Welcome to Just Commodores, a site specifically designed for all people who share the same passion as yourself.

New Posts Contact us

Just Commodores Forum Community

It takes just a moment to join our fantastic community

Register

Sand in engine

jack lambert

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
24
Location
byron bay
Members Ride
holden adventra cx8
Hey guys, not too long ago replaced the following on my Holden Adventra cx8 ls1 at my local mechanic, brake pads, air filter, oil change & tie rod as i was driving the car on 2500km trip. That trip was successfully completed without the air filter correctly installed by my mechanic . I discovered the air filter was not installed correctly when i was having issues starting the car after a beach run at south ballina beach access. My friends and I assumed at first that the air filter was blocked with sand and the engine was deprived of air but this was clearly not evident when removing the air filter casing as the air filter was pitched and not sitting in its casing correctly leaving a large 3cm gap for whatever debri to get sucked passed the air filter and into the engine.

At this point it was quite clear that the car was not starting because sand has been sucked into the engine. I removed the air intake pipe to look into the throttle body and air intake manifold with a torch to find clear evidence that sand had smothered the throttle body and air intake manifold completely and the reality of the car not starting existed in sand interfering with the air & fuel ratio. After cleaning up as much sand from the throttle body and air intake manifold I attempted to start the car, the vehicle fired up after several attempts and seemed to be running fine. I had a 45min drive home, after 15min of driving the oil pressure warning symbol started sounding its alarm, I anxiously pulled over, turned the car off, checked the oil, plenty of oil. I turned the car back on and the warning was not appreaing so i continued to drive but 15 mins into driving the alarm reappeared. I continued this process of pulling, turning the car off and waiting. This happened about 3 times until I arrived home.

The next day I confronted the mechanics workshop, they were very apologetic about not installing the air filter correctly and was informed that the engine is fine and that if the sand were to do any damage to the internals of the engine it would of been directly noticeable on the 45min drive home from south ballina. I was hopeful at this stage as he said is was sweet and that he would clean the throttle body and air intake manifold properly and the car would be fine. I got the car back feeling confident that it was mechanically 100% until the oil pressure alarm started going off again later that day, I dropped the car back the following day and he made me feel confident it was just a faulty oil pressure sensor. I trusted that he was right but it seemed like it was too much of a coincidence that an oil pressure sensor would just randomly fail right after such a situation.

The oil pressure sensor was then replaced and the oil was flushed, i drove away after being told that the engine was actually in very good condition. Later that day the oil pressure alarm sounded itself again and it was clear that it had nothing to do with the sensor. I spoke to the mechanic and he suggested that it could maybe be a wiring problem to the sensor or possibly the oil pump has failed? After hearing that I still felt like it was too much of a coincidence that this oil pressure alarm was related to something other than the situation with the sand that had been in the engine. I started to notice a slight tick from the top of the engine so I knew whatever the problem was it was getting worse.

After doing some of my own research i started to come to the conclusion that maybe the sand has worn the piston rings out and causing low oil pressure and the tick could quite possibly be the piston rubbing on the wall of the valve. After this research I reapproached the mechanic for what felt like the 100th time and suggested an oil pressure test to see if my theory made sense. The car has been at the mechanic since thursday and is getting back to me about oil pressure tomorrow but he has informed me today that the oil has metal in it! Little shards of metal have been running through the engine.

Anyway does anyone have any advice on my situation? Anyone know whats going on? Do you think that these problems are related to the sand getting sucked into engine for him not installing the air filter properly?

The car has always been driven inside its capabilities, always serviced & has fairly low kms. I don't understand how these problems can just appear at the same time as this? Could my mechanic be trying to get his way out of owning responsibility?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

figjam

Donating Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
2,044
Reaction score
3,042
Points
113
Location
Port Stephens area.
Members Ride
Monaro CV8, Cross 6 Crewman, Territory Ghia.
Of course sand down the intake will stuff your motor ……... big time. And of course little shards of metal are running through the engine, they have been worn off by the sand which will now be ground down, and by now is an abrasive slurry in the oil.
Ask any serious 4WDers about the importance of having clean air filtration.
Your bullshit meter should be off the scale when your are talking to this 'mechanic'. Clearly he is try to get rid of you by shifting the cause to unrelated 'pre-existing' problems.
 

shane_3800

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
2,962
Reaction score
1,057
Points
113
Age
33
Location
places
Members Ride
vr commo
Sand contains silica and quarts it will score the bores and likely so much go in it made it past the rings and ruined your oil pump.
 

