What are some of your heat-related engine failure

Messages
4
Location
San Francisco
I came across this article from ForConstructionPros.com on maintaining engine lubricating oil. According to the article, up to 50 % of engine oil lubricated failures are caused by improper cooling system maintenance or are related to cooling system problems. That’s a lot of failures! What are some of your heat-related engine failure horror stories? http://www.forconstructionpros.com/article/11612046/optimize-oil-change-intervals
 
Messages
48
Location
Dallas, Tx
That's surprising. I would've guessed most failures come from idiot owners who change the oil whenever they get around to it, or, in the case of a girl I graduated with, never get around to it. She left the factory fill in her '89 Grand Am for 24,000 miles before she spun a bearing during a cold start on a 0-degree day in Wyoming. And GM warrantied it, so I doubt it was even much of a learning experience for her. With the introduction of 100,000 mile coolants and better hose materials, I thought cooling system failures were on the decline. But I guess you can't include the mud-crusted radiators and cars that are driven forever without a coolant & hose change.
 
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22,488
Location
Apple Valley, California
i work at a radiator and ac shop.i see burned up stuff daily. mostly people that wont spend $100 for a tow so they drive it in. now they spend $4000 for an engine. plastic radiator tanks keep me busy as do nissan hoses.nissan hoses are junk! hottest i have seen was a 351 in a ford truck. it was 358f according to my temp gun.a camry was 335. both ruined. both were so hot that the fuel was igniting before the spark occured.
 
Messages
48
Location
Dallas, Tx
I don't know where people get that it's OK to do, but like you, I've seen people keep driving after the temp gage reaches "H" because they don't want to stop or get it towed. One lady I'll never forget drove a Camry into a Chevron station, spark knock was so loud that was all I could hear. She had run out of water a few miles back. I've never seen such a hot engine...I'm sure it was a doorstop. I tried to help her get water back into it, but everything I squirted in came flying back out as steam, so I told her it needed to sit a while. I wasn't around to see if she tried to start it, but I suspect it probably seized or had zero compression. I don't know why folks don't understand that you have to stop NOW when you get a hot temp gage or low oil gage.
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
Since every V8 engine in our GM fleet trucks cannot be damaged by overheating we have no horror stories since about 2000. GM (and others) will shut down 4 cylinders and run on the other 4, then switch back and forth to prevent the temps from getting high enough to hurt the engine. It really does work well. But long ago, my wife brought home her Datsun 510 station wagon so hot it had to be stalled in gear to shut it off. I was pretty upset, as a few cups of water would have been a bit easier than getting the cylinder head resurfaced!
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
FWIR, cooling system failures are the leading cause of breakdowns. As cars age, most drivers pay no attention to the condition of the hoses, of which there may be a number. A pressurised coolant recovery tank may crack over time, as may the plastic tanks used on almost every radiator for more than a decade. Then there's the failure of the typical owner to inevestigate coolant leaks until the car loses enough coolant that it does overheat. There are many folks who are religous about oil changes and ignore the cooling system. Most engines will quickly die from loss of coolant while most will just keep trucking with neglected oil changes.
 
Messages
9,110
Location
Marshfield , MA
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Since every V8 engine in our GM fleet trucks cannot be damaged by overheating we have no horror stories since about 2000. GM (and others) will shut down 4 cylinders and run on the other 4, then switch back and forth to prevent the temps from getting high enough to hurt the engine. It really does work well. But long ago, my wife brought home her Datsun 510 station wagon so hot it had to be stalled in gear to shut it off. I was pretty upset, as a few cups of water would have been a bit easier than getting the cylinder head resurfaced!
That is a neat feature on your fleet. My old 529e fleet just has low coolant level sensors. No problems so far. My wife melted the engine of my 72 Datsun pick up. Same engine as your 510. Detonated right through a piston. I bought a junk pickup and used the head, a rod and a piston. Then I had the radiator re-cored which was the root cause grin2
 
Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Since every V8 engine in our GM fleet trucks cannot be damaged by overheating we have no horror stories since about 2000. GM (and others) will shut down 4 cylinders and run on the other 4, then switch back and forth to prevent the temps from getting high enough to hurt the engine. It really does work well. But long ago, my wife brought home her Datsun 510 station wagon so hot it had to be stalled in gear to shut it off. I was pretty upset, as a few cups of water would have been a bit easier than getting the cylinder head resurfaced!
Isn't that a feature with all LS engines starting in 99. I remember reading about the system and found it very interesting.
 
Messages
2,081
Location
California
Years ago, I bought a used Dodge Ram 50 for a work truck. It drove nice, but I think it was kind of sludged, because after I had been driving it for a week or two, the oil light started coming on. I took it to a "mechanic" who said he couldn't figure it out. It stopped after a couple of oil changes. One day I was going down the freeway when I noticed the engine pinging. I looked at the temp. gauge and it was pinned in the red. I had never seen it even a little hot before. Cracked the head, burned a couple of valves, etc. I put a rebuilt head on it, and it kept overheating and finally ruined that one. I didn't have enough sense then to take it to a radiator shop, who probably would have rodded the radiator. Later, someone said to me, "Oh, yeah, you always rod the radiator when you do a valve job."
 
Messages
751
Location
MN
Not cooling related but more along the lines of too cold related. Spun the bearings in a CAT skid steer this winter, apparently starting an engine at -45F and running it right to WOT without letting the oil circulate is a recipe for damage. Employees seem to have a hard time letting things warm up.
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: andyd
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Since every V8 engine in our GM fleet trucks cannot be damaged by overheating we have no horror stories since about 2000. GM (and others) will shut down 4 cylinders and run on the other 4, then switch back and forth to prevent the temps from getting high enough to hurt the engine. It really does work well. But long ago, my wife brought home her Datsun 510 station wagon so hot it had to be stalled in gear to shut it off. I was pretty upset, as a few cups of water would have been a bit easier than getting the cylinder head resurfaced!
That is a neat feature on your fleet. My old 529e fleet just has low coolant level sensors. No problems so far. My wife melted the engine of my 72 Datsun pick up. Same engine as your 510. Detonated right through a piston. I bought a junk pickup and used the head, a rod and a piston. Then I had the radiator re-cored which was the root cause grin2
Our 510 wagon was simply a pickup with a different body! Note that the block was in fine shape, just the head was warped. Didn't even do a valve job, what a motor. IIRC we sold it at 160k miles and running great, just getting ugly...
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
I am so used to seeing heat related failures, and reason #1 is that many people never have their antifreeze changed on time. Some of these people will do every oil change on schedule, but can't be bothered to change their coolant. The second problem is that even if you do coolant changes on time, it doesn't change the fact that nearly every car has plastic parts in the cooling system which are junk. When I was still a child, dad changed the conventional green stuff annually in his car and mom's car, and told me that I must also do timely coolant changes.
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
Originally Posted By: Nebroch
Isn't it bad to change it too often? New coolant adds some oxygen to the system, and corrosion continues with that.
I never have seen it happen. If you properly remove all the air from the cooling system, this isn't going to happen. My father showed me clearly why that is true.
 
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