Last week my engine threw a piston or something - anyway its done a lot of damage and it needs a new engine.
I think the warranty company are going to say it was oil starvation that was the cause and say it was my fault.
I had filled up the oil the day before and driven probably 600 miles before it seized up the next evening.
This is what I know so dar: The top of the engine was bone dry with no oil. The sump was full of oil. The oil filter was dry of oil. However I've been told today that the oil pump is working when they tested it by hand. Theres no obvious signs of blockage - although they admitted that because there was shrapnel bouncing about everywhere its difficult to tell.
Now, admittedly the oil was very very low when I filled it up the day before but I don't know enough about these things to work out why the oil was not being pumped to the top of the engine.
Its evident from the top of the engine being bone dry that I did not try and fill it after the event. And I guess the oil in the sump should look used since I filled it up the day before.
Assuming the car has a full service history and that you have complied with the warranty requirements I'd say there shouldn't be a problem. That's got to be your argument if they come back with that line. Good luck.
This is how I look at it; I might be wrong, but I have handled warranty claims on cars (not gonna tell which brands )
You stand a good chance. If the sump was full of oil when they brought the car in and the pump was in "working order" the warranty company have a very bad case. However; TS engines are known for ramming a piston through the block once they have been run completely dry. Which is probaby what happend. This is very hard to prove, that's why I think you have a good case. Sooner or later they will learn.
I have a brother in the Alfa business, you will not believe how many destroyed Alfa engines he has seen !! and the cause ...? oil starvation i.e. almost empty sump. Most of these cars are lease and the owners don't care one bit, checking oil level .... why ? there is a warning light !!
I check at least once a week ! better safe than sorry....
I know i'd been a bit neglectful in letting it run so low - but i guess its up to the warranty company to explain why the oil i had put in a couple of 100 miles before the engine blew hadn't been pumped round the engine even though the pump was working?
Anyways a second 'independent' inspector is coming to look at it thursday or friday so i should know more then.
Total failure of the crankpin shells from No.1 journal and the adhesive wear present on the other bearing shells was caused by direct rubbing contact with the journals due to a breakdown of the hydrodynamic oil film between the bearing surfaces.
As the oil pump and oil pressure regulator valve were in a satisfactory condition an inadequate supply of oil to the crankshaft was most likely due to excessive bearing clearance caused by the crankpin bolt progressively working loose.
Continued operation of the engine under these conditions led to increased wear and bearing clearance until the onset of hammering of the bearing shells on the journal and the con-rod detached from the journal impacting the engine block.
There was no evidence of any engine rebuilding and in my opinion the failed crankpin bolt was either incorrectly tightened at manufacture or had suffered severe vibration due to bearing damage.
This failure would have been progressive and I am of the opinion there would have been noticeable noise when starting the engine from cold and in the final stages of failure.]
The warranty company want me to pay half - I think this is because I should have noticed the problem sooner - can't say I noticed any unusual noises on start up or anything just before it happened.
Anybody had any experience of the best way forward with the warranty company - I think there taking the P**S a little on this one. I want it repaired so I can get rid of the no good heap of junk!
Depends i guess on what they mean by 'progessive' increase in noise - what is this? progressive since i bought it? so subtle an increase over such a long time that you wouldn't notice it? Just a progressive increase over the last 100 miles? What!?
I'm going to speak to the warranty company and see if I can find out what they expected me to notice.
Thanks for the last post I will speak to my other garage and see what they are prepared to confirm in writing for me.
The likely costs in total are £4000.00 so it is worth the effort. Oh, and thats for a genuine reconditioned engine! I'm sure the warranty company should use new parts?
WHA Limited (the warranty company) that Alfa use has been in a bit of trouble. Did a search of the net and found the following: they've had some bother over their VAT bill and a Gibraltor based holding company. They actually went into receivership in March 2004 but are their warranties are still be honoured by the receivers. They were also investigated by the Office of fair Trading over their policy wording on Alfa Policies and forced to change it.
Judging by their background history I guess I could have a battle on my hands!
Steve_147 what a nightmare Sorry to hear all the cr@p you are having to put up with. Carry on kicking their butts and maybe they will finally honour the warranty. Maybe say that you are thinking of reporting the stress and unsatisfactory service you are receiving from them to the office of fair trading. Not sure, given current condition the company is in, that it would make the slight bit of difference. Anyway - good luck and let us know how you get on.
Exactly, not to give out warranties on Alfa TS or JTS engines.
Originally Posted by Steve_147
can't say I noticed any unusual noises on start up or anything just before it happened
Well, you won’t. Running it dry won't cause any noises, unless you let go of the accelerator a few seconds before it goes kaboom. Dont get me wrong, I want the best for you, and the warranty companies have covered their asse(t)s, but from a professional point of view, the bearings were hurt when you ran it out of oil. It was only a matter of time before the small imperfections in the bearing material became HUGE imperfections. And trust me, you get no warning before hell breaks loose. As for no oil in the galleries and the filter... it only takes a few minutes to drain from there. The hotter the engine, the faster.
I'm not trying to put you down, but this is what you will be told if you pursue the matter. If you want to use this thread as material in your favour. PM me and I'll edit my reply in your favour.
Anyway; I'm pretty much sure you'll check the oil level regularly from now on. Expensive mistake
Well , after taking some further advice I've agreed to pay a 3rd of the cost of the replacement engine.
Strangely I can't wait to get it back ... but only so I can trade it in for something a little bit more robust and reliable.
The Alfa spell has definately worn off. I'll probably end up with either an Audi A3 Sportback although the Mazda RX-8 comes a close second.
My cars had approximately £10,000 spent on it under warranty since new:
New Steering Rack x 2
Oil Cooler x 2
Manifold Heat Shield x 6
Entire Gearbox Replaced
Selespeed everything else replaced countless times
New Body Computer x 3
New Shocks at 40k miles
ABS sensor replacement
Cambelt went at 44K miles
Various suspension parts replaced
It took me quite a while to realise this but my 147 is by far the worst car I've ever driven - it has been truly horrendous. It doesn't even drive particulary well now - and i'm fed up taking it into the dealers to be mended every few weeks or being told they can't find anything wrong.