By on August 3, 2018

2014 Honda Fit 1.5 Engine, Image: HondaTTAC commentator KCFlyer writes:

Dear Sajeev,

I have a 2015 Honda Fit LX manual, purchased new. From day one I noticed a slight momentary hesitation under moderate acceleration when the engine was cold. I took the car to the dealer after a few weeks but they could not duplicate the problem. I dropped it off again and left it overnight, hoping a cold engine would allow them to experience the issue. No luck.

Fast forward 57,000 miles. Same problem persists and is reported to dealer via phone several times. The check engine light comes on. Dealer says the code means an #3 cylinder misfire. They say the fuel injectors are clogged and charge $1,300 to replace all four injectors. Honda of America throws in $1,000 of goodwill money because fuel injectors are not covered by the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Two weeks later light comes back on. Same code. This time another dealer pulls the head and finds carbon buildup on all four piston heads. They clean up the engine, clean the throttle body and declare the vehicle fixed. Total charges paid for by Honda of America under goodwill claim except $217 for the throttle body cleaning. That was yesterday and I will know within days if the original problem persist.

Tech rep was awesome. He recommends I get the fuel injectors and throttle body cleaned every 30,000 miles. My question, what caused the carbon buildup? Does the buildup damage the engine even if later cleaned up? Should I dump the Fit? It is an awesome commuter. I average 44 mpg summer and 39 winter. (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2018

 

mazda skyactiv

Brian writes:

Hi Sajeev,

You are my go-to guy for in-depth automotive knowledge. (Wow! Honored. – SM)

My brother has been having a heck of a time with his 2012 Mazda3 Skyactiv. It’s got about 70k miles on it, and in the past 2 years it’s been in and out of the shop. It started with high engine oil consumption (more than a quart per 3k miles, and going up to this day). Then the ignition coils needed to be replaced. Then the MAF and oxygen sensors needed to be replaced. Right after those were fixed, he had to take it back to the shop because there is now a misfire in one of the cylinders.

What’s going on here? My only guesses are worn piston rings causing engine oil to run into the combustion chamber (then down the exhaust and ruining the O2 sensor), or malfunctioning PCV, a broken EGR system, intake valves with a lot of carbon deposits, or simply “bad luck” with this car.

Hope you are able to shed some light on this mystery. Thanks! (Read More…)

By on October 27, 2017

2010 Audi A4 Avant, Image: OP

Richard writes:

Sajeev, this is a 2010 Audi A4 Avant that is in like-new COSMETIC condition. It was purchased over my wife’s strong objection, as none of our four prior Audis has made it past 80,000 miles without suffering a complete and total meltdown. This one suffered an oil consumption meltdown at 65,000 and required a new set of pistons and rings – paid for by Audi! It now has 99,378 miles on it and a Blue Book trade value of $6,000.

The other day the check engine light came on. I correctly internet diagnosed a loose bypass valve on the turbocharger and was ready to write a $2,200 check to replace it. Not so fast said the Audi man! To get the light off it requires (1) a new turbo, (2) a new PCV valve, (3) a new cooling fan, (4) and some other new item at the back of the engine. On top of the typical A4 oil consumption and turbo failure issues, the Audi man says it has the third typical A4 issue – carbon valve build-up, which causes it to chug and spew vast amounts of smoke on startup periodically. Finally, it needs all new front end bushings. This is set to cost a grand total of about $6,000. (Read More…)

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