This car came to us with the bottom end knocking. Before removing the engine we dropped the sump to remove the big end bearings. This is what the big end bearings looked like…
Although the car was running below max oil level on the dipstick, it wasn’t actually oil starvation that caused the failure. These engines run very tight bearing clearances and are designed to run a very thin 0w20 Engine Oil. Regular servicing is vital to keep an engine in good health. Unfortunately this car had a fictitious stamp in the service book and had been run on the wrong oil for many miles. We attribute the failure to a lubrication failure due to the age and incorrect grade of oil, combined with possible oil filter bypass failure (the car had a brand of oil filter we would never dream of using). Some of the shells had spun which means the rods would require replacement. A new engine from Suzuki is apparently £9000.
We sourced a good quality low mileage replacement engine.
As part of the job we’ll be replacing Aux belts (the engine has a chain driven camshaft), Oil and Filter and Coolant. Interestingly, along with the incorrect oil the engine also had the incorrect grade of coolant fitted. We will be using the correct 0w20 oil and red coolant.
We hope the customer will then get us to service the car every year or 10000 miles whichever comes sooner. This is an excellent example of the kind of huge expense that not sticking to regular servicing can cause.