Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - Corsa789

I have a 55 Corsa 1.0i. One of the cylinders is misfiring and the garage have told me the engine diagnostics indicate it is losing pressure, possilby due to a damaged valve or seals.

They say it is going to cost around £500 just to strip it down and diagnose, then it could be much more to repair. Is it worth progressing or should I just get a reconditioned engine replacement? The engine has only done 60k and was running well before the misfire started.

Advice appreciated.

Thanks

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - unthrottled

Fitting another engine will entail a fair amount of labour in itself-and you're dealing with an engine with an unknown history.

If the garage has run a wet and dry compression test, they should have a good idea of the cause of loss of pressure. There's no fault code that will tell you if the compression is bad!

If the piston rings have failed then a new engine is probably more cost effective. But if it's the valve or valve seal, then this can be repaired whilst leaving the block in situ-and should be cost effective.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - Victorbox

Depends what you mean by a reconditioned engine as you could spend £1,500 to £2,000 on a reconditioned as new engine which would be getting on for the value of the car with fitting. As suggested any secondhand engine is a gamble.

Edited by Victorbox on 18/05/2011 at 21:14

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - gordonbennet

It's just sunk in that your garage wants £500 to presumably remove the cylinder head and check, methinks another garage might be on the cards

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - Robin the Technician

I agree - a second opinion needs to be sought. The garage is being rather vague about the pressure loss - its not difficult - if its going past the rings the sump would be pressurising and you would be able to feel the air coming out of the dipstick. If its an inlet valve you would feel air coming back through the air inlet. Simple really.

Take it to someone who can check it properly with the right test equipment. You 'could' end up saving yourself a few quid....

Hope this helps

Robin the Technician

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - piston power

A compression test can identify if this is the head (top) or block (bottom) end of the engine.

This one i think is a 3 cylinder lump so will be cheaper so do shop around as folks are not going to garages so much with this ressesion prices should be competative.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - 1litregolfeater

Allow me to diagnose it here and now and for free!

The piston rings, or more precisely, the oil control rings, on the corsas are very weak , and you must use 5W-30 full synthetic oil, and change it every 5000 miles, to stay on top of the problem.

If you don't they will wear out, get stuck, and cost a huge bill to replace, unless you can DIY.

Piston rings are not cheap as they are highly engineered, £35-£40 a set even for a corsa.

The top end will be fine.

Best bet? Try and find a good garage locally, small place with faces and names. Even so, all that labour and you're looking at £300

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - focussed

Allow me to shoot down your diagnosis 1litregolfeater!

1. If the oil control rings were stuck the motor would be burning oil big time-clouds of smoke and lots of crankcase compression-wrong!

Very unusual to see stuck oil control rings on a modern petrol engine

2. "Must use 5w-30 full synthetic oil and change it every 5000 miles"-wrong! if you are going to change the oil every 5000 miles you might as well use a good quality mineral or semi-synth oil.

3. How do you know that the top end will be fine?-wrong! you don't.

4. "Piston rings are not cheap as they are highly engineered" so are brake pads, cam belts, thermostats, sparkplugs, headlamp bulbs, seat belts, door handles, etc the list is endless-your comment is pointless.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - unthrottled

5.) The cost of rings is negligible compared to the cost of properly replacing the rings. By that I mean the head must come off so the bores can inspected properly.

Ring wear is very rare in modern engines unless it's a DI engine with a fouled injector that sprays fuel straight on to the bores or the engine has been starved of oil.

5000 mile oil changes? What is this, 1956? Good practice for an engine that's used for short journeys though.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - 1litregolfeater

Let me ask you my friend, have you ever had a corsa. Well I have, and I still do have, and it is running great. My advice is based on experience and intelligence.

Anyway, with what you say - 1: "clouds of smoke". The Corsa is equipped with a catalytic converter. Go look it up.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - WellKnownSid

A cat will only just about manage the by-products of a stoichiometric ratio of fuel and air being burnt in the cylinder... it'll soon perish along with the O2 sensor with the large quantities of unburnt HC coming out of the exhaust manifold from burning engine oil!

That's why most petrol engined cars have big warning labels about over-filling with engine oil and how it'll destroy the cat and several other components.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - unthrottled

A cat will only just about manage the by-products of a stoichiometric ratio of fuel and air being burnt in the cylinder...

Not sure that I agree with that statement. Most engines run well rich of stoichiometric under Wide Open Throttle to keep exhaust valve/piston crown temperatures down. If there's no oxygen in the exhaust the cat cannot overheat since it can't oxidise anything! It's only feeding petrol+air into the exhaust (say from a failed coil pack) that the cat will overheat. That said engine oil does not burn very cleanly and the soot products could definitely foul up an O2 sensor.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - Collos25

You may have a Corsa but you know very little about engines.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - madf

It's nice to be told that ring failure means no other work doing.

My experience is otherwise. As above, modern cars are engineered to last and properly maintained they will. And on most cars makers specify semi synthetic 5-30W. People spouting about changing fully synthetic oil every 5 k miles must either work for oil lubricant companies or own one .

Sheer misleading rubbish..

If Corsa rings are so weak, why does my local garage not do lots of Corsa ring jobs? Cos it does not. Kas? Yes. Escorts? Yes. Fiestas? Yes.. But not Corsas...

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - SteveLee

When I worked for a large American oil company lab tests showed us the only oil that was vaguely intact (viscosity wise) after 5,000 miles was Mobil 1. Our super-duper fully-synth couldn't touch it either. Modern oil is chemically stable to last thanks to all the additive packs (which do nothing for lubrication), fuelling is very precise limiting combustion by-product contamination, finally modern engines are beautifully manufactured so you get away with running knackered water-thin oil for 15,000 miles. Whilst a lot of what the chap above spouted is misinformed nonsense, changing oil frequently will greatly extend the life of any engine 1956 or 2011. Especially as we've removed most of the zinc from engine oil (the best emergency metal against metal protective barrier) as it contaminates catalytic converters - the horrible devices which have stopped the development of efficient lean-burn petrol engines stone dead.

Vauxhall Corsa - Cylinder Damaged - Buy New Engine? - 1litregolfeater

As I can't decide, I'll reply to all posts here! Ok 5000 miles is a bit bleak, what I mean, if I really need to spell it out is, 6,000 miles at the most, and keep a weather eye on that oil level!

There's only 3 litres so it doesn't take much to need a top up. A few blasts down the motorway and you're scuppered.

My cars visit a garage once a year for an MOT pass. The men in these places are bored with testing cars. However I do all my own maintenance.

Second visit for the Corsa. The Boss made a point of chatting, and then he explained to me that the small Corsa engines are "Crap", and you really have to be on your toes.

If you open your eyes and look around the internet you will see millions of Vauxhall Corsas with the same problem as our protagonist, so blame who you want.

Not me, try GM, global capitalism, making things cheap and nasty until it doesnt work!

I suppose any old oil would be good if you're going to change it quickly. I suggested synth as it's so cheap comparitively now, and it will do a gradual clean, and if you get on top of it the Corsa is a great car

 

Value my car