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 far too many miles. We attribute the failure to a lubrication issue 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). The main bearings (which are lightly loaded compared to the connecting rod “big end” bearings) survived unscathed which ruled out a lack of oil. 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.
Here’s the car complete.
The engine is remarkably smooth. To be able to offer a warranty we change:
- Oil & Filter
- Spark Plugs
- Cambelt (if fitted)
- Inlet & Exhaust Manifold Gaskets
- New Gearbox oil
- New coolant (we tend to flush and use Ethylene Glycol with OAT for best corrosion resistance)
- Air Filter (make sure it’s fitted correct this one was sucking unfiltered air)
After 1000 miles from an engine swap we request that you return for an Oil and Filter change. For longest possible engine life change oil every 6000 miles and oil + filter every 12000 miles. Always prime the oil pump before starting to save those precious bearing surfaces.
If your car has an engine problem, and you want the job done right, walk out on the tightrope and connect to Balance Motorworks. We won’t let you down!