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RainbowLaura

Big shock. Is my immaculate Lupo really dead?

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On Saturday evening my lovely Lupo broke down on me for the first time in 8 years I've owned it.  I had just filled up the petrol and as I left the forecourt it misfired and conked out.  Here are the details:

51 reg 
68,000 miles
1.0L petrol
New cambelt in 2015(!)
Full service history
Immaculate body
NO other obvious problems

...and I've just been informed by our family's highly trusted mechanic that it's not just the HT leads, as the recovery guys had told me. He's tried all sorts of things over the last couple of days, new leads, coils etc. but has found that 2 of the 3 cylinders have lost compression. We are not sure what the actual problem is.

Any thoughts?  Is it just a coincidence that I filled up with the (definitely correct) fuel immediately beforehand?  I don't have the time or money to spend more on investigating this further really... So very upset :(
 

**Update: I have decided to sell this car.  If anyone is interested and is up for a go at cracking the misfiring problem, then please PM me**

Edited by RainbowLaura

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Any pics of it? Also has your mechanic explained what's wrong with it??

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As Pete said, what has he said specifically is wrong with it? I assumed when the engine 'conked out' that the cambelt had snapped, in-which I'd agree with your mechanic, a 1.0 E 51 reg just isn't worth repairing imo, no matter how immaculate or attached you are to it. However, that all depends on how much you're willing to sink into it.

That said, if the cambelt had snapped, it wouldn't even turnover, so you'd know about it. Get some more info. I assume it's been scanned?

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Wrong fuel or water in the fuel (a garage near me once killed lots of cars many years ago with contaminated fuel) would take a while to reach the engine internals, usually several hundred meters or more depending on how little fuel you had left when filling up.

So it's more likely cruel coincidence. If you have poor compression and a recent oil addiction then it's mechanical. It is fixable, but if you have to pay someone to do all the work for you then yes it will add up.

External checks: look at the water / coolant. Any oil in the water? Is the level correct? pull out the dip stick, does the oil look smell and feel right? Oil level correct very low or too high? pull out the plugs and read their condition. (oil fouling etc).

It could be head gasket, cracked head, worn / broken piston rings. You often wont know for sure until the engine starts being taken apart.

You'll have to work out the least costly route, doing nothing and selling it as is or spending a bit of money to find out what needs doing.

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17 minutes ago, Sausage said:

Wrong fuel or water in the fuel (a garage near me once killed lots of cars many years ago with contaminated fuel) would take a while to reach the engine internals, usually several hundred meters or more depending on how little fuel you had left when filling up.

So it's more likely cruel coincidence. If you have poor compression and a recent oil addiction then it's mechanical. It is fixable, but if you have to pay someone to do all the work for you then yes it will add up.

External checks: look at the water / coolant. Any oil in the water? Is the level correct? pull out the dip stick, does the oil look smell and feel right? Oil level correct very low or too high? pull out the plugs and read their condition. (oil fouling etc).

It could be head gasket, cracked head, worn / broken piston rings. You often wont know for sure until the engine starts being taken apart.

You'll have to work out the least costly route, doing nothing and selling it as is or spending a bit of money to find out what needs doing.

No petrol station should be selling fuel with water in nowadays. As you say, many years ago possible, but not nowadays imo.

I did think possibly HGF, but surely a HGF would result in some very rough running before eventually dying? Also, well maintained Lupo's don't tend to have HGF's. I'm assuming this one has been well maintained.

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Head gaskets can fail in about 6 or 7 different ways, bore to water, bore to oil, oil to water, bore to bore, water to air, and combinations of those depending on the gallery layout of the block / head.. etc etc etc.

HGF usually gives warning but only if you know what you are looking at.

She's had conflicting info from her mechanic and the recovery guys, I'm assuming her mechanic has a better handle on this than the recovery guy and that she does indeed have poor compression on two cylinders. If those two are next to each other my spidey senses tingle for head gasket. It does depend somewhat on the compression readings and if they hold or not. I'd get the compression tested again and see how it holds the pressure for several minutes in each cylinder. 

I would also assume any mechanic worth his salt would have checked the cambelt condition and timing when checking out the engine and would have picked up any problem there.

Assumptions though can be very misleading :lol:

 

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I'm shocked if the hg has given way by 70k tho!

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Laura has this engine got hot at all? Any change in the temp gauge over normal? Has the heater blown cold or luke warm air instead of hot?

Get your mechanic to confirm the cambelt and timing is all ok, then tell us what cylinders are low compression and their readings please. Did he scan for any fault codes?

