A local repair shop recently replaced the engine in my 06 Pontiac Solstice. They obtained a used engine from LKQ. I'm not sure how many miles the replacement engine had (unfortunately).
Wednesday night, the engine blew. Under light acceleration, I heard a single, loud POP, the car shut off, and I coasted to the side of the road. A LOT of oil drained out, looked like all of it. I couldn't see any indication of a hole in the oil pan or anywhere else. Also, most of the coolant drained out.
So, relevant points:
The oil that came out, with less than 2000 miles on it, was black.
Car has an aftermarket turbo, which was also on the previous engine. The shop moved this over when they installed the new engine. Also replaced clutch, water pump and thermostat.
When I picked up the car, it had a weird drivetrain vibration I've described elsewhere. The shop replaced the transmission mount afterwards. That reduced the vibration but did not eliminate it.
I ran a compression test a few weeks ago and found 120/120/140/140. Spec for this motor is 150.
Occasionally, when starting, the engine would idle pretty roughly for 5-10 seconds before settling into a smooth idle.
I checked the oil a few days ago when filling up the gas tank, and found it about a quart low. I topped it off with a quart of Mobil 1, level looked fine.
When the engine blew, I wasn't going very fast, and wasn't under heavy boost. I was turning left at about 25-30MPH. I could see that leading to oil starvation if the level was really low, but it wasn't. I also have no evidence of a leak or anything in my driveway or elsewhere.
For about the past week, there was a weird problem with starting. After parking, the car would refuse to turn over, almost as if the battery was dead. I disconnected and reconnected the negative battery cable (each time this happened), and then the car would start fine. I suspect some corrosion on the terminal. Note that we've had some pretty heavy rain and, at one point, the ECU and battery both got a little wet.
I'm waiting for the shop to get back to me. I know they didn't look at it yesterday as it was in exactly the same place I had dropped it when I drove past at the end of the day.
Suggestions on how to handle this if the shop doesn't cover it? Should I expect them to cover it, considering how recently this happened, the weird vibration, etc.? Is there any way to really determine if the engine was bad when it went in (making this LKQ's fault rather than that of the shop)?
Any and all advice appreciated. I don't want to hold them liable if it wasn't there fault, but after spending a significant chunk of cash, I think it would be reasonable to expect the engine to last longer than this.
Update The shop called back. Apparently a rod is protruding from the side of the block. Yay.
They've said that they'll cover the labor for replacing the engine. We're not yet sure if LKQ is going to honor their warranty due to the aftermarket turbo. However, this type of failure, in my opinion, couldn't be caused by the turbo. The engine wasn't overheated, low on oil or coolant, or anything else. It appears that it was just an old, tired engine, that was on its last legs when we obtained it.
Any suggestions on appealing if LKQ doesn't honor their warranty?
Update 2 So, LKQ won't warranty the engine because of the aftermarket turbo. I fail to see how a turbo can cause an engine to throw a rod. It wasn't low on oil, hadn't been overheated, etc. It just gave up.
The shop had initially implied that they were going to cover the labor, but now they've said that they are not. Wonderful.
On the up side, I've had this car apart so many times that I don't think it'll take more than a weekend or two to get a new engine installed. I'm glad that this isn't my daily driver.