Honda City engine sump ruptures while driving at 100 km/h at night

As per the owner, the car didn’t hit anything on the highway. He just heard a loud sound, saw smoke and lost power.

BHPian ryzen13 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Team,

Sharing this to help a friend of mine with a 2018 Honda City V variant. On the 28th of April, my friend started to Banglore from Chennai via the Chittor route at around 9pm time in the night. The car was functioning well the entire week which he uses to get to the office and back daily.

In his own words – the road trip back home started well and he was doing speeds of around 100-110KMPH, when he was near Palamneer he heard a loud sound and started seeing smoke and lost power. He immediately got the vehicle to the side of the road without causing any trouble to the fellow occupant in the car, other road users, animals, etc. Thankfully!

What he noticed then was a trail of oil below the car and since it was dark and late at night at an unfamiliar place – he decided to get the car towed to the Whitefield Honda – Bangalore by paying a huge sum to a private towing truck.

Now this is where the fun starts, Whitefield Honda took pictures and videos of the car engine and shared them with the Honda technical team and they have come back now telling that the issue happened due to High Engine Temperature whose warning – my friend ignored and kept driving. This is completely untrue – my friend’s car was maintained immaculately and has done only 67K km in 5 years of ownership and lo and behold the extended warranty got over in March 2023.

Whitefield Honda has not shared error codes, error history codes from the ECU – they simply claim that this event happened due to engine overheating and user negligence. All this has happened via phone calls and is not documented by any means – all we have is a job card.

In this entire saga – ACKO too has been lethargic and the technical third-party surveyor who assesses such engine damages has still not visited the workshop to inspect the car. They are also not sure if this would be covered as a part of the Engine Protect cover and Comprehensive insurance.

Attaching the pics of the engine here for reference.

Please advise on the next steps – my hunch is that this could have been a manufacturing defect that has managed to rear its head only now after repeated use.

Another question we need to ponder is whether A Petrol ANHC(Arrow-4th Gen)’s engine has gone Kaput within 67k KMS! What does this say about Honda’s quality control and commitment to the Indian market?

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say about the matter:

There is only one way in which such a failure happens – the car must have hit a big stone or something or scrapped on a big speed breaker at speed. Either way, the oil sump took the impact and got damaged, the engine oil leaked and the engine failed. You can clearly see the broken pieces of the sump, and the oil is all over the plastic guard. The explanation given by the service people seems totally legit.

These things only happen due to driver error or misjudgment, and the biggest mistake is driving on without stopping to check for damage. Maintenance or lack of it has no role here. The way forward here is to claim insurance – you’ll need the service people to cooperate. Most likely, half the engine will be changed.

Here’s what BHPian MT_Hyderabad had to say about the matter:

Questions that I would ask:

  • When was the last service done?
  • Was the oil level checked after the service?
  • When was the radiator and coolant level checked?

The engine must have overheated which led to this catastrophic damage. The oil may be underfilled or overfilled. The radiator may be leaking. Something may have hit the sump leading to loss of oil, resulting in overheating and more damage.

I do not think that it is due to any manufacturing defect. The engine ran 67 k kms without a problem.

If the engine overheated, there must be loud sounds heard inside the cabin for at least 20 kms, before the final thud which was heard in the end. Maybe the stereo was running at a high volume.

Here’s what BHPian abhi_tjet had to say about the matter:

This doesn’t look like a manufacturing defect. Only ‘fault’ from Honda’s side is not providing a proper engine bash plate, at least as an accessory if not OEM.

Here’s what BHPian svsantosh had to say about the matter:

Threw a rod!

(Google it if…)

The car did not touch or bump its sump or bottom anywhere. The bottom plastic cover seen in the boot would have taken a nasty hit and the sump is in mint condition. Not sure how one can say the sump took a bash! And the lower arm mounting point (on the frame) is also clean.

Since the water jacket is not punctured on the engine block (at least from the pics provided) the owner can do the following.

  • Can check if the coolant level is intact. (proves engine didn’t overheat)
  • Can also check if there is oil residue in the water. (same as above)
  • Check for head overheating symptoms – Gasket can be checked and a pressure test on the head.

Remember rapid oil starvation will destroy the bottom — Water starvation destroys the top.

Choices ahead

  • Legal – God help the owner
  • Insurance – Hope the owner has it covered
  • Trip to Mayapuri and truck an engine (75K all in – used engine + trucking to Chennai + local mech charges) – ensure to update insurance policy & RC book

Don’t rebuild new-gen engines. It is just not worth it.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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