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Most common internal engine failure #5349062 02/13/20 02:48 PM
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OilUzer Offline OP
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This is not a very specific question due to many different engines and/or manufacturers ...
However just curious for those who design, repair and/or rebuild engines if there are any internal engine failures and/or weak links that are more common.

I don't do any of the above and just worry about oil grin2

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349067 02/13/20 02:51 PM
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barryh Offline
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I'm not in the trade but from what I hear it's not going to be the bottom end, it will be some aspect of the cam drive probably chain or variable valve timing.


Barry

1979 BMW R45 (Triple QX 5W40)
2009 Mercedes C180K (MB oil 229.5 5W40)
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349070 02/13/20 02:55 PM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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Depends really on engine family. Each one essentially has its own “most common” failure mode, almost always where a penny-pincher smacked an engineer’s hand.

Subaru EJ- head gaskets
Ford EcoBoost- water pump (undiagnosed failure will ruin the engine from internal coolant leakage)

as far as actual mechanical failures they are generally rare, especially so in the presence of normal preventive maintenance. There’s just so much engineering history in the ICE that outright internal failures almost always come from an external failure that was ignored.


De omnibus dubitandum.
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349074 02/13/20 03:00 PM
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blufeb95 Offline
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I've heard some bad things about the Nissan VK56DE, apparently they're really hard on catalysts and when the catalysts start breaking apart they'll get sucked back in the engine because instead of designing an EGR system Nissan just setup the cams to open the exhaust valve during the intake stroke.

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349078 02/13/20 03:04 PM
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blufeb95 Offline
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There was the Cadillac Northstar problem where GM's engineers weren't quite used to how building an engine with solid aluminum so the head bolts they spec'd would eventually strip the threads out of the block and the heads wouldn't be sufficiently clamped down anymore causing issues similar to head gasket failure.They tried to correct it a few times by lengthing the bolt in 2000 and coarsening the threads in 2002, but from what I hear just don't touch any Northstar built prior to the 2005 redesign.

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349081 02/13/20 03:05 PM
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Cujet Offline
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I'm going to go with piston rings as the most common form of failure. With the disclaimer that I mean "ring sealing" and not "ring breakage".

It's generally accepted that when compression drops, oil consumption increases and/or emissions increase, the engine is worn out. This is generally due to piston ring sealing, and may or may not be accompanied by cylinder liner wear.

In fact, on Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi engines, by the time oil consumption increases into the unacceptable range, the low tension piston rings may not exhibit much wear at all. Same goes for the cylinder bore. This can be due to the low tension simply failing to seal, or any number of other faults, including clogged piston oil drain holes (which may occur due to blowby, infrequent oil changes or poor oil choice) .


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349085 02/13/20 03:17 PM
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Eddie Offline
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I am guessing that timing chain guides or belt leading to a skipped sprocket and valve hits piston. Ed


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349087 02/13/20 03:18 PM
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CR94 Offline
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Overall, probably head gasket leaks (excluding troubles caused by neglect or abuse).


2011 Toyota Prius now at 109K
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Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349088 02/13/20 03:19 PM
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ddown Offline
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I would think Hydraulic Lifters takes out cam.

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349100 02/13/20 03:35 PM
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cb_13 Offline
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Most common one I've seen is GM's with active fuel management having a stuck roller take out the camshaft.

Next would probably be 5.4 3 valve Ford once again upper end as a lack of lubrication would cause the cam to wear the machined surface on the head where a cam bearing would be. Usually due to blown timing chain tensioner seals bleeding off pressure.

Last edited by cb_13; 02/13/20 03:55 PM.
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349102 02/13/20 03:36 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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Originally Posted by OilUzer
This is not a very specific question due to many different engines and/or manufacturers ...
However just curious for those who design, repair and/or rebuild engines if there are any internal engine failures and/or weak links that are more common.

I don't do any of the above and just worry about oil grin2


The most common internal engine failures I’ve seen are not due to oil or any other fluid the engine uses. Overheating an engine does bad things, as does operating it outside its intended RPM range. Both cause failures of internal parts, but neither can be prevented by one’s choice in oil.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 2.65 (215mm)
Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349105 02/13/20 03:38 PM
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KCJeep Offline
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Not an engine guy but just from living life and paying attention to vehicles, I'd say blown head gaskets and internal water pump failures. Only engine I personally lost was due to a head gasket. It was repairable but the cost exceeded the value of the vehicle.


2018 VW Passat GT VR6 - 24k - Castrol Pro OE 5w40 - VW OEM filter
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Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5349108 02/13/20 03:41 PM
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cb_13 Offline
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Depends really on engine family. Each one essentially has its own “most common” failure mode, almost always where a penny-pincher smacked an engineer’s hand.


Ford EcoBoost- water pump (undiagnosed failure will ruin the engine from internal coolant leakage)



Not an ecoboost engine family problem but a cyclone v6 engine family problem. The 4 cylinder ecoboosts, 2.7 v6 and 3.5 ecoboost in rear wheel drive applications are all external water pumps. The 3.5, 3.7 and 3.5 ecoboosts in front wheel drive platform vehicles are the ones with internal timing chain driven water pumps.

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349115 02/13/20 03:48 PM
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Alfred_B Offline
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I would say head gasket failure is probably the most common failure on an engine that is not neglected.

Re: Most common internal engine failure [Re: OilUzer] #5349126 02/13/20 03:59 PM
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Dave Sherman Offline
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Guess it depends on the engine. The Triumph 1500 in my MG is notorious for weak thrust bearings, crank bearings, and rod bearings. Some of them were known to launch rods through the block if things got really bad. The 3.6 in my Traverse was notorious for worn timing chains. The 2.4 in my wife's Equinox is notorious for bad piston rings. These were problems even if they are maintained.


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