Slick_Vp_23

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
38
Reaction score
17
Points
8
Age
28
Location
Gympie
Members Ride
VE MY10 SSV M6
Hey guys, not too long ago replaced the following on my Holden Adventra cx8 ls1 at my local mechanic, brake pads, air filter, oil change & tie rod as i was driving the car on 2500km trip. That trip was successfully completed without the air filter correctly installed by my mechanic . I discovered the air filter was not installed correctly when i was having issues starting the car after a beach run at south ballina beach access. My friends and I assumed at first that the air filter was blocked with sand and the engine was deprived of air but this was clearly not evident when removing the air filter casing as the air filter was pitched and not sitting in its casing correctly leaving a large 3cm gap for whatever debri to get sucked passed the air filter and into the engine.

At this point it was quite clear that the car was not starting because sand has been sucked into the engine. I removed the air intake pipe to look into the throttle body and air intake manifold with a torch to find clear evidence that sand had smothered the throttle body and air intake manifold completely and the reality of the car not starting existed in sand interfering with the air & fuel ratio. After cleaning up as much sand from the throttle body and air intake manifold I attempted to start the car, the vehicle fired up after several attempts and seemed to be running fine. I had a 45min drive home, after 15min of driving the oil pressure warning symbol started sounding its alarm, I anxiously pulled over, turned the car off, checked the oil, plenty of oil. I turned the car back on and the warning was not appreaing so i continued to drive but 15 mins into driving the alarm reappeared. I continued this process of pulling, turning the car off and waiting. This happened about 3 times until I arrived home.

The next day I confronted the mechanics workshop, they were very apologetic about not installing the air filter correctly and was informed that the engine is fine and that if the sand were to do any damage to the internals of the engine it would of been directly noticeable on the 45min drive home from south ballina. I was hopeful at this stage as he said is was sweet and that he would clean the throttle body and air intake manifold properly and the car would be fine. I got the car back feeling confident that it was mechanically 100% until the oil pressure alarm started going off again later that day, I dropped the car back the following day and he made me feel confident it was just a faulty oil pressure sensor. I trusted that he was right but it seemed like it was too much of a coincidence that an oil pressure sensor would just randomly fail right after such a situation.

The oil pressure sensor was then replaced and the oil was flushed, i drove away after being told that the engine was actually in very good condition. Later that day the oil pressure alarm sounded itself again and it was clear that it had nothing to do with the sensor. I spoke to the mechanic and he suggested that it could maybe be a wiring problem to the sensor or possibly the oil pump has failed? After hearing that I still felt like it was too much of a coincidence that this oil pressure alarm was related to something other than the situation with the sand that had been in the engine. I started to notice a slight tick from the top of the engine so I knew whatever the problem was it was getting worse.

After doing some of my own research i started to come to the conclusion that maybe the sand has worn the piston rings out and causing low oil pressure and the tick could quite possibly be the piston rubbing on the wall of the valve. After this research I reapproached the mechanic for what felt like the 100th time and suggested an oil pressure test to see if my theory made sense. The car has been at the mechanic since thursday and is getting back to me about oil pressure tomorrow but he has informed me today that the oil has metal in it! Little shards of metal have been running through the engine.

Anyway does anyone have any advice on my situation? Anyone know whats going on? Do you think that these problems are related to the sand getting sucked into engine for him not installing the air filter properly?

The car has always been driven inside its capabilities, always serviced & has fairly low kms. I don't understand how these problems can just appear at the same time as this? Could my mechanic be trying to get his way out of owning responsibility?
Since they’ve already apologised for not fitting your air filter correctly I believe that’s all you need if he did try to screw you over. Keep all receipts and if need, get a second opinion. Your oil pump is most likely stuffed and sounds like your motors developed a knock, I wouldn’t be surprised if it needs a rebuild. You should be given a hire car and not expected to pay anything. Don’t let them give you any less. You definitely have the right to be very annoyed, just keep cool and be prepared to look up your rights under Fair Trading. I don’t think he’d be wanting to go through court, let him know you’ll contact Fair Trading for advice and see how he reacts. Good luck mate, I hate dodgy mechanics. Well, dodgy anything for that matter. Keep us updated.
 

_R_J_K_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
5,819
Reaction score
1,136
Points
113
Members Ride
Zenki S14
After doing some of my own research i started to come to the conclusion that maybe the sand has worn the piston rings out and causing low oil pressure and the tick could quite possibly be the piston rubbing on the wall of the valve.

