A fine mess
We’ve all had to make budget-based decisions that have ended up costing us money in the long run. Sadly, our current Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTI project car is one of those cases where you gradually begin to suspect that the vehicle you’ve bought is a ‘lemon’.
We bought the 2011 Insignia with a high mileage and we were aware that it came with no mechanical report and no service history, so if it failed – as it has – we would have to decide whether to persevere or simply scrap the engine.
At CM, we don’t like to see anything go to waste if a repair is possible, and buying a secondhand engine can be an expensive business – as we found with our MINI project in 2015. So, after lifting out the Insignia’s engine in the May issue, this month we stripped the ancillaries and head from the block and sent it to a well-established engine remanufacturer in Bradford, W Drake Engine Re-manufacturing. To make the block as light as possible, the sump, crank and pistons were removed.
I am always fascinated when an engine is stripped and worked on by specialists as it makes for interesting reading – at least, that’s what I told
CM’S publisher, who’s footing the bill! Perhaps the most interesting titbit we learned was that W Drake had dealt with six – yes, six! – of these engines in the past week. It appears that our Insignia diesel isn’t the only one causing a few headaches for its owner. As has been noted, there seem to be quite a few on the market with seized engines – as one CM reader put it: “They get a bit flaky at high miles.”
According to W Drake, the cause of failure is down to the DPF regeneration process flooding the engine oil with diesel fuel, which then destroys the main cap bearings, but not the bigend bearings. It seems the main cap bearings spin and overheat the caps.
We are looking forward to the day we can say our Insignia is running fine again. However, without wanting to tempt fate, we have heard from CM readers that gearboxes can fail with ease. In fact, through the grapevine, we heard of one case where Vauxhall had to replace three ’boxes on an Insignia A that was still within the three-year warranty period. That’s a new gearbox every year! Fingers crossed our six-speed manual will be fine.
In the July issue, our Insignia engine undergoes major reconditioning, including honing the block (as shown here) and lineboring – something I find interesting, not boring!