There was no indication of a problem last time the vehicle was driven. This morning when starting there was immediate clang/grind sound and rocking of the vehicle. Motor oil began leaking below the vehicle. I have photos of the leak.

I would first appreciate it if you can confirm the location. I believe this is the engine block, being the lowest portion of the engine, just above the transmission case.

In the below photo, the break is near the top edge, to the right of the bolt head.

upper left engine block break 2003 Suburban

  • Is this break on the engine block?

  • What would be the likely causes? (It does seem like this was caused by impact of a broken moving part, and not the usual combustion?)

  • It would be interesting to know how often this might happen. Seems like a really rare problem?

engine block break 2003 Suburban

engine block break 2003 Suburban

engine block break 2003 Suburban

  • as @rpmerf states below, pull the pan to find out. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 20:23

1 Answer 1


From the pictures, that does appear to be the block. As for what would cause this damage, I'm not sure, but it doesn't look good. Usually damage in this area means a new engine is in order. If you really want to know what happened, pull the oil pan.

  • I suspected as much. It is on its way to a mechanic now and I am expecting to get a quote on engine replacement. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 22:00

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