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No pics just now cos I'm at work, but can post some later Pete.  I don't know what's specifically wrong with it, and I think we would need to start digging into the engine to find out by the sound of it.

The cambelt is fine, and was only fitted (by the same mechanic) six months ago.

Sausage, the temperature gauge has only ever been exactly where it should be, so as far as I'm aware it hasn't been too hot. I have to say, other than checking all my levels regularly, I wouldn't really know what I was looking for. When the oil was low 3 weeks ago, I had to top up the coolant as well (which was again, unusual for my car). Apparently cylinder 1 has no compression at all and cylinder 3 is "not good either".

He said he did scan for fault codes but they didn't reveal much?

I am going to see the mechanic after work and he's going to have a proper chat with me about it, as it was a bit of a rushed conversation on the phone last night.

One other thing I thought is that in the summer, my neighbour accidentally put Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 in it, which was apparently not ideal for my car... Within 5 weeks it had been changed during the service though. Not sure if that's sped something up.

Another thing of note is that, over Christmas, the fuel gauge was over-reading by about 1/3 tank for a couple of weeks but then went back to normal. Doesn't sound like that would be related though. I've never been low on fuel and the fuel light hasn't been on in the 8 years I've owned it.

Thanks for the replies everyone, much appreciated.

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How low was the coolant when you topped it up? If you look at the levels now what are they?

It's probably a head off job to see what the problem is tbh.

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1 hour ago, RainbowLaura said:

No pics just now cos I'm at work, but can post some later Pete.  I don't know what's specifically wrong with it, and I think we would need to start digging into the engine to find out by the sound of it.

The cambelt is fine, and was only fitted (by the same mechanic) six months ago.

Sausage, the temperature gauge has only ever been exactly where it should be, so as far as I'm aware it hasn't been too hot. I have to say, other than checking all my levels regularly, I wouldn't really know what I was looking for. When the oil was low 3 weeks ago, I had to top up the coolant as well (which was again, unusual for my car). Apparently cylinder 1 has no compression at all and cylinder 3 is "not good either".

He said he did scan for fault codes but they didn't reveal much?

I am going to see the mechanic after work and he's going to have a proper chat with me about it, as it was a bit of a rushed conversation on the phone last night.

One other thing I thought is that in the summer, my neighbour accidentally put Castrol Magnatec 5W-30 in it, which was apparently not ideal for my car... Within 5 weeks it had been changed during the service though. Not sure if that's sped something up.

Another thing of note is that, over Christmas, the fuel gauge was over-reading by about 1/3 tank for a couple of weeks but then went back to normal. Doesn't sound like that would be related though. I've never been low on fuel and the fuel light hasn't been on in the 8 years I've owned it.

Thanks for the replies everyone, much appreciated.

I assume he changed the cambelt tensioner as well?

When you topped up the coolant, did it look funny? How low was it? Have you heard any funny noises lately? Any smoke/steam out the exhaust?

When you say the scan didn't reveal much? Did it reveal nothing, or something? It can make a difference in these situations.

Obviously you'd need to be a bit more specific on the oil itself, but I really can't see Magnatec 5W-30 causing any issues at all. The 1.0 isn't an overly complicated engine, nor does it require a specialist oil like the PD engines. Having just done a quick search on CL, there are many happy 1.0E owners using 5W-30 Magnatec. In my opinion, 5W-30 would be a bit thin in a really hot summer, but I simply can't see it causing any genuine damage, not if it was changed after 5 weeks. It would effectively have acted like a flushing oil (I assume 5 weeks would have been maybe 500-1000 miles?) and might have done some good rather than bad.  

However, upon believing that you'd put in the wrong oil (which I'm not convinced you did), did you add an oil flushing agent a few weeks later, as part of the service? I'm not entirely against oil flush, but I personally wouldn't have recommended it in this situation. Just a thought, as flushing agents have been known to occasionally cause/reveal problems.

Fuel gauges on the Lupo's aren't particularly accurate (although they're incredibly accurate compared to the Ford KA, trust me). If you top up partially on the go then you'll find they can get wildly inaccurate, so I wouldn't even consider that.

You need to get as much information as possible from your mechanic, however as Sausage said, it might require taking the head off before we can find out what's actually happened.

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I love girls that kinda know about cars.

Although I fail to see how it is worth repairing.

If it cost £500 to strip/repair the engine and you sell the car for £1.5k then surely this is better than the £25 scrap you'll get weighing it in ?

If you're local/hot I'll do it for a stupidly cheap price/pizza.

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25 minutes ago, Rich said:

I love girls that kinda know about cars.

Although I fail to see how it is worth repairing.