The car has been at the mechanic since thursday and is getting back to me about oil pressure tomorrow but he has informed me today that the oil has metal in it! Little shards of metal have been running through the engine.
The condition of the rings themselves won't have any effect on oil pressure, oil pressure is purely down to the oil pump (which there is a filter in front of), oil galleries and condition of the oil. You can have really bad rings and really good oil pressure. If your rings were worn to the point of some issue that would also cause an oil pressure problem your car would probably be smoking something bad, I reckon you'd know if that was the case because a lot of oil would be getting past the rings. For the sand to get past the rings into the crank case to cause some other issue the the rings would have to be broken or shattered (they push out onto the face of the cylinder like a circlip). Even if the sand was scoring the cylinders I think sand and debris would have a hard time finding its way down. What was the dipstick like when you looked at it?

Were you proper off-roading (like proper spraying sand) it at all? Even with a 3cm hole the sand has to take a pretty restrictive path to get enough of it in there. I know plenty of people who have run beaters without filters for long periods of time without issues like this. I've personally crashed and sucked a mountain (like proper handfuls) of dirt through an RB25 and once we cleared out the IAC and it stopped blowing dirt out the exhaust it was fine (relatively speaking for a practice car).

While it's pretty poor a mechanic can't do an air filter properly and I'm not saying they're not related (it's far from ideal), from my experience it's equally possible that they're unrelated.
 
Last edited:

figjam

Donating Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
2,044
Reaction score
3,042
Points
113
Location
Port Stephens area.
Members Ride
Monaro CV8, Cross 6 Crewman, Territory Ghia.
All good points RJK.
But I would be concerned about the valves, apart from clogging the throttle body, the seats are likely to be the first mechanical bits to be damaged.
He could be lucky by not have driven further and getting the rings damaged.
How fine would the sand have to be to be forced past the rings, into the sump and beyond.

Back in the 'olden days', a dose of AJAX down the carby was a rough and ready way of seating rings and de-glazing a bore. But also, back then, just about everybody was capable of rebuilding an engine for not much $$$$.
 

1985VK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Messages
515
Reaction score
853
Points
93
Location
Australia
Members Ride
VK SL
Some sand and an engine with a blown head gasket between the cylinders would be one for the mythbusters ...
 

_R_J_K_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
5,819
Reaction score
1,136
Points
113
Members Ride
Zenki S14
How fine would the sand have to be to be forced past the rings, into the sump and beyond.
Unsure, but the rings also make the cylinder pretty much water tight and stop blow-by from forced induction and combustion, so there's a pretty decent amount of robustness. A score in the bore to let sand through would be pretty large (by regular driving standards) and I kinda think the sand would always have to hit the exact same score mark to wear down a patch or line to such a degree, like I think it would have to be precise. Then according to Ryco the average oil filter gets particles at 30 microns or bigger (they say a hair is 70).
 

Deuce

Super Stock
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
3,033
Reaction score
1,830
Points
113
Location
Snobs Rock (or so the locals say)
Members Ride
'94 VR SS V8
Unsure, but the rings also make the cylinder pretty much water tight and stop blow-by from forced induction and combustion, so there's a pretty decent amount of robustness. A score in the bore to let sand through would be pretty large (by regular driving standards) and I kinda think the sand would always have to hit the exact same score mark to wear down a patch or line to such a degree, like I think it would have to be precise. Then according to Ryco the average oil filter gets particles at 30 microns or bigger (they say a hair is 70).
The two oil filters we sell at work are 10 micron and 5 micron
 

shane_3800

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
2,962
Reaction score
1,057
Points
113
Age
33
Location
places
Members Ride
vr commo
The condition of the rings themselves won't have any effect on oil pressure, oil pressure is purely down to the oil pump (which there is a filter in front of), oil galleries and condition of the oil. You can have really bad rings and really good oil pressure. If your rings were worn to the point of some issue that would also cause an oil pressure problem your car would probably be smoking something bad, I reckon you'd know if that was the case because a lot of oil would be getting past the rings. For the sand to get past the rings into the crank case to cause some other issue the the rings would have to be broken or shattered (they push out onto the face of the cylinder like a circlip). Even if the sand was scoring the cylinders I think sand and debris would have a hard time finding its way down. What was the dipstick like when you looked at it?

Were you proper off-roading (like proper spraying sand) it at all? Even with a 3cm hole the sand has to take a pretty restrictive path to get enough of it in there. I know plenty of people who have run beaters without filters for long periods of time without issues like this. I've personally crashed and sucked a mountain (like proper handfuls) of dirt through an RB25 and once we cleared out the IAC and it stopped blowing dirt out the exhaust it was fine (relatively speaking for a practice car).

While it's pretty poor a mechanic can't do an air filter properly and I'm not saying they're not related (it's far from ideal), from my experience it's equally possible that they're unrelated.
Incorrect the oil pump, pumps through the oil filter so the oil pumps feed is totally unfilterd apart from the pickup screen.
Hence why I stated that it must be pretty bad for the sand to make it to the oil pump.
 
Top