Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fit Engine goes BOOM

Well... on the way home from work tonight, driving down the service road on the way to stop for gas at Costco, and I hear a mild boom and then hear something hit the ground on the right side of the engine compartment.   This was followed by a loss of power and a loud noise coming from the engine compartment.  Coast to a good parking lot to turn into, turn in and find a spot to park and kill the engine.

Video is here.

With the help of a person there, we figured out that the noise was coming from what seemed like a blown Cyl 3 spark plug and a now broken ignition coil.  So theory at this point is that a spark plug came apart and took the igition coil partially apart with it.   Call a friend that wasn't far away to come by, and he gets there about the time I realize what happened and get the car into a parking spot.

We run back to my office, where I had tools and the original ignition coils I had swapped out a month ago.  Then we stop at the auto parts store on the way back to the car and pickup another NGK  Laser Iridium IZFR6K13 plug.   Get back to the car, put the socket down to see if part of the factory plug is there... nothing.  Drop in the new plug, tighten it up -- then drop in the old ignition coil, bolt it in and start the car.  All good!  So only 4 minutes of work once back, and $14 for new spark plug <phew>

When I replaced the coils recently (earlier blog post), I did notice some discoloration on the Cyl 3 coil where it dropped down to the plug -- but didn't think too much about it.   Now I realize that it was on the coil because the plug was loose and allowing some blowby to happen!   For the past month or so, I had also noticed a little bit of burning oil or exhaust smell when I had the vent on.  Well, now we know it was because of the blowby coming out around the plug.

So... no more semi-rough idle and no more exhaust smell.   Guess I should have checked the plugs when I did the recent coil swaps... would have caught this before it happened.