If it cost £500 to strip/repair the engine and you sell the car for £1.5k then surely this is better than the £25 scrap you'll get weighing it in ?

If you're local/hot I'll do it for a stupidly cheap price/pizza.

I assume you meant isn't....

and because we all know that 'local mechanics' don't strip and rebuild an entire engine for £500, especially when the root cause hasn't yet been discovered. It'll be more like £700-£800 by the time he's done it and he's already done some diagnostics so that bill is already on the rise. You're the exception in that regard, but only because you're doing it at a 'friends rate'. Still, there's certainly an element of "what's out there that is better at that price" to this situation, you might find that it's still the cheapest solution.

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Proof reading is for fags.

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The coolant was on the minimum line Sausage, and has gone down again (very slightly) since I filled it back up.

Skezza, the cambelt tensioner was changed as well yes. I didn't notice anything odd about how the coolant looked, only that it was an absolute nightmare to get the lid off!! Haha. No funny noises, and I got my friend to follow me (after I noticed the low oil) and he confirmed that there was no smoke or steam coming from the exhaust. The scan did reveal something, but the mechanic has actually been quite vague about what... he probably (rightly) thinks I wouldn't know what he was on about anyway. He said that even with the reading, he was still mystified though and that he could only find out more by going into the engine.

Rich, unfortunately I'm neither local (to Durham?) or hot! So I shall have to decline your kind offer!

To be honest I didn't learn much more from speaking to the mechanic last night, apart from that it would cost more than I am willing to pay to try anything else...  I was surprised that it ran home (a mile) with no issues other than the misfiring/juddering, which was actually not that noticeable.  From what he'd told me, I thought it would be completely un-driveable.  He said if I was desperate to use it then I could, but that it wouldn't last much longer and I'd be at risk of breaking down.  I'm reaching the conclusion that my only options are to try to trade it in, if I can find anything I like at a garage, or to put it on ebay as a project...

Edited by RainbowLaura

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It's faults like this that drive me bonkers, you wanna get to the bottom of it but money restricts how far you can go, and you always think judging by the symptoms it's gotta be something simple that's causing it. Have you had a compression test done?

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Just re read that you have, hmmm. Did he check your timing when he did the compression test? 

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0If you really think it's a head gasket. (I'm very sceptical)

 

steel-seal.jpg

 

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12 minutes ago, Rich said:

0If you really think it's a head gasket. (I'm very sceptical)

 

steel-seal.jpg

 

I thought this as well, but I'm just not convinced it's a HGF. juddering and lumpy running, hmm, you say he's changed the leads? What about spark plugs and coil pack?

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a hg wouldn't come back as zero compression either.

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If it's running on two cylinders reasonably I'd be inclined to sell it on with a misfire. You get more for it running rough than in bits in the boot.

We dont know if i has zero compression on one cylinder or if he read 80 and said i had no compression.

Given your coolant and oil losses in the period before this then it's reasonable to think about head gasket, but that is best case scenario. So it is a can of worms to start taking it apart to find out tbh.

I doubt any of those solutions work for head gaskets tbh, The Bars heavy duty leak seal tablets work well on radiators I'd probably bung 2 of them in and see what happens.

 

 

Edited by Sausage

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8 minutes ago, Sausage said:

If it's running on two cylinders reasonably I'd be inclined to sell it on with a misfire. You get more for it running rough than in bits in the boot.

We dont know if i has zero compression on one cylinder or if he read 80 and said i had no compression.

Given your coolant and oil losses in the period before this then it's reasonable to think about head gasket, but that is best case scenario. So it is a can of worms to start taking it apart to find out tbh.

I doubt any of those solutions work for head gaskets tbh, The Bars heavy duty leak seal tablets work well on radiators I'd probably bung 2 of them in and see what happens.

 

 

They do work on head gaskets.

I would like to know what the fault code was as well.

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Well if they work (i've never tried them) then try that as long as it's sensible price.

For him to be changing leads and coils then it was probably misfire codes. just a guess.

It could be a burnt valve and the oil is being sucked down the valve guide. The water might be a red herring.

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1 minute ago, Sausage said:

Well if they work (i've never tried them) then try that as long as it's sensible price.

For him to be changing leads and coils then it was probably misfire codes. just a guess.

It could be a burnt valve and the oil is being sucked down the valve guide. The water might be a red herring.

My wondering was whether he'd changed the coil pack as well. Some mechanics will lazily swap out the leads and plugs without changing the pack. I'd change the whole lot before jumping to any further conclusions.

A burnt valve on a car with under 70k miles?

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