I Think LSPI killed my Tucson tonight

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Aug 12, 2012
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Southern IN / North central, KY
Our 1.6T Tucson has 104k on it. Driving down the highway tonight going up a grade it rattled and then went full misfire.

Pulled over and pulled the coil harnesses off and put them back on one at a time while engine was idling (poorly) #3 had no change. Walked to harbor freight and grabbed some cheap tools. Pulled the plug and it was melted down.

Went and got another plug and installed it but it didn’t help. Limped it home on 3cyl. When I got home I pulled #3 and it was wet with gas and oil. The other three greasy white. It isn’t smoking so I’m assuming a valve probably also took a hit and is leaking off compression.

I’ll be having it torn into. Hopefully the engine isn’t completely trashed.
 
Our 1.6T Tucson has 104k on it. Driving down the highway tonight going up a grade it rattled and then went full misfire.

Pulled over and pulled the coil harnesses off and put them back on one at a time while engine was idling (poorly) #3 had no change. Walked to harbor freight and grabbed some cheap tools. Pulled the plug and it was melted down.

Went and got another plug and installed it but it didn’t help. Limped it home on 3cyl. When I got home I pulled #3 and it was wet with gas and oil. The other three greasy white. It isn’t smoking so I’m assuming a valve probably also took a hit and is leaking off compression.

I’ll be having it torn into. Hopefully the engine isn’t completely trashed.
sorry to hear that...... what year vehicle is it?
 
If that's one of those Gamma engines then they require a spark plug replacement every 45,000 miles. Were you up to date on this one specific maintenance item?

Gamma service.JPG
 
Right after that 100k warranty too. Shucks.
I'd still have a dealer look at it, and or give Hyundai customer assistance a call
Maybe there's some goodwill to be had?
Split the bill?
Just the labor?
I thought the 1.6 T-GDI would be more reliable, given it's based on the Gamma engine, not the failure prone Theta
Guess they still aren't lasting the course 😒

Massive Hyundai L 😒
 
Maybe you had an injector failure and that piston got super hot under load, resulting in piston failure? GDI injectors can do this when they fail.
This does sound like a GDI injector failure. Still, either way it’s a huge repair at this point and likely engine replacement. Unfortunately.
 
I'd still have a dealer look at it, and or give Hyundai customer assistance a call
Maybe there's some goodwill to be had?
Split the bill?
Just the labor?
I thought the 1.6 T-GDI would be more reliable, given it's based on the Gamma engine, not the failure prone Theta
Guess they still aren't lasting the course 😒

Massive Hyundai L 😒
If it had the appropriate oil and intervals definitely an L for them.
 
Please keep us informed with what you find out.
Far too many of these type of threads never have the thread starter come back to post the end result.

Cylinder that burnt down the plug has no compression. The piston doesn’t have a hole when looking in with my snake cam. I’m guessing the valves are trashed. I also see shiny slag on the top of the piston. Given this happened at highway speeds I’m sure the cylinder wall is also scoured up.

Given the large amount of carbon on the piston tops I can see how it contributes to pre-ignition. I should probably have ran some injection cleaner more often.

That said OCIs were always done every 3-4K with synthetic oil, used mostly top tier gasoline and car gets driven from north central Ky to Cincinnati (80mi interstate) 3 days a week so usage isn’t “harsh”. Oil consumption had risen the last 15k miles which may have contributed.

Looks like a new engine or complete overhaul is coming.
 

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Spoke to my Mechanic who has done a handful of these. He said most of the time it’s the exhaust valve that gets burnt. He said usually a cylinder head and valve job will be all that’s needed. He said since it wasn’t smoking the rings are likely still tight. In his experience the debris go right out the exhaust and the cylinders are usually not affected. We will have to open mine up to see.

In his experience the bottom end on the 1.6T is tough and when they carbon up and detonate the exhaust valve and the plugs go and it’s usually cylinder #3 and #2. He said if the cylinder wall looks as good as the others that all read near 150psi we will probably do a complete head job. Clean the carbon from the intake, clean the throttle body and replace the timing components and it will probably live another 100k

He said moving forward the intake should be pulled every 40-50k and carbon cleaned off the valves and to run PEA injection cleaner every other fill up to keep combustion chamber carbon down and keep injectors clean. He also recommended premium fuel moving forward after the repair/rebuild/replace.

He’s going to schedule me in next week to pull the head. I’ll update after that.
 
Normally I would say junk the thing.

In this market? Hope he gets you back up and running real soon. I did a full engine swap on an 07 Kia Sportage V-6 about two months ago, never thought someone would go that route.

Sad that Hyundai/Kia vehicles, that are supposed to be economical, fuss-free vehicles, are now ones where you need premium gas, valve cleaning, short oci, etc…like some fragile race car.
 
But just to be clear LSPI and common pre-ignition (knock) are not the same phenomenon and they do not share the same cause.
Kinda irrelevant. Is 1600rpm Rolling down the highway and lightly accelerating up a grade Low speed? Or is that “knock”? I’d consider that LSPI. regardless poor engine design by Hyundai/Kia which allows excessive carbon buildup within 100k miles is a problem especially on an Engine that has used A5 spec synthetic oil at less than the MFG recommended Severe service intervals. Spark plugs changed at 35k miles and at 80k miles.
 
Normally I would say junk the thing.

In this market? Hope he gets you back up and running real soon. I did a full engine swap on an 07 Kia Sportage V-6 about two months ago, never thought someone would go that route.

Sad that Hyundai/Kia vehicles, that are supposed to be economical, fuss-free vehicles, are now ones where you need premium gas, valve cleaning, short oci, etc…like some fragile race car.

I hear ya. KBB value is still in the $15k range so I think fixing it and driving it until it’s trash again, or selling it (more than likely) are better options given the current market.
 
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