine for the Alto (800cc) should be less than 15k INR.

Buying just the half engine and getting the car ready outside at a good FNG would bring down the cost to less than 25k INR. If a good mechanic & lathe shop rebuilds the existing engine (block with new liners, new pistons & rings, cylinder head etc.), the cost won't be more than 18k INR. A crankshaft replacement can add another 7k.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th January 2011 at 19:06.
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:03   #8
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Ok i somehow missed the broken crank part. So this is more like an oil pump failure issue, which resulted in seizure and breaking. Funny how the first workshop at dharmapuri missed the symptoms?? Nothing much you can do with MUL intervention since its an old car.

If Bimal is not ready to offer alternate solution, move the vehicle to another garage like narayanan suggested ^^ Difficulty with this is, i assume Bimal has already dismantled the engine??? So they will anyway charge for that labor.
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:04   #9
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Yes guys in the quote they have mentioned that crank and piston and pistons rings are to be re-placed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Depends on the damage incurred. Has this engine seized due to overheating? How bad is the seizure and has it scarred the block, pistons etc?

One option is to rebore instead of replacing the bore, that will bring the cost down. And i dont see any reason why they are replacing all the pumps (typical A>S>S procedure i guess). If engine is being repaired then he can might as well replace only the failed component, ie the oil or water pump instead of both.

First try to understand from the garage what is the actual issue.

Having said all that, if money is not a major issue and if he plans to keep the car for another 3-5 years, replacement will be a better option.
Apparently the actual failure is due to the oil starvation to the engine and when the car stalled, it was due to overheating. I think money is bit of a concern here. He is not will to spend so much on a 7yrs old car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Try to get an engine from gujili or maybe just crank from there. All symptoms indicate oil starvation or oil pump failure.

First breakdown indicates head gasket failure. Does this guy service his car properly. Take it to an expert with small garage. *** is not bothered with saving you money.
Yes MPower, after replacing the head gasket at Dharmapuri, the car stalled again within 100kms. This guy has all the service docs in place, so far he has got the car serviced at MASS (Bimal) only. He says that even to fix a small screw, he was taking the car to the MASS.

During the last service which was 10 days before his trip, no one at MASS mentioned that there could be some problem with the engine.
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:05   #10
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

All this can happen even with 55.0 Kms on ODO. Looks like a clear case of a running without water/coolant. Too bad, should have been a easy fix...!! Now looks like the top half is fried.

Better to get it done @ a local mech with parts from JC road, still would end up with at least 20K~Rs bill...
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:10   #11
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Typical case of a blown head-gasket and the coolant leaking into the crankcase and the cylinders.Was the car running low on coolant ?
Usually happens due to coolant leaks in the engine, hoses,radiator or the water pump.

The chap whoever replaced the gasket at Dharmapuri sure has done a shoddy job. Ideally replacing the head gasket requires to remove the head and both the head and block should be inspected properly for any damage. IMO this wouldn't have been done and in all likely-hood the 2nd one also blew.

As jaggu said take the car to an independent MASS/local garage and find out the extent of damage 1st before your boss spends.
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:18   #12
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

You can ask Bimal also for a part replacement job instead of the whole, they might agree. Only thing they will say "it will be no guarantee saar etc".

I say fix it proper and use it for couple of years or as a second car.
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Old 25th January 2011, 19:45   #13
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
All this can happen even with 55.0 Kms on ODO. Looks like a clear case of a running without water/coolant. Too bad, should have been a easy fix...!! Now looks like the top half is fried.

Better to get it done @ a local mech with parts from JC road, still would end up with at least 20K~Rs bill...
Yes Santosh, we are exploring this option now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Typical case of a blown head-gasket and the coolant leaking into the crankcase and the cylinders.Was the car running low on coolant ?
Usually happens due to coolant leaks in the engine, hoses,radiator or the water pump.

The chap whoever replaced the gasket at Dharmapuri sure has done a shoddy job. Ideally replacing the head gasket requires to remove the head and both the head and block should be inspected properly for any damage. IMO this wouldn't have been done and in all likely-hood the 2nd one also blew.

As jaggu said take the car to an independent MASS/local garage and find out the extent of damage 1st before your boss spends.
Yes, the guys at Dharmapuri have just put the bandage without assessing the damage caused.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
You can ask Bimal also for a part replacement job instead of the whole, they might agree. Only thing they will say "it will be no guarantee saar etc".

I say fix it proper and use it for couple of years or as a second car.
MASS guys are asking him to change the entire engine and he would get 1L Kms warranty, my Mgr was tempted by that, then I reminded him that from past 7yrs of possessing the car he had done only 45k Kms.

So now he is exploring the options of getting it done from the local mech. Lets see what he has to say.
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Old 25th January 2011, 20:17   #14
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Default Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Why not get a complete engine from a scrapped Alto if that is available?
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Old 25th January 2011, 21:04   #15
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Exclamation Re: Half-Engine change on Alto @ 45k Kms, Please help

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
It seems that they have mentioned something about replace pistons and rings. Also they have told him that the crankshaft has been broken due to dryness and needs to be re-place. But is this behavior normal on a car which is run just 45k Kms ?
No, this is definitely not normal for an engine with just 45K Kms on it ! 55K is kinda high, does the estimate include labor also ? I'm surprised the crank's actually broken & as mentioned, does point to a lubrication problem. Is it possible that the oil pressure switch was broken or the driver did not notice it glowing (I've always felt this needs a buzzer) ? You could also check if the crank journals alone are damaged rather than the crank itself being broken (pics of the broken crank would help).
As mentioned, the Alto's half-engine includes a new block, pistons, con-rods, & (I think) the crank too. The low-friction crankshaft's ~5K, a piston & ring set (set of 3) should not exceed 2K. If the block's not twisted you could try over-boring the cylinders & fitting over-sized pistons (MGP available). You might also have to check the oil pump. If I remember correct, you cannot buy just the crankshaft anymore, you need to get the whole half-engine from Maruti (please confirm though, this policy existed in 2008). The Alto's half-engine is ~18K (prices mentioned are 2008-2009).
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
Apparently the actual failure is due to the oil starvation to the engine and when the car stalled, it was due to overheating. After replacing the head gasket at Dharmapuri, the car stalled again within 100kms. This guy has all the service docs in place, so far he has got the car serviced at MASS (Bimal) only.
See if you can wrangle a discount out of Maruti stating that their Dharmapuri service-center misdiagnosed the issue. And any idea why the water pump needs replacement ?

Last edited by im_srini : 25th January 2011 at 21:17.
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