TS Engine Failure - Causes - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Thread Tools Search this Thread
(Post Link) post #1 of 4 Old 11-08-05 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 397
TS Engine Failure - Causes

By nature I am a cautious creature. If I think something bad might happen I try to prevent it.

But I cannot get any information on oil starvation related ts engine failures. Some people suggest that many cam-belt failures are actually caused by seized valve gear due to .....oil starvation. This is usually blamed on a seized oil pump drive. Also, other have mentioned "sudden oil loss", which maybe caused by a perforated/shattered sump due to impact on the bridging piece running under the exhaust pipe. I thought a oil pressure gauge might be an answer but I would rather go to the root cause.

Who has the definitive line on this one?

Best wishes,

stooge166 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Status: Now driving a BMW :(
AO Platinum Member
RicksAlfas's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 17,033
Images: 11

Member car:

1750GTV 147Lusso

Re: TS Engine Failure - Causes

Many oil related Twin Spark problems have a very simple cause - the owner not checking the oil every 1,000 miles.

The sump is small on these engines and their oil consumption high - up to 1 litre per 1000 miles, so a 5 litre sump doesn't last all that long....
RicksAlfas is offline  
Status: Tin worm attack ... ARGHH!
AO Gold Member
gazza82's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: United Kingdom
County: Buckinghamshire
Posts: 8,285
Images: 12
Re: TS Engine Failure - Causes

Most likely cause is a tensioner on the timing belt. This fails and either the belt jumps teeth or in my case seizes and strips the teeth off the belt ....

The resulting impact of valve and piston can then cause the big-end bearings to rub on the crank, as the oil film is compressed, and later you get big-end failure ... again, experience!! And it doesn't take much ... even on the starter motor

I've also heard of belt failures due to the balancer balt (2.0l only) breaking and tangling in the main timing belt ... but this is rare.

The most likely cause of failure due to low oil pressure is simple ... people don't check the oil levels often enough. The TS engine can get through a litre of oil in 1000-1500 miles!! So it needs to be checked regularly and kept topped up. I'm lucky in that since my engine rebuild, the new piston rings, new bearings, crank regrind and head work has reduced my oil usage to almost nothing ... but I still check it once a week!

The bridging piece can also be a problem as you said, especially if the undertray is missing/broken. I'm in the process of saving up for an alloy version to replace the paper-thin and crumpled item currently adorning the undersides of my beloved.

cheers, Gary

HIS: 1998 156 2.0 TSpark with Sport Pack 2, sunroof and hi-level spoiler in Alfa Rosso. V6 intake mod, clear side repeaters and Zeatek undertray.

HERS: 2009 MiTo 1.4 95bhp Turismo arrived 21st November in Techno Grey with colour-coded headlight surrounds.

"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"
My Alfa156 Web Site - how-to's, piccies, links, useful stuff, etc.
gazza82 is offline  
Status: Living la vida loca!
AO Silver Member
v6junky's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Spain
County: -
Posts: 2,503
Images: 9
Re: TS Engine Failure - Causes

Yeah, same old story on other forums I visit in Spain. The TS is a big seller here and I read a lot of sad sotories of failed TS's. It's mainly down to tensioner failure more than anything else as well as belts perhaps being left for longer than 5 years thinking the mileage is the only factor to take into consideration. Very wrong and very expensive attitude!

The oil starvation is basically due to the FIAT blocks not quite up to the Alfa heads demanding performance. As far as I am aware as long as you keep a close eye on oil you should be OK bar any 'other' factors as already mentioned. A pain in the @rse but expensive if you don't.

Amazingly I finally have an Alfa that does not use up oil!!!! I no longer carry a can in the boot either. However, it uses gear oil like there's no tomorrow (need a new box) and it's loosing water somewhere... bummer! There's always something to do!!!

164 V6 24v "Zender Alfa Sport"

Past glories: Sud 1.5ti, Alfetta GTV, GTV6, 33 1.5ti, 33 1.7ie, 164 3.0 V6, 164 3.0 V6, GTV 1.8TS, 156 1.6 TS, 159 2.4 JTDm QTronic.
v6junky is offline  

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Alfa 164 & 166

engine , failure

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome