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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would appreciate some help here, because I'm stumped

Kinda a long story: Was driving around today when some turkeys wandered out in front of me. Slammed on the brakes hard from 50mph down to 0 and the car stalled on me (it's an auto). When I tried to start it back up the oil light was on and the engine would turn over but not start. Tried to start it a handful of times before it very begrudgingly started up. I assumed it was low on oil (although I filled it 3000 miles ago) due to the light and topped it up with 5 quarts. In hindsight it was foolish to assume it was empty because now it has too much oil (large plumes of white smoke out the exhaust, oops). I'll drain some oil tomorrow, but not sure what caused the engine to die on me. My main theory at the moment is that under braking the little oil that was in there sloshed to the front of the oil pan and starved the engine of oil, causing it to seize. Although I'm not sure.

Again would appreciate any insight on this. Cheers.
 

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Did you check the dipstic before adding 5 quarts ?
Also, it takes 3.8 quarts max, so even bone empty thats a huge over fill

White smoke is typically water being burned. How is the coolant level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did you check the dipstic before adding 5 quarts ?
Also, it takes 3.8 quarts max, so even bone empty thats a huge over fill

White smoke is typically water being burned. How is the coolant level?
I'll check both tomorrow. Thank you! Any idea as to why the engine would cut out though?
 

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Well it could be oil so low that it did what you said. Could quite possibly eat a litre in 3k miles.

Could be a fuelling issue I guess.

Do you have a code reader you can plug in?

Just so I'm clear, before you added the oil did you guess there was no oil OR did you confirm via the dipstick?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well it could be oil so low that it did what you said. Could quite possibly eat a litre in 3k miles.

Could be a fuelling issue I guess.

Do you have a code reader you can plug in?

Just so I'm clear, before you added the oil did you guess there was no oil OR did you confirm via the dipstick?
I foolishly guessed it was pretty near empty and didn't check the dipstick. 🙃
 

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Temperature gauge may have been showing Hot but you did not notice it, as Boddle says, check coolant level as it sounds like a head gasket has just given up (white smoke) bearing and ends (black smoke/ noise..small ends minor knock, big ends heavy knock ), the emergency stop may have just been coincidental ......whatever, check the dipstick level, drain off some oil, any water will sit at bottom anyway once settled. Like most other reports of problems...warranty check...is your Spider still in warranty, if so over to the dealer and Best of Luck. Cheers
ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: coolant is right near empty. Definitely blew the head gasket (maybe blew when the oil pressure dropped to zero, but I'm no mechanic). Thoughts on attempting to repair it myself?
 

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Update: coolant is right near empty. Definitely blew the head gasket (maybe blew when the oil pressure dropped to zero, but I'm no mechanic). Thoughts on attempting to repair it myself?
Have you no warranty ? if not...First of all you say "I am no Mechanic" SO DON'T TOUCH IT ! First of all, there is a sequence of events when stripping any component part of preparation, correct tools, replacement parts, disconnecting earth lead on battery, rags to prevent dropping bits , stripping threads, torque loadings, cylinder head bolt removal in correct order, templates, refitting bolt and torque loading again in correct order, inspecting engine whilst there for further damage, knowing what you are looking at and for., head gasket only fits one way, sealant.........................
Hopefully, you get the picture, so I would say this...Good on you for wanting to do it yourself and we all start somewhere, but, a Trained Mechanic for a decent price (few Engineers / Mechanic want to spend leisure time helping out even a friend as they do that work 40 hrs of more a week. A mechanically minded and experienced unqualified friend, Yep...the world is full (thankfully) of those guys, only too willing to help..but be aware of idiots who say they know..BUT KNOW NOTHING so end up WARPING or CRACKING your cylinder head , and anyway..the head may need to go to a workshop to be skimmed anyway........
Last bit....If all of the above helps you decide that you need a garage to help you, then a local friendly with recommendations from people, not a local rip off merchant please........Go to a main dealership at your peril, the job will be done correctly of course, but the BILL !!!
I would love to help you but Cornwall UK......Maybe a member here from "Maine" or thereabouts could read this thread and for a donation, egg and bacon roll or two and lots of coffee, beers after the job could help..
Cheers
ron
 
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Have you no warranty ? if not...First of all you say "I am no Mechanic" SO DON'T TOUCH IT ! First of all, there is a sequence of events when stripping any component part of preparation, correct tools, replacement parts, disconnecting earth lead on battery, rags to prevent dropping bits , stripping threads, torque loadings, cylinder head bolt removal in correct order, templates, refitting bolt and torque loading again in correct order, inspecting engine whilst there for further damage, knowing what you are looking at and for., head gasket only fits one way, sealant.........................
Hopefully, you get the picture, so I would say this...Good on you for wanting to do it yourself and we all start somewhere, but, a Trained Mechanic for a decent price (few Engineers / Mechanic want to spend leisure time helping out even a friend as they do that work 40 hrs of more a week. A mechanically minded and experienced unqualified friend, Yep...the world is full (thankfully) of those guys, only too willing to help..but be aware of idiots who say they know..BUT KNOW NOTHING so end up WARPING or CRACKING your cylinder head , and anyway..the head may need to go to a workshop to be skimmed anyway........
Last bit....If all of the above helps you decide that you need a garage to help you, then a local friendly with recommendations from people, not a local rip off merchant please........Go to a main dealership at your peril, the job will be done correctly of course, but the BILL !!!
I would love to help you but Cornwall UK......Maybe a member here from "Maine" or thereabouts could read this thread and for a donation, egg and bacon roll or two and lots of coffee, beers after the job could help..
Cheers
ron
Should have mentioned...LEAKS...before you do anything else, fill coolant tank with plain water and check radiator, hoses and engine area for water leaks (as best you can). Refill with Coolant after job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you no warranty ? if not...First of all you say "I am no Mechanic" SO DON'T TOUCH IT ! First of all, there is a sequence of events when stripping any component part of preparation, correct tools, replacement parts, disconnecting earth lead on battery, rags to prevent dropping bits , stripping threads, torque loadings, cylinder head bolt removal in correct order, templates, refitting bolt and torque loading again in correct order, inspecting engine whilst there for further damage, knowing what you are looking at and for., head gasket only fits one way, sealant.........................
Hopefully, you get the picture, so I would say this...Good on you for wanting to do it yourself and we all start somewhere, but, a Trained Mechanic for a decent price (few Engineers / Mechanic want to spend leisure time helping out even a friend as they do that work 40 hrs of more a week. A mechanically minded and experienced unqualified friend, Yep...the world is full (thankfully) of those guys, only too willing to help..but be aware of idiots who say they know..BUT KNOW NOTHING so end up WARPING or CRACKING your cylinder head , and anyway..the head may need to go to a workshop to be skimmed anyway........
Last bit....If all of the above helps you decide that you need a garage to help you, then a local friendly with recommendations from people, not a local rip off merchant please........Go to a main dealership at your peril, the job will be done correctly of course, but the BILL !!!
I would love to help you but Cornwall UK......Maybe a member here from "Maine" or thereabouts could read this thread and for a donation, egg and bacon roll or two and lots of coffee, beers after the job could help..
Cheers
ron
Thanks for the input. I think I'm pretty handy, but I think all that you mentioned would be way outside of my comfort zone. I was hoping I would just have to pay $40 for the replacement gasket, guess I'll have to stomach the labor costs as well. As for as a warranty, I'm pretty sure I voided it adding/modding bits no? I'm running the Madness Piggyback which allegedly has a warranty of its own, but I'm not sure it applies if you have other aftermarket parts fitted besides their own.
 

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Unless your mods directly caused the failure, your warranty is still valid.
You can remove the piggyback before the dealer gets it.
Might want to remove the excess oil, also.
 
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Crikey. Mileage ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unless your mods directly caused the failure, your warranty is still valid.
You can remove the piggyback before the dealer gets it.
Might want to remove the excess oil, also.
Good points, I'll have a look into it...
 

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As usual our Brit friends always offer good and compassionate advice...however, us Yanks tend to be a little more direct: To wit: you don't check the dip stick, yet add 5 quarts of oil...and don't check the dip stick after filling it, I'm guessing. And probably didn't check other fluids when the hood was open, hence you missed the fact that coolant was low.

The reason for the stall is you starved the multi air brick during your sudden stop...and no it did not seize because it cranked, and eventually started when the brick got oil pressure again. My advice to you: "Drop the wrench and step away from the car"!
 

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One more thing, you indicate that the oil light was what prompted you to add oil. There's a reason it's called the idiot light. No offense intended, please. It's an industry term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
As usual our Brit friends always offer good and compassionate advice...however, us Yanks tend to be a little more direct: To wit: you don't check the dip stick, yet add 5 quarts of oil...and don't check the dip stick after filling it, I'm guessing. And probably didn't check other fluids when the hood was open, hence you missed the fact that coolant was low.

The reason for the stall is you starved the multi air brick during your sudden stop...and no it did not seize because it cranked, and eventually started when the brick got oil pressure again. My advice to you: "Drop the wrench and step away from the car"!
I had checked the coolant a week prior and it was full to the brim. I didn't realize it would almost drain itself on the 6 mile drive home lol
 

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I think he means oil.

Not checking the dipstick and whacking more than the max fill is a bold move!

Certainly get some drained and check dipstick level. I normally need about 3.7 litres to fill from empty and that's with a new filter. At 5 litres you are massively over filled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think he means oil.

Not checking the dipstick and whacking more than the max fill is a bold move!

Certainly get some drained and check dipstick level. I normally need about 3.7 litres to fill from empty and that's with a new filter. At 5 litres you are massively over filled.
Was definitely a dumb move. Live and learn 🙃
 
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I was hoping I would just have to pay $40 for the replacement gasket, guess I'll have to stomach the labor costs as well.
Coming from someone doing my own work, it's a weeeeeeee bit more than $40 for a gasket. 75% of the overall engine has to be removed to get to that gasket, this isn't an old V-8 that you just pop off the valve cover then the head before you sit down for dinner and then finish up before bedtime. There will be a few other gaskets and seals involved on the way down to it. Fluids, the correct of amounts of oil and coolant. The timing belt installation kit and special "wrench" is around $300. All new head bolts, you NEVER reuse them because they are stretch tightened. A good torque wrench that also has the rotational angle counter for those head bolts is $150-200, you go around the pattern 3 times ~30ft/lbs first then 90* then another 90*. The Tech manuals will run you a little over $125 unless you know someone.

If all you have is the piggyback, take it off now...harness and all. Level your fluids out and call for a tow. When they ask what's wrong just say smoking and shrug. Do not tell them you overfilled it with oil, just shrug and look confused.

I'm not trying to be rude here, I'm just a realist and tell it like it is. If you didn't even bother to check the oil and just dumped in a bunch, you have no business working on the engine. It takes a LOT of attention to VERY small details. For a little example of that, a slightly misaligned v-band clamp can cause $11,000+ (dealership dollars, its like Cop Math or Canadian money) in damage. I even paid a "mechanic" for that experience.

By the way, the oil pump is at the front of the engine and pan. Slamming on the brakes and nosing down would give you more oil at the pickup tube if anything. If you want to see a little more about how involved it is, you can read all about my adventure that started in October and still working on it.
 
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