GTS engine catastrophe

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
My GTS had a major engine catastrophe on Wednesday. The scarily loud sound of large pieces of metal crashing together. The nightmare scenario I guess. It is now undriveable and I don’t have much of an inkling as to the extent of the damage. I’ll describe what happened.

The car is a 2011 4.7S Auto, mileage now 32,387. She wasn’t driven much over the winter, but just before the Covid lockdown I noticed a new noise when accelerating hard - a deep, dull knocking sound is the best I can describe it from memory. The noise went when backing off. Soon as the lockdown was eased I drove her again and the car was completely normal until I accelerated hard, when the noise returned.

I came to the conclusion (hopelessly hopeful, as it turned out) that the problem might be poor fuel (causing pinking) as the half-full tank of petrol had been sitting in the tank for months. So on Wednesday I drove about 20 miles to a petrol station, keeping the revs below 3000 and not accelerating hard. Driven like that, the car drove completely flawlessly. Filled up with premium unleaded. Returning home, still driving sedately, after about 10 miles I sensed the car had more urge, even at low revs, so maybe the new petrol had solved the problem. Ha ha! Only one way to test that - I gave it the beans. Instantly - BANG! Or rather BANG BANG BANG etc etc. Really loud metal-on-metal sickening noises. Backed right off instantly, checking the rear view mirror for clouds of smoke - there were none.

Now the engine was making clanking noises even at low revs, though not consistently. I coaxed it the 8 miles home by barely touching the throttle. I checked the dipstick and the oil level was normal and the oil looked clean. Next day she started on the button from cold, and idled OK but there was a lot of nasty loud ‘ticking’ from the engine. For obvious reasons I didn’t rev the engine and won’t be starting it again until I have more of an idea of what might be at stake. With garages closed for lockdown this isn’t an ideal time either.

The car is a 2011 4.7S Auto, I’ve owned for 2.5 years. Last service in September at Bar-Tech Cambridge (previously car was main dealer serviced). About 1100 miles done since service. Car service indicator says service expires in more than one year. No warnings on dash.

To say it’s a shock is an understatement. I’ve owned over 50 cars and trucks from Alfas and AMGs to Porsches in 55 years driving, and if I’d had the slightest suspicion that things were about to go ‘bang’ I wouldn’t have been driving the car at all.

Sorry this is a long post. Thanks for reading. And (obviously) any thoughts or advice are most welcome.
 

Kincath

Member
Messages
242
Sadly this doesn’t sound good. Hope you get it checked out by a specialist as soon as possible. Fingers crossed for you!
 

Oneball

Member
Messages
3,540
There’s one easy thing you can check. Have a look down the front of the engine and make sure all the belts, pulleys etc are there and in one piece.
 

Gp79

Member
Messages
1,113
Sounds a bit of a nightmare and from what you described like a rod bearing failure.
I’d drop the oil into a clean pan and see what’s in there, also open the oil filter.
Was oil pressure ok?
 

Navcorr

Member
Messages
3,559
Sad to read and hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Belts are a good shout. As you appear to be in the Cambridge area perhaps worth giving Dale at Prestige at call.
 

spkennyuk

Member
Messages
4,586
The engines are fairly bullet proof. Aside from the noise you were hearing was the engine behaving as normal ?

If there has been a major internal failure you would expect a sudden drop in power and then evidence of failure in either the oil or the coolant or both.

If the oil is clean and showing no signs of metal particles in it then i suspect your engine may not be the problem.

Could it be one or more of the engine mounts has failed. I think they are liquid filled on the GTS. Could the sound your hearing be the engine bouncing on the mount and throwing everything out of line ?

When you gave it the beans the pressure on the mount would shift. If it then suffered total failure then exhaust brakets and things can get broken. If one or more was leaking before lockdown it would explain why you had some symptoms.

If it is an engine mount it may give itself away with a visual inspection of the engine bay. If you open the bonnet does the engine look lower on one side ? If you try and rock the engine does it move too freely on one side ?

