1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Second hand car engine failure after 3 months

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Linkex, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Nasher


    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 12,216

    Sucks, I had something like this happen to me with a second hand Audi. Turbo exploded after 3 months but luckily it was still under warrenty. Then the exact same thing happened to a friend, also with an Audi :/

    But yea, the Rover k series is known for head gasket failure, among other things. It even happens on the S1 Lotus Elise which uses the same engine (which is why many owners replaced the engines with Honda units). I don't think it's to expensive to fix, if that is the only problem. But it can take other parts of the engine with it when it blows, which means a whole new engine.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  2. Trig


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,550

    Location: Leicestershire

    Rover drivers make me laugh tbh, remember one of them sagging off the Monaro when it was released saying all Vauxhall's looked the same, when quiet when I said the entire rover range hadn't changed in ages until they suddenly changed to brighter colours and stuck bodykits them..
  3. Janesy B


    Joined: Apr 19, 2008

    Posts: 24,964

  4. Linkex

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 4, 2011

    Posts: 1,065

    Finally got a call back from the dealer. Guy seemed friendly about the whole thing, is going to speak to the garage and call me back. Will see how it goes.
  5. MeEsH BaKkA


    Joined: Dec 12, 2002

    Posts: 2,916

    Most of the time going in SOGA blazing wont get you very far or at least make the whole sorting stuff out experience much less civil. Dealers get people coming in all the time trying to SOGA cars because they have found one similar for sale but cheaper etc... so expect them to go over the car with a fine tooth comb.

    A holed piston will almost certainly be a nackered injector so be prepared to fight them coming back with wear and tear (unless a belt has snapped) you can insist on independant garages and even get engineers to inspect the engine.
  6. Rilot


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 19,439

    Location: Wargrave, UK

    Not always. A holed piston can be cause by any number of things. It's usually as a result of pre or self ignition.

    It could be caused by damaged or leaking valves causing exhaust casses to heat them up and thus causing pre ignition.
    Other causes include; tons of residue on the crown causing hot spots, high quantities of oil in the combustion chamber caused by head-gasket failure and then driving like that for ages.
  7. Cybergangster

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 11, 2004

    Posts: 1,332

    Location: Aotearoa

    It'll be good to hear how you get on. Most of the advice here has been spot on - you don't want to go in guns blazing. Give the dealer a chance to find an amicable solution.

    I had a similar situation with our Mazda - the engine was replaced after overheating. The garage supplied and fitted the engine and replaced what they deemed needed replacing. Several weeks later the transmission was running rough and we found water in the ATF. The garage cleaned it up, replaced the radiator which had a hole in the oil cooler and sent us on our way.

    Six months later the transmission locks up. The garage declined liability and offered a second-hand transmission at cost. I took it to a 3rd party and they confirmed rust in the gearbox. The garage still declined to resolve the issue. So I had a mechanic insurer look at the damage and got the 3rd party to replace the transmission.

    The original garage would not admit liability, but with the insurers report and me talking legal proceedings they finally sat down to talk. It took longer than necessary, but the result was a new transmission with 70% of the costs covered by the garage (although, they never, ever admitted they were at fault).
  8. Cupra


    Joined: Feb 12, 2007

    Posts: 8,630

    Location: Teesside, IOM

    As above how did it go?
  9. Linkex

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 4, 2011

    Posts: 1,065

    The dealer has had the car picked up to have a look at it themselves (Or their preferred garage) - Will give them until tomorrow and then call them for an update. Will update here when I know more.
  10. Dogbreath


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,600

    Location: Devon

    It's pretty unusual to hole a piston in a standard normally aspirated engine which is in a fairly low state of of tune just through thermal overload (i.e. not mechanical damage like a dropped valve). I'm assuming the OP's car is the standard 1.8, not the 1.8T.

    Pistons can get cracked on the K series by coolant entering the cylinder from either a failing headgasket or inlet manifold gasket, or the car could have been driven through deep water in the past and ingested some.
  11. Something Else


    Joined: Feb 19, 2012

    Posts: 4,359

    The engine was probably fine when purchased, 3 months is plenty of time for incorrect AFR to burn a hole in the piston. Not like the K series is a particularly strong engine especially in its larger forms. The 1.1 and 1.4 are generally ok.

    Unfortunately as has been pointed out the 1.6 and 1.8 k series engines are time bombs due to Rovers bad choice of just enlarging the cylinders.

    They are great engines apart from the headgasket which can be fixed with the land rover MLS gasket.

