From people blaming poor performance on a misfire when it's actually shit driving or them lying about how quick their car really is, to companies not honouring a warranty by making some kind of excuse to blame it on user-error- Excuses are a 'car thing'.
The inspiration for this mini-feature was hearing one of the most ridiculous excuses I've ever heard, and something that I'd not heard for about 15 years, and even back then it blew my mind someone supposedly respected had the balls to claim this...
Step back to 15 or so years ago, and the first example of this was about the Skyline GT-R RB26DETT engine, and most notably the ceramic turbine wheels the turbos have, which are known to snap off the shaft or shatter to many pieces.
While the above is an unfortunate and common fact, one of the big name tuners of the time used to convince their followers they needed an engine reubild as soon as this happened, as bits of the turbine wheel will have been 'sucked' in to the engine.
- The flow of air, or indeed exhaust gas, at the turbine wheel, is going AWAY from the engine. And at full boost it will be a huge amount of airflow, and travelling at 100s of miles per hour. Next stop of the flow path is the exhaust pipe (in fact it's common to find the snapped off turbine wheels stuck in exhausts).
- The turbine wheel is spinning, likely at well over 100,000rpm at the point of fail, in the OPPOSITE direction to the only possible path to the engine (ie up the exhaust manifold, in to the ports, past the valves, and in to the engine).
- The pressure differential (which is a big part of what spins turbos) between the turbine inlet and turbine outlet is huge at time of fail. At least 20psi more on the engine side pushing outwards, pushing everything outwards, exhaust gas, turbine wheels, whatever. Bear in mind 2psi can knock down houses, 4psi can kill people, and 10psi can rip limbs clean off, it's safe to say that will be pushing broken bits of turbine wheel out the exhaust at a rate of knots, and could never allow it to travel through it towards the engine.
- At very least, the fragment(s) would need to do a full 360deg loop the loop through the turbine housing snail, through at least 1x 90deg bend in the manifold, and make it past a small exhaust valve opening and closing 50 times per second, all while somehow magically fighting against huge air speed and pressure travelling in exactly the opposite direction.
Basically, that claim is BOLLOCKS. But countless people fell for it and had expensive rebuilds due to it, despite no documented proof, and all common sense saying it's totally fucking impossible.
The basic story is an engine has severe pitting (IMO severe detonation, but that doesn't matter for this) on the squish/quench pads on all cylinders on a turbocharged engne, and on the exact same opposite areas on the pistons too.
No marks anywere else- Untouched bores, untouched centres of pistons, untouched valves, untouched combustion chambers- Basically only the areas most affected by det.
Certain people (And to make it even more stupid, these people AREN'T the tuner either! This is honestly people just trying to defend him off their own back, despite it not being strictly blamed on him- Retarded or what) flatly refuse to see it as detonation, and claim it's FOD (Foriegn object damage), and back that up by the fact ONE of the cylinders has broken a piece of valve guide off in an inlet port.
My comment was "Even IF somehow it can only damage areas either side of the piston/chamber without touching the center or the bores, how can FOD in one cylinder account for the same damage in all the others?"
The reply was "Doesn't matter which cylinder was damaged, if one goes they're all going to get damaged as the metal will travel back up the inlet manifold and in to the other cylinders"
Again, some of you are already thinking "WTF", as it's probably even more far fetched than the first, despite being said by a bit of a hero of the tuning scene, so let's once again break it down...
- What's the odds of a piece of metal bouncing around in a cylinder badly damaging both squish pads, and badly damaging the opposing edges of the piston, while, despite pummeling the shit out of these tiny areas, NOT touching the biggest areas of the cylinder, ie the cylinder wall which cover an area about 50 times as big, and NOT touching the centre of the pistons or combustion chamber, which is about 5 times as big? That's National Lottery win odds right there.
- So what's the odds of the above happening on all FOUR cylinders at once, say there was 4 bits of metal, one per cyl? Lottery win? That's fucking Euromillions right there.
- And if THAT is the most unlikely thing ever (unless someone's invented a special ultra manouverable guided piece of engine smashing metal...), what's the liklihood that ALL that damage was done by ONE piece of metal somehow magically transporting from cyl to cyl? More chance that Jesus will appear tomorrow as Jimmy Savile and battle He-Man in hand to hand combat in your living room to become Master Of The Universe.
- BUT WAIT! That's not the most far-fetched part! The daftest bit is claiming the metal will travel through the inlet manifold from cyl to cyl!
- When the inlet valve (ie the only means of escape to the inlet) is open, the cylinder is sucking air in, and on a turbo engine like this is, it's being forced in under pressure, at 28psi in fact, so unless someone's strapped a fucking powerful jet pack to the bit of metal, it sure ain't escaping out the inlet valve.
- Also, there's an exhaust valve to escape from, and when that's open the cylinder is doing it's best to push everything out of it. So while it might not escape there either, that at least is possible, making it even further away from the inlet, and impossible to return to the engine.
- And we're not talking about using it's super guided jetpack to go in the inlet once either, but to smash all 4 cyls, in this amazingly exact pattern too, it'd need to get in there at least 3 fucking times, and only then it this lump of metal was somehow clever enough to choose to enter different cyls every time?!
- What the FUCK is this? A lump of metal or a super intelligent, heat and pressure resistant micro-alien flying around on a jetpack?
My question of it all is, do they BELEIVE what they're saying, or are they LYING? Either way it is REALLY fucking bad considering they're influential, aspirational, whatever the fuck you want to call them, names, in this stupid hobby we all have.
And this is exaclty why I'm hugely skeptical of what even 'Big' names say, partly by being untrustworthy, partly by not knowing as much as you think (or they'd like you to think) they'd know.
It's terrible really, being a skeptic or having trust issues isn't a good thing, and it'd be amazing if this tuning world was just people being honest and helping, but instead the kind of people and the kind of advice in the tuning scene is a big reason why so much of it is fucking awful and so slow progressing.
You have 2 choices, you can either listen to these people and be one of the crowd getting ripped off or having mediocre stuff, or you can take everything you hear with a pinch (ok, a fucking huge road gritter full) of salt, and fact check stuff from even supposed big and trustworthy names, which should, while it's a lot of work, get you a seriously good car.