Engine Damage?? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 15 Old 10-06-07 Thread Starter
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Engine Damage??

Hey guys,

I was wondering (excuse ignorance here) if there is a way to diagnose engine ware / damage without dismantling the engine.

How accurately can this be done? Will it only detect significant ware? Or can you pre-empt future problems?



Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Engine Damage??

to inspect you are going to have to remove bits and pieces...how much i couldn't tell you...do you suspect above normal engine ware then ?
 
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Re: Engine Damage??

Intelligent engineers can make a good assessment of wear using a spread of indicators.

1) Oil consumption (and any blue smoke from exhaust). This can indicate bore/piston ring wear and /or failed valve oil stem seals or worn valve guides .
2) You can do a compression test which checks the ability of each cyclinder to hold compression. This can give an indication of faulty valves(burnt or carboned up) or once again piston ring wear.
3) Then there is the leakdown test which is used to try and differentiate whether the loss of compression is caused by the valves or the pistons & rings.

I belive the really clever guys can also test the sump oil for products of combustion which tells you whether your piston rings are OK.

You just add into all this the subjective side, such as how the engine sounds, does it give good power, does it rattle at all on start up, and depending on how many miles its done...is this reasonable.

As to pre-empting future problems..well that starts on day one. Warm the engine up gently before using the full rev range. Change the oil (semi synth is a minimum requirement IMHO) and air filter regularly, avoid short journeys/stop start journeys and don't over rev the engine. Following that regime will minimise wear as much as is possible.

Hope this helps

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Re: Engine Damage??

Depends which components you are interesting in checking for damage / wear....
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Re: Engine Damage??

Thanks for the super quick reply guys,

Well.... the main cause of my concerns is the car was run on low oil. I was only alerted to this when the "low oil pressure" message quickly flashed on the screen a few times. Not sure exactly how long it was low but I can estimate that it would have been a max of 4 -5 weeks (1000kms).

I recently purchased the car second hand, so wanted to check general health as well.

I was aware that Alfas use oil but is it normal that it should use 4L in just over 3000km??? this is why I was caught out because I do check levels (evidently not as often as I should hence my prob). I guess now I am worried that I have caused damage or that the previous owner did hence what I believe is excessive oil consumption!!!

There appears to my untrained ear to be no rattles or knocks etc and after adding 10w 60 oil runs well (as Alfas should of course)
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Re: Engine Damage??

I thought the JTS took 10W40 not 10W60?
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Re: Engine Damage??

Main problem with running low on oil would be bottom end wear. Only way that I know of to test for this is to pull the sump off, and then measure / inspect bottom end components
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Re: Engine Damage??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pud237 View Post
I thought the JTS took 10W40 not 10W60?
Depends on the ambient temperatures the engine will be working in.
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Re: Engine Damage??

As a recent purchase one has to wonder why the previous owner sold it. I'd start monitoring your oil consumption, and move to a slightly heavier grade and see what happens try 15w 40 semi synth I'd suggest. Can't possibly do any harm, and may be the way to go.

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Re: Engine Damage??

So long as there are no obvious engine sounds, change oil and filter and drive her how you intended to.
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Re: Engine Damage??

If you are concerned, I would send a sample of oil for analysis
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Re: Engine Damage??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pud237 View Post
I thought the JTS took 10W40 not 10W60?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostyDog View Post
Depends on the ambient temperatures the engine will be working in.
No, the 2.0JTS is spec'd with 10w60 full synthetic.
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Re: Engine Damage??

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Originally Posted by lowejackson View Post
If you are concerned, I would send a sample of oil for analysis

I agree, Oil consumption alone cannot be a good judge of wear, especially as Alfa's tend to use less oil as they get older.

You may be able to dismantle the old oil filter and check if it contains many trapped metal particles. (The oil inside will look like metallic paint)

I am not sure where oil can be sent for analysis, can anyone point in the correct direction?

Simon.
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Re: Engine Damage??

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Originally Posted by David C View Post
No, the 2.0JTS is spec'd with 10w60 full synthetic.
Thanks for the correction Dave
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Re: Engine Damage??

There should be a number of places in the UK which carry out this type of work. I have only done this once but I used a firm in the USA which was recommended on Bobistheoilguy.com but you do get a highly detailed report on the state of the oil and engine
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