Re: [MH-list] please help re seized engine


Thanks for such good help. What happened was a rattling and when we checked there was a bolt loose on bottom left side of engine cpver. We tightened it and kept driving with no problem. Many miles later it rattled again so we tried to tighten but it wouldn't bite. Van started and drove ok for further 20 miles till we could get to side road and call breakdown. They took us to fiat france who just looked at it and said engine beyond repair. 9000 is for recon engine,dist kit, cam belt, water pump,oil, then the rest is french o 3xcouvercle, kit emb recondt,2lots of oil.

--- In motorhome-list@..., Iain Harrison <iain@...> wrote:

On 01/02/2012 19:23, SUSANC wrote:
We stuck in france with seized engine due to cam belt damage (changed 2008)
I'm not sure you are getting the technical terms correct. A seized
engine is where a problem with overheating or oil starvation has made a
piston weld itself to the cylinder. When it happens it is like the power
of the engine rapidly fades away and the engine stops.

A cambelt failure is usually more a matter of a sudden BANG and either
the engine locks up or you sort of coast to a stop.

With some engines, a broken cambelt just needs a new cambelt fitted, but
most modern engines are "interference" engines, meaning that without the
controlling influence of the cambelt opening and shutting the inlet and
exhaust valves, they open at the wrong time and are bashed into by the

The trouble is that this is a matter of pot luck.

When it happened to me, it was one bent valve, one broken rocker arm.
Total repair about two hundred pounds.

But it could be far, far worse, with bits of smashed pistons carving
scores out of the cylinders, all the valves mangled and the cylinder
head destroyed.

It is pretty hard to know until you start taking it apart. A good
guideline is how old the engine was. If it was a bit long in the tooth,
it may be worth getting a reconditioned replacement. 9,000 euros is a
joke, but I fear it may well be in the order of £2,000.

Sorry to fail to give any clear advice, but till it is taken apart, you
can't tell how bad the damage is, so you can't tell how best to proceed.

Me? I'd have it recovered home to my local garage, who I trust. But if
you have only a main dealer to fall back on (which I assume to be the
case as you mentioned a price from "Fiat"), assume you will be ripped
off by incompetents.


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