If you can see the engine mounts with trim panels removed is there any oil on the mounts ?

If all the belts are intact pulley bearing alternator bearing and aircon pump bearing could all be a source of the noises.

I have seen mentioned on another thread there is a maserati specialist who is mobile. Not sure if he covers your area but im sure one of the members will have his details.

Hopefully not as bad as you think it is and hope you get it diagnosed and fixed quickly.
 
Last edited:

spkennyuk

Member
Messages
4,586
Found the details of the masersti specialist i mentioned. He is based in the Bucks area i think.

Dale at Prestige - he is mobile and ex HR Owen +44 7904 273813
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
There’s one easy thing you can check. Have a look down the front of the engine and make sure all the belts, pulleys etc are there and in one piece.
thank you, good suggestion, and something relatively easy to do. I’ll do that
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
Sounds a bit of a nightmare and from what you described like a rod bearing failure.
I’d drop the oil into a clean pan and see what’s in there, also open the oil filter.
Was oil pressure ok?
many thanks for the thoughts - unfortunately I didn’t check the oil pressure at the time when the engine was warmed up. As you say checking what’s in the oil would be a good idea.
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
Sad to read and hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Belts are a good shout. As you appear to be in the Cambridge area perhaps worth giving Dale at Prestige at call.
thanks for the kind thought. Yes I’ll check the belts for sure. I wondered about Dale. I'm actually in Norfolk so might be a bit far for him, but worth a shout I guess.
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
The engines are fairly bullet proof. Aside from the noise you were hearing was the engine behaving as normal ?

If there has been a major internal failure you would expect a sudden drop in power and then evidence of failure in either the oil or the coolant or both.

If the oil is clean and showing no signs of metal particles in it then i suspect your engine may not be the problem.

Could it be one or more of the engine mounts has failed. I think they are liquid filled on the GTS. Could the sound your hearing be the engine bouncing on the mount and throwing everything out of line ?

When you gave it the beans the pressure on the mount would shift. If it then suffered total failure then exhaust brakets and things can get broken. If one or more was leaking before lockdown it would explain why you had some symptoms.

If it is an engine mount it may give itself away with a visual inspection of the engine bay. If you open the bonnet does the engine look lower on one side ? If you try and rock the engine does it move too freely on one side ?

If you can see the engine mounts with trim panels removed is there any oil on the mounts ?

If all the belts are intact pulley bearing alternator bearing and aircon pump bearing could all be a source of the noises.

I have seen mentioned on another thread there is a maserati specialist who is mobile. Not sure if he covers your area but im sure one of the members will have his details.

Hopefully not as bad as you think it is and hope you get it diagnosed and fixed quickly.
Thank you so much for the detailed response. The engine was completely normal until I gave it the beans, but because I instantly backed-off when all **** broke loose it's hard to say whether there was a drop in power caused by whatever made the noise.

I hadn't thought about engine mount failure - I'll check that as you suggest, that would be great if it is the problem!

Yes I think I may try contacting Dale the mobile specialist guy. And thank you for your words of encouragement - much appreciated.
 

ChrisQP09

Member
Messages
2,349
The mounts do indeed perish on these like many Ferrari’s! In relative terms this would be a super cheap fix vs the worst case
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
Found the details of the masersti specialist i mentioned. He is based in the Bucks area i think.

Dale at Prestige - he is mobile and ex HR Owen +44 7904 273813
Thanks very much indeed. I hope he covers Norfolk. I'll check with him next week.
 

Itare Sam

Member
Messages
123
The mounts do indeed perish on these like many Ferrari’s! In relative terms this would be a super cheap fix vs the worst case
thanks - failed engine mounts is not a problem I've had on a car since I had a 1955 Humber Hawk, bought many years ago for £50, so it wouldn't have been uppermost in my mind. It's just the metal-on-metal noise I heard that worries me. But engine mounts would be a relative piece of cake so I'll hope that's it!
 

Scaf

Member
Messages
2,190
Nightmare indeed - good luck and let hope it’s something like alternator - aircon pump, but it does sound ominous.