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  1. #1
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    Angry Advice please - huge mechanical issues with my A4

    Hi

    I was just wondering if any of you had had a similar issue before or would know what to do?

    I had a crash in December and my insurance sent the car to Nationwide Crash Repair Centre, they took 6 weeks to replace the radiator, fan shroud, fan control unit, air conditioning radiator and intercooler radiator along with the bumper, front grill, fog lamps etc. When we got it back I realised they had fitted the wrong bumper to it so it had to be returned for the right one, the manager was laughing with us saying that the mechanic had never worked on an A4 before so had got confused.



    On the 9th of April I took it for its MOT and after an hour the mechanic called me to come and look at the engine, he said in the middle of doing the test the car had stopped and he had noticed the engine was cracked. The car was then taken back to Nationwide as we believe it was caused by the initial crash and we were given a tiny courtesy car (that we can't even all fit in!) while they looked into it and did reports.

    We got the report through yesterday and basically nationwide and our insurance company have washed thier hands of it, said its a write off but because its a 'catastrophic mechanical failure' its up to Audi to fix it. I'm really confused and stressed out.

    "Examination from the underside has revealed a large hole in the engine sump where visual examination shows that one of the engine conrods has suffered a catastrophic failure where the lower section of the conrod can be seen still attatched to the crankshaft but there only appears to be approximately 40mm of the rod left after the semi-circular area that houses the bearing shell. There is no doubt that the thrashing, broken conrod will have been what has smached the sump and cracked the engine casing"

    They are basically saying that because we have driven the car over 2,000 miles it cannot be related to the earlier crash but at the bottom of the report it said this -

    "Since the engine was already in such a condition to consider that it was completely wrecked and beyond any form of repair, an attempt was made to start the engine to see whether the engine was siezed. Surprisingly, the engine actually started and did run of its own accord before being switched off"

    So would it be impossible?

    Does anyone have any advice for me please? I don't know what to do now, Nationwide are coming for the courtesy car and returning the A4 to me so I don't know how I will even get to work tomorrow

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Sandra's Avatar
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    Hi Martin, welcome to ASN, Im going to shift this thread over to the a4 section. What chassis is your car? Maybe they will be able to advise you in there. I hope you enjoy the forum, and get things sorted out.
    Last edited by Sandra; 25th April 2012 at 20:00.
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    What engine is that ? I reckon the intercooler was leaking or the Mot tester revved the nuts out of the engine, the turbo- IF A TDI- blown the seals which caused engine runaway, thus -by hydrolocking- thrown a con rod out of the block ! Unless the block was cracked due to the impact i doubt it had anything remotely to do with the accident !
    Unforunately the MOT places have a disclaimer and they will let you deal with the problem, it's all in the small print !
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamss24 View Post
    Unforunately the MOT places have a disclaimer and they will let you deal with the problem, it's all in the small print ! ...
    Thats not true mate, I am an Authorised Examiner and the MOT station are liable for any damage they cause on test. For example, have you ever been asked by the tester, when presenting a diesel car for test, when the timing belt was last changed. The reason they ask (or should), is so they can determine if its safe to rev the nads off it for the smoke test. If they are in any doubt about the integrity of the belt, they should refuse to test if they don't want to be held accountable when it lets go at full revs.

    They can put a disclaimer on any documentation, but it isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Its just on there so they might not try lol.
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    no way have you been driving it round for 2000 miles with a hole in the engine!!! especially if a conrod has indeed let go and put a hole thru the engine/sump somewhere. is the engine knocking or missing when running????? it should be, aswell as leaking/blowing out shed loads of oil from the hole, depening on where its holed.

    is it running any differently now to before the mot test?????

    id love to see some pics of the damage! then we would be able to advise further.

    my guess is also that its not to do with the accident and has let go during the emissions test and the test station is trying to pass the buck on the blame for the damage.

    can you get some pics?

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    thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamss24 View Post
    What engine is that ? I reckon the intercooler was leaking or the Mot tester revved the nuts out of the engine, the turbo- IF A TDI- blown the seals which caused engine runaway, thus -by hydrolocking- thrown a con rod out of the block ! Unless the block was cracked due to the impact i doubt it had anything remotely to do with the accident !
    Unforunately the MOT places have a disclaimer and they will let you deal with the problem, it's all in the small print !
    Best look for a used engine and have it rebuilt...
    Its a Tdi, I'm not mechanical at all (like you can't tell!) but the garage who did the MOT said if Nationwide crash repair didn't do a pressure test then the cracked block could have come from that. Tbh, everyone we speak to blames someone else. The independent report the insurance company had done put it down to either a mechanical fault or the MOT tester revving it too high

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    exactly where is the hole? as the accident repair place you quoted said both a hole in the sump and cracked engine casing/block?

