Motoring Discussion > Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Ambo Replies: 15

 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Ambo
A “Kate Morley Investigates” complaint in the Money section of this morning’s Telegraph features an Audi A3 which would not start. The owner had RAC breakdown cover but the RAC mechanic attending tried to jump start it and failed.

A garage said that the attempt had wrecked the engine which another took apart “…and said the valves had been hit so hard by the pistons they had bent and even damaged the holes they sit in.” It quoted £6500 to fit a new engine, more that the car was worth. (Kate's investigation led the RAC to cough up £6000 for the car.)

The last jump start I had was about 9 years ago, on my Hyundai i30. That was all right as had been various others in the past. What could have gone wrong in the case of the A3?

For that matter, what is wrong with bump starts, now frowned upon although I have used them often enough in the past?
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Fullchat
Someones rolled over and paid up.

The only way valves can be bent is when the camshaft timing gets out of synch with the crankshaft timing thereby causing valves to be open as the piston reaches TDC.
I can only assume cambelt/chain failed. Owner flattened battery trying to start it and mechanic immediately went into flat battery mode and attempted to start it.
Price of new engine cheaper than trying to fight it. Sad indication of the times.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Fenlander
My thoughts exactly FC... and if so the owner has done well to get the RAC to cough as he probably did the damage trying to restart himself.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - martin aston
One reason against bump starting that I have heard is that it can flood the catalytic converter with over-rich petrol mixture and damage it. Does anyone know if this is really a risk?

Is it more a case of sensitive electronics not liking the potentially brutal jolt of a bump start?
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Bromptonaut
My first thought was also along lines that damage was already done before RAC even got the call.

However the complainant's account suggests the patrolman had an attitude problem at get go - reference to his e***** and jeffing etc. I also wonder whether there's something in the tow, attempted jump start, tow sequence that might have some bearing on the damage.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - No FM2R
If the cambelt had let go, and presumably the engine a bit broken and jammed then it'd probably had it anyway.

However, dragging it down the road with the wheels irrevocably connected to the pistons must have made the damage quite impressive.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - DP
This reminds me of a tale a colleague told me when his cambelt snapped on his Escort TD back in the 90s.

Mate: "I've broken down, and need recovery"
RAC: "We'll send a mechanic out who will should be able to get you running"
Mate: "No, it's going to need recovery. The cam belt has gone."
RAC: "We'll send the mechanic. He can probably get the car running."
Mate: "I can tell you 100% that it's the cam belt. What's left of it has been spat out of the bottom of the cover, and is lying in the road. The car will need recovery. Please send the recovery truck."
RAC: "OK no problem. We will be with you as soon as possible."

Half an hour later, an RAC patrol turns up in a van.

Patrolman: "Do you have the key, sir? I'll see if I can get it running".
Mate: "No, it's the cam belt. I told the lady on the phone to send a recovery truck."
Patrolman: "With respect sir, how do you know it's the cam belt?"
Mate: "Because what's left of it is on the floor there, look"
Patrolman: "Ah. Yes, it would seem to be a cam belt failure, wouldn't it? I'll call a recovery truck."

 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - bathtub tom
It seems there may be confusion over the difference between a jump start and a bump start. AIUI:

A jump start is when an external battery is connected electrically to the car that fails to start.

A bump start is when the car is pushed or towed and the clutch dumped with the car in gear.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Lygonos
About 25 years ago my mate's wife's Nova died suddenly.

AA man diagnosed broken timing belt and swiftly produced a new one from the back of the van and had it running again. "They go all the time" apparently.

She was only charged for the belt (a few quid).

Non-interference engine - doubt there's many of them left.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Crankcase
My Moggie Minor had a crank handle, but on the occasions where I'd mislaid it, I would make sure to park facing downwards on a hill.

Come the morning, it was into gear, handbrake off, clutch up, there we go. Always worked.

Useless these days, we have to drive three hours to find a slope.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Kevin
>About 25 years ago my mate's wife's Nova died suddenly.

Must have been a Vauxhall thing. I had a Cavalier CD that did the same thing, fortunately just as I'd parked on my drive.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Bromptonaut
>> Must have been a Vauxhall thing. I had a Cavalier CD that did the same
>> thing, fortunately just as I'd parked on my drive.

Happened on Mrs B's Mum's Mk3 Escort too. Not much more trouble than a fan belt...
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - bathtub tom
Years ago, a neighbour told me he'd scrapped a Fiat Panda because the cam-belt had snapped on the by-pass and it would have wrecked the engine. I had one at the time and pointed out the FIRE engine was non-interference!
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Lygonos
...the FIRE engine...
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - VxFan
>> Must have been a Vauxhall thing.

It was. They ended up changing when the recommended miles/date of the belt should be changed from 80,000k/8 yrs to 40,000k/4 yrs. Either the tensioner or the water pump couldn't go the full distance.
 Audi - Engine-Wrecking Jump Start - Aretas
I had a similar problem in the '60s. My car engine just stopped. I diagnosed it as the ignition coil. Called the rescue service and said I needed a new coil. Guy came, and said I needed a new coil! Of course, he didn't have one.
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