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Old 06-21-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
ptran07
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Default Engine seized? Car not cranking

About 2 months ago I was coming to a stop and my engine suddenly stopped. I try starting it again but the engine does not crank, it only makes one click sound. Car has 75k miles but around 30K miles on current engine. First one replace due to oil consumption.

1. Jump start and push start didn't work
2. Got battery tested and its ok.
3. Checked all fuses, which are ok.
4. Changed oil less than 1k miles ago, using Mobil-1/0-40. Oil level is fine.
5. No codes using OBDII.
6. Repeated attempts to start engine warmed the starter, so I know its getting current.
7. Manually tried to crank the engine, but its stiff as hell.

I finally gave in and took it to a dealer. They ran all the electrical diagnostics and said all the electrical components are ok, including NATS, cams sensor, crankshaft sensor, BCM, starter, etc. They told me the engine seized due to low oil or leaving the car idle for too long.

Doesn't make sense to me since my oil level is ok and the car's been sitting only for a couple months with fairly new oil. Prior to my engine stalling, it was running fine. No SES light or any indication something was wrong. Jerk service tech had the nerve to imply that I drove the car without oil and only filled it after my engine seized. Why the heck would I do that? My car's not even under warranty.

Last edited by ptran07; 06-21-2012 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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have them throw another one in? (sub)
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Seized means that one or more pistons is stuck inside the cylinder. It will not move. Neither will the crank.

Motor oil, measured by the dipstick, does not necessarily mean that the piston-cylinder is lubricated.

How can a piston seize so fast without warning? Without proper lubrication the piston-cylinder will heat-up fast. Very fast.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #4
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Pistons are pretty weak components, they normally don't cause the engine to seize up. They'll usually break under the force of the connecting rod. Have the dealer drop the oil pan and check for a spun rod bearing seizing the connecting rod.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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When a motor is bad and actually seizes, there are many things that go wrong before hand and "just stopping at a red light" is not one of them. Your engine will run way hotter, lifters would be very loud, oil psi would drop, even a howling type of sound....something awful. Going out on a limb, sounds like bearings. Do you remember what your oil psi was?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
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drain the oil, if there are metal shavings then you are seized. When I spun 2 mains I managed to drive 30 miles before the engine seized. But when It seized while I was shifting from 4th to 3rd at 55 MPG the car slowed down to 20mph in a mater of feet. Eventually the starter would crank it half a turn or so
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your input....

@davidv - can you please tell me what part can malfunction and cause improper lubrication between the piston-cylinder?

@Lee R - no I don't remember what oil psi was when my engine seized. I've driven in a car with low oil levels and it sounded exactly as you'd described. I don't abuse my car. I am very surprised that my engine seized given that the oil level is normal.

@konrad - I'll definitely change the oil and check if there are metal shavings.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptran07 View Post
Thank you everyone for your input....

@davidv - can you please tell me what part can malfunction and cause improper lubrication between the piston-cylinder?

@Lee R - no I don't remember what oil psi was when my engine seized. I've driven in a car with low oil levels and it sounded exactly as you'd described. I don't abuse my car. I am very surprised that my engine seized given that the oil level is normal.

@konrad - I'll definitely change the oil and check if there are metal shavings.
Here is a good explanation: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_lubricates_pistons
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:36 AM   #9
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I put my dime on a new battery. You can have two jump boxes on one battery and itll still may click only once when you crank. that's just a maybe though..
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:20 AM   #10
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I think the dealer you took it to is full of Sht. Leaving your car at idle isn't something that can cause it to lock up, no matter how long it idles. I just worked on a truck here that had around 2000 miles on it and well over 9000 hours on the clock and it runs like a top. If I were you I would pull the plugs out so no cylinders can build pressure and then try turning the engine over manually. If it turns over, look elsewhere.

The more I think about, if your dealer was quick to make the claims they did, I would seriously doubt their integrity. Crappy mechanics are always quick to blame problems they can't diagnose on whoever drove the vehicle last. I think if you can bar your engine over manually, you should check super basic stuff. Your battery might be good but your connection might suck. Stuff like that...It wouldn't hurt to have your starter bench tested either.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:21 AM   #11
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delete
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:57 AM   #12
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when my engine spun bearings and seized i could not turn the crank at all, the two bearing halves slide under each other and fused together putting pressure on the crank so it would not turn
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:15 AM   #13
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God dang! lol, I had one lock up and I couldn't get anything other than bearing caps off. The crank wouldn't free from the block no matter what I tried.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10-E-C-350Z View Post
I think the dealer you took it to is full of Sht. Leaving your car at idle isn't something that can cause it to lock up, no matter how long it idles.
This isn't really true. I've worked around many stationary engines running PTO's and have always been warned about leaving engines at idle. This is due to the fact that the oil system generally has a very low pressure at idle and may not be lubricating effeciently. I've always been told that it would be better to leave an engine running at PTO speed (wide open) than to leave it running at idle.

Think about how low the oil pressure reads on a warm VQ when idling, it can dip really low on the gauge. (Given the stock gauge is probably not extremely accurate.)

I don't have any wisdom on the seized engine though... sorry.

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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Well, as with every story there will be two sides. I used to mantain trucks in Alaska that were used as guard trucks for emergency aircraft. The only time these were moved were to refuel and come in for semi annual maintenance. The rest of the time they were idling to keep the occupants comfortable.They had several of these trucks and I don't recall ever overhauling an engine for them. Plus think about cop cars, they idle all the time too. Either way you split it I'm sure the OP hasn't let his car idle this crazy.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=slow03z;9784941][QUOTE=10-E-C-350Z;9784685]I think the dealer you took it to is full of Sht. Leaving your car at idle isn't something that can cause it to lock up, no matter how long it idles. [QUOTE]

This isn't really true. I've worked around many stationary engines running PTO's and have always been warned about leaving engines at idle. This is due to the fact that the oil system generally has a very low pressure at idle and may not be lubricating effeciently. I've always been told that it would be better to leave an engine running at PTO speed (wide open) than to leave it running at idle.

Think about how low the oil pressure reads on a warm VQ when idling, it can dip really low on the gauge. (Given the stock gauge is probably not extremely accurate.)

I don't have any wisdom on the seized engine though... sorry.[/
QUOTE]

But engine idles at only 900 rpm and wide open can be as high as 7500 rpm.

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Old 06-22-2012, 11:18 AM   #17
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get your best buddy, a garage, a bunch of tools, a couple cases of beer. Time to take **** appart
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #18
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Sorry for the confusion...by idle I meant the dealer believes the engine could have seized by sitting too long without being started. Its been almost 2 months since this happened.

I don't trust that dealer at all. Tech told me my oil level is fine and that the consistency is also ok. Those were the 2 reasons he gave me as to what could have caused the engine to seize, which I don't understand because he said they're were ok.

I plan on bench testing the starter and removing the plugs to see to check if the crank turns. If my engine did indeed seize then I'll throw a used motor in and sell this POS car.

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Old 06-22-2012, 10:21 PM   #19
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Oh, lol just sitting...then that dude is definitely full of crap. My truck sat for 2 years. I came home, reconnected the battery and it started right up. (I had to replace valve guide seals shortly after) But it certainly didn't seize.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #20
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Well? What the dealio is?
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:31 AM
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