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    this is all very interesting to me (im sad like that!!). where are you based? im a tester (7 years) and vag indepedant based mech (of 13 years). id be happy to have a look if your local to sheffield.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    no way have you been driving it round for 2000 miles with a hole in the engine!!! especially if a conrod has indeed let go and put a hole thru the engine/sump somewhere. is the engine knocking or missing when running????? it should be, aswell as leaking/blowing out shed loads of oil from the hole, depening on where its holed.

    is it running any differently now to before the mot test?????

    id love to see some pics of the damage! then we would be able to advise further.

    my guess is also that its not to do with the accident and has let go during the emissions test and the test station is trying to pass the buck on the blame for the damage.

    can you get some pics?
    We haven't had it since the MOT as Nationwide took it back to do a report, should be getting it back tomorrow though so ill take pics and post them for you. The report included some but they are quite small. As far as I know there is a large hole in the engine sump, a large crack in the cast metal of the block, and a piece of cast metal was found lying on the engine splash shield when it was removed.

    Taken from the report "examination from the underside has revealed the large hole in the engine sump where visual examination shows that one of the engines conrods has suffered a catastrophic failure where the lower section of the conrod can be seen still attatched to the crankshaft but there only appears to be approximately 40mm of the rod left after the semi circular area that houses the bearing shell. There is no doubt that the thrashing, broken conrod will have been what has smashed the sump and cracked the engine casing"

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    Might be the snub mount/bracket that has cracked the sump from the impact ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    this is all very interesting to me (im sad like that!!). where are you based? im a tester (7 years) and vag indepedant based mech (of 13 years). id be happy to have a look if your local to sheffield.
    Sorry, took my time typing that ^ out lol!

    I'm up in Scotland which is unfortunate, I'm beginning to think that the tester has damaged my car, we've never had a problem with it until now and its only at 65,000 miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradderz_1988 View Post
    Might be the snub mount/bracket that has cracked the sump from the impact ??
    The independent report has basically said that this is "In no way related to the incident in question that occured in december, as that crash only damaged up to the fan shroud". The MOT guy said they should have pressure tested it before sending it back, but as far as we know they didn't. Should they have? Is it possible they missed something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin1983 View Post
    We haven't had it since the MOT as Nationwide took it back to do a report, should be getting it back tomorrow though so ill take pics and post them for you. The report included some but they are quite small. As far as I know there is a large hole in the engine sump, a large crack in the cast metal of the block, and a piece of cast metal was found lying on the engine splash shield when it was removed.

    Taken from the report "examination from the underside has revealed the large hole in the engine sump where visual examination shows that one of the engines conrods has suffered a catastrophic failure where the lower section of the conrod can be seen still attatched to the crankshaft but there only appears to be approximately 40mm of the rod left after the semi circular area that houses the bearing shell. There is no doubt that the thrashing, broken conrod will have been what has smashed the sump and cracked the engine casing"
    Oops, just realised I had already quoted that bit of the report in my OP. Sorry, its been a long day!

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    sorry its a 08 plate, thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    no way have you been driving it round for 2000 miles with a hole in the engine!!! especially if a conrod has indeed let go and put a hole thru the engine/sump somewhere. is the engine knocking or missing when running????? it should be, aswell as leaking/blowing out shed loads of oil from the hole, depening on where its holed.

    is it running any differently now to before the mot test?????

    id love to see some pics of the damage! then we would be able to advise further.

    my guess is also that its not to do with the accident and has let go during the emissions test and the test station is trying to pass the buck on the blame for the damage.

    can you get some pics?
    Have got my scanner working now so if I can figure out how to post pics I can show you them if you want?

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    Sounds unrelated to me tbh.

    If it was cracked you'd have noticed something (like oil loss) in the previous 2000miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradderz_1988 View Post
    Might be the snub mount/bracket that has cracked the sump from the impact ??
    that mounting point for the engine front steady mount is around below the oil line in the sump. a hole or crack here would cause a major oil leak.
    the chap says hes covered 2k miles inbetween the accident repair and the recent mot test. he would have noticed a huge oil leak all over his drive!