    Second hand ones are cheap to get but alot of place won't sell them due to not wanting to give a warranty which should give you an idea.

    Also don't buy a Rover again, I say this as an ex rover owner and lover. If you want easy cheap motoring generally buy jap.
  12. Haggisman


    Joined: Oct 6, 2004

    Posts: 12,662

    Location: Birmingham

    In which case, while the engine may have been fine, something which was causing the AFR to be incorrect obviously wasn't :p

    While I agree that it is entirely possible for the car to have been in perfect working order when the OP bought it - legally it's up to the dealer to either prove that, or pay up.
  13. Linkex

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 4, 2011

    Posts: 1,065

    Just an update, dealer has been dragging their feet. Car wasn't even collected from the garage we originally took it to until the 17th, every time I spoke to them it was 'Sorry, there was a problem with collecting it, but its getting collected in the next couple of days'. After it was finally collected I was told they would need a couple of days to look at it. 48 hours later, call for an update and am told the mechanic is coming to look later today. So that's 17 days from informing them to them even lifting the bonnet, assuming that even happens today and I'll be without a car for Christmas. Joy.

    Oh, and during that last conversation he managed to slip in a line about checking what damage the other garage may have done if they tried to turn it over, which tells me they are setting up to try and blame them. *sigh*
  14. CraigN

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 30, 2005

    Posts: 2,498

    Location: Bristol

    Mine ran lean due to blocked injector.


    Roadside assistance ruined the bore and the head trying to turn it over. Well ruined it more :p

  15. mattyprice4004


    Joined: Apr 24, 2007

    Posts: 7,090

    Location: Infinite Sheldon

    The K Series, although it does have it's weaknesses, is not known for holing pistons. The injection system is very reliable, and a hydrolock of cylinder number 1 because of an inlet manifold gasket leak usually causes it to bend a rod. The pistons are quite strong.

    Not a bad engine if you know what to look for - the BMW diesel engine is a better bet, however. They go on forever (highest I've seen being 500k so far).

    Good luck in getting it sorted - if the garage try to feed you gobbledegook, feel free to message me in trust and I'll mull over what they've said.
  16. mattyg


    Joined: Jun 17, 2007

    Posts: 7,317

    Oh I love that last bit.

    If they try that. Ask them to put it into writing that they KNOW the other garage has caused the damage. Then tell them you will go back to that garage with their proof.
  17. Linkex

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 4, 2011

    Posts: 1,065

    I've just had a call from the dealer. Their mechanic has said the cheapest option is to replace the engine, quoted at £900-£1000, with the dealer offering to pay half as a 'good will gesture', which would leave me with a bill of approx £500. Oh, and I can apparently kick in an extra £60 and have the cam belt done on the replacement engine at the same time, if I want to. While this is still a lot, this is obviously the dealer getting trade rates, as the garage we went to wanted £2.5k to source and swap an engine.

    I have a friend who is a receptionist at a local solicitor firm and she kindly had a chat with one of the guys there. Basically, I'm looking at £150 just to sit down and discuss options, with additional fees if they actually do anything.

    Obviously I also have the option of refusing the offer and telling them that I consider it their responsibility to fix it, but that brings the risk that they will retract the 50/50 offer and refuse to take responsibility, leaving me with only the solicitor option.

    So really, I can see 2 options here:
    *Accept the deal they are offering - Fixed cost and no risk
    *Push back and demand they resolve it at their own cost - with the risk that I then have to pay an unknown amount for a solicitor, with no guarantee that I will get a better result. In fact I risk being left with a car that wants £2.5k work done (roughly what its worth), plus solicitors fees. Bearing in mind I took a loan to buy the car in the first place and would have to take another if I had to pay full wack for a replacement engine, that would leave me over £5k down on a car worth £2.5k

    Any thoughts/suggestions/advice? Bear in mind that worst case scenario above is really not an option I can afford to risk, I don't really seem to have any other option.
  18. Tinders


    Joined: Jul 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,850

    Location: There's a voice that keeps on calling me.

    I bet they arent paying anywhere near £900 for a Rover engine, it will probably be an ebay sourced engine.

    I'd be inclined to fight them, as you still have the law on your side.
  19. Stuff

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 20, 2009

    Posts: 2,400

    Depends how much you need the car/money I guess.. If you can afford to take your time, then go the hard route I'd say :)
  20. mattyg


    Joined: Jun 17, 2007

    Posts: 7,317