    "and a piece of cast metal was found lying on the engine splash shield when it was removed."
    this is consistant with something knocking a hole thru the engine from the inside out.

    i'll reserve judgment till the pictures.

    if the mot station has caused this in the process of doing the test then get on to vosa.
    the mot center can ask about the cambelt and check the oil level etc before doing an emissions test..... but revving the engine unloaded from idle up to max revs (which is what you do during a diesel emissions/smoke test) is not something most car owners do during normal car use, tho engine should brush it off with ease.

    vosa can independantly tell you (and will most likley be free as vosa dictate the test procedure that has damaged the car) whether the test station you used is liable for the cost of repairs.

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    this is a bxe 1.9 tdi engine (58 plate mk5 golf) i changed at work a few months ago.


    and the broken conrod that let go putting the holes thru the block on both sides of the engine.


    does these look familiar? lol.

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    there is seriously no way did you (or you could even be able to) drive the car to an mot station to have it moted like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thats new engine time. either brand new short motor or full s/h engine. either way your talking ££££ plus labour.

    if what youve said is true, thats failed while at the mot station. theyre trying to pass the buck, ring vosa get them to advise you.
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    get the test station vosa number before you ring.
    vosa may want to inspect the car themselves....... they take these things seriously.

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    its an 08 plate? sandra's put this in the wrong a4 section of the forum................ if shes not too busy punishing useful members for minor language infringments......... she might put it in the right section..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    there is seriously no way did you (or you could even be able to) drive the car to an mot station to have it moted like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thats new engine time. either brand new short motor or full s/h engine. either way your talking ££££ plus labour.

    if what youve said is true, thats failed while at the mot station. theyre trying to pass the buck, ring vosa get them to advise you.
    Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments
    get the test station vosa number before you ring.
    vosa may want to inspect the car themselves....... they take these things seriously.
    Yeh, we drove it an hour away for the MOT to the garage near my mums, and it was driving perfectly. The garage owner has been tripping over himself to get the car back in his care which has made me suspicious tbh. I will call VOSA in the morning, thanks very much for all the advice. Yeh it's an 08 reg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    there is seriously no way did you (or you could even be able to) drive the car to an mot station to have it moted like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thats new engine time. either brand new short motor or full s/h engine. either way your talking ££££ plus labour.

    if what youve said is true, thats failed while at the mot station. theyre trying to pass the buck, ring vosa get them to advise you.
    Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments
    get the test station vosa number before you ring.
    vosa may want to inspect the car themselves....... they take these things seriously.
    Do you know how I could find the VOSA number for the garage? I haven't got any paperwork proving they did the MOT as obviously it wasn't finished, however Nationwide collected the car from them and our insurance company has spoken to them on several occasions.

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    "The garage owner has been tripping over himself to get the car back in his care which has made me suspicious tbh."

    how do you mean? he's realised his mistake in trying to fob you off when he's liable for the damage caused and he is now offering to "fix it"?

    even if this is the case, id still get vosa involved to assure a good result for yourself....... you dont want the garage fitting you a cheap second hand engine with 200k on it...... and them telling you is a brand new one straight from tps....... if you know what i mean.......

    food for thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martin1983 View Post
    Do you know how I could find the VOSA number for the garage? I haven't got any paperwork proving they did the MOT as obviously it wasn't finished, however Nationwide collected the car from them and our insurance company has spoken to them on several occasions.
    did they give you a fail/refusal to test sheet? the test station number will be on it.

    for example ours is 34963. but it will be different and might have an "a" or "b" on the end as newer test stations have letters on the end. our place has been a test station for over 20 years....

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    "The garage owner has been tripping over himself to get the car back in his care which has made me suspicious tbh."

    how do you mean? he's realised his mistake in trying to fob you off when he's liable for the damage caused and he is now offering to "fix it"?

    even if this is the case, id still get vosa involved to assure a good result for yourself....... you dont want the garage fitting you a cheap second hand engine with 200k on it...... and them telling you is a brand new one straight from tps....... if you know what i mean.......

    food for thought.
    No, no, sorry. He wants it returned to him from nationwide tomorrow so that he can do his own report for us (apparently) he hasn't said he will fix anything and is adament it must be down to the crash last Dec. I'm not sure what he could realistically do but I'd rather it just came home now and I'll phone VOSA in the morning and see what they say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    did they give you a fail/refusal to test sheet? the test station number will be on it.

    for example ours is 34963. but it will be different and might have an "a" or "b" on the end as newer test stations have letters on the end. our place has been a test station for over 20 years....
    No I didn't get anything from them :-/

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    I dont really see how its possible that its anything to do with the accident damage.

    I also dont see how it could have been caused by the emissions test, theres far more load on the engine driving up hill at full boost in 6th gear than you'll ever get revving the engine for the smoke test.

    Sounds to me like its just been an unlucky engine failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aragorn View Post
    I dont really see how its possible that its anything to do with the accident damage.

    I also dont see how it could have been caused by the emissions test, theres far more load on the engine driving up hill at full boost in 6th gear than you'll ever get revving the engine for the smoke test.

    Sounds to me like its just been an unlucky engine failure.
    An 08 plate at 65,000 miles, really? Not doubting you just gutted, this car costs me a small fortune every month!

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    just ring them and ask for it then, they have to tell you. its displayed on a board above the front desk with the testers mug shots on it.

    id also contact audi uk about this too, with the car being so new and of very little mileage....... its not a normal engine failure (not that any sort of engine failure with these results is normal, at all.) and it also shouldnt happen from as a result of normal car use or the vosa emissions test.......
    my guess is some sort of latant/dormant defect within the engine........

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    That's the result of hydrolock or someone really thrashing it ! No way an engine could go on like that for 2000 miles after an accident, rods do bend and get trown trough the block when either the big end or small end let's go. The fact that they started it to make sure it's still runs points to the fact that they heard a big noise and the engine suddenly stopped or the engine runaway and it stopped when the rod broke free due to hydrolock... As Murran said, it's short block time and probably new turbo if the seals failed on the intake !
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    There is no way on this earth you could have drove that car for an hour let alone do 2k in it.

    I may be wrong here but as all MOT's have to be logged onto through the MOT station straight to vosa then if the test station was part way through the mot then they would have been logged on your car with all your car details sent to vosa like your reg/chassis number and mileage etc then surely vosa will be able to identify the test station and the number from your car details?????

    Im sure someone will correct me if im wrong

    but tbh as said above i doubt it will be down to the accident or the mot tester

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    Quote Originally Posted by murran View Post
    just ring them and ask for it then, they have to tell you. its displayed on a board above the front desk with the testers mug shots on it.

    id also contact audi uk about this too, with the car being so new and of very little mileage....... its not a normal engine failure (not that any sort of engine failure with these results is normal, at all.) and it also shouldnt happen from as a result of normal car use or the vosa emissions test.......
    my guess is some sort of latant/dormant defect within the engine........
    Thank you so much, honestly, you have been a great help. Haven't slept properly since this happened, its a bloody nightmare!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty2hotty View Post
    There is no way on this earth you could have drove that car for an hour let alone do 2k in it.

    I may be wrong here but as all MOT's have to be logged onto through the MOT station straight to vosa then if the test station was part way through the mot then they would have been logged on your car with all your car details sent to vosa like your reg/chassis number and mileage etc then surely vosa will be able to identify the test station and the number from your car details?????

    Im sure someone will correct me if im wrong
    I swear to you that immediately before the MOT I drove the car for over an hour from our home, dropped the wife off at a friends and then went to get the MOT done. Sat for almost an hour and a half in a room, and when I was called found my engine like this

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    im not doubting you mate what i meant by that was its highly unlikely to be down to the accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotty2hotty View Post
    im not doubting you mate what i meant by that was its highly unlikely to be down to the accident.
    awrite, thanks, just not very clued up about these things and I didn't expect these kind of troubles from an Audi. I pay almost the same per month for the car as I do my mortgage so its a killer, wife is not impressed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by aragorn View Post
    I also dont see how it could have been caused by the emissions test, theres far more load on the engine driving up hill at full boost in 6th gear than you'll ever get revving the engine for the smoke test.
    yes i know where your going with that. but.... revving the engine UNLOADED in some ways causes stress in the engine thats not normally felt in normal use.
    tickover, injecting fuel, revs pick up, turbo starts to boost, then up to max revs the turbo boost needs to cut back sharpish, revs have to stabilise at rev limit, then the tester backs off the throttle to let it idle again .... all within 2 seconds in each accelaration?

    as i said, the engine should easily be able to deal with this without failure, but its not normal use.
    as a tester, ive often thought about the logic in revving the engine like this, unloaded, to perform an emissions test..... it is causing undue stress.

 

 
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