10th Dec 2016, 11:13

My experience with a 2008 Ssangyong Actyon 2.0.

Bought it for what I thought was a good price in May 2016.

Apparently the seller had the engine replaced with an import earlier this year as the injectors were stuffed and a replacement engine was cheaper than replacing the injectors.

On researching I knew about possible injector issues so that gave me enough confidence to buy.

However from the beginning, cold start was an issue, and even warm start was becoming difficult. Suspected gloplugs and error codes confirmed this.

Now the fun started.

Took it to a local Ssangyong place here in Cape Gate, cost me R3200 for gloplugs and I could wait while they were replaced. What should take an hour, half a day later I was told by the workshop manager there were 'complications', but wasn't told what. Took a whole day for them to get the job done, with labor account for hours booked.

Turns out they didn't have right tool (?). To remove the gloplugs and to get maneuvering space, they removed the tappet cover and then the injectors; however injector 4 was stuck, hence the 'complications'.

Was told by someone that you can buy size 10 plug spanner at Goodhope Spares, which fits perfectly to remove gloplugs. I did, and as a test removed one myself in less than a minute.

Went back to the dealership workshop and told the manager that if I manage to replace the gloplugs in under 5 minutes, he must reverse the labour charges. He agreed not believing how I could possibly do it, so when I did I had great satisfaction from the look on his face. Labour charges reversed.

However starting problems still not sorted; not bothering with the workshop again as I had no confidence in that lot, a friend told me that it was possibly injector problems and that they can be tested and rebuilt here by a place in Okavango park.

Off I went after spraying quickstart, as now that was the only way to get the bakkie going.

So they took the injectors out, except no. 4 which was stuck. They could not get it out, and even had 2 lots of specialists there to try. The other 3 injectors on testing were found to leak so badly that on starting it could not build up enough pressure, hence the starting issues.

At this point I realised that the guy I bought from must have known about the injectors, as he already had the same problem before and would know the symptoms, hence selling so quickly after having replaced the engine.

Reconditioned injectors were about R3000 each, but with my 4th injector now broken, they had to source an injector body to recondition; in the end it cost me R22000 for 4 rebuilt injectors.

Meanwhile, since the 4th injector could not be gotten out, the bakkie went to a mechanic's workshop to remove the head and have the injector laser-cut out. Had to go through a lot of running around to get a head gasket, but got one from the same guy that suggested having the injectors rebuilt.

The mechanic, however, using some home made concoctions to soak the injector, managed to pull it out. Great. In go the rebuilt injectors, and started it up. However the engine now sounds like a tractor, and no oil pressure.

After much pondering, oil filter removed, which was totally blocked with black gunk. Replaced filter, but same again. In the end the sump was dropped; turns out one of these genius specialists that came to remove the stuck injector left a black plastic bag stuffed in the engine. This was possibly to catch any pieces from dropping.

On reporting this to the injector repair crowd, nobody knew or took responsibility, and as different parties were involved, everybody was innocent...

R7500 later to get all the plastic out, also in the end had to replace the oil pump for R3800.

OK, start her up again. Running but still noisy and no power. At this stage it had been months between dropping off the bakkie and getting it back.

Needed it desperately, so drove it and the day after I got it back at about 100k, the engine seized rock solid. Did not even turn when rocking the bakkie in 5th gear.

Towed back to mechanic.

I managed to get an engine from a scrapyard for R11000, which came out of a vehicle that rolled and some of the parts were damaged, but could use the good parts on my seized engine.

The plan is now to build one engine from the 2 and of course use the reconditioned injectors. So on stripping the donor engine, guess what... no 4 injector stuck... now again trying to get it out, it broke off, and the mechanics had an available hands problem (his mechie resigned) with emergency repairs coming in all the time, thus not getting to my bakkie.

Now last week I had the bakkie and 2 engines, partly rebuilt, towed and now in my garage. 6 months later at a cost of R42000, still no closer to a mobile vehicle.

Now to find someone to finish the rebuild and fit the engine. Still not getting to my urgent projects and no money left to buy another bakkie.

At the moment I am at the robots collecting money...

5th Mar 2017, 05:37

I've just had the same thing happen to my 2011 Ssangyong Actyon Tradie Sports ute...

I bought this friggin lemon in 2015 (from a place where they won't allow test drives at all - that should be illegal!), not long past its 3 year 100,000 km warranty with only 27,000 km on the clock.

It had a full service history from a fleet maintenance company, and at around 60,000 km the auto seized and died.

That cost me $4,000 for a second hand unit from a wrecked car and had that fitted up. I've spoken to 6 or 7 other owners of these s**t boxes who all had their auto's die too, with anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 km on their clocks. The problem is the Aussie company who used to make the 6 speed gearboxes, went into liquidation and was bought out by Geely (a big Chinese car manufacturer who immediately took all our technology and knowledge off shore for cheaper manufacturing - their new Chinese built boxes were $7,500 ); all the while the Australian government were too busy chasing the American owned Holden down the street with an open cheque book.

I contacted Ssangyong Australia and they pretty much didn't want to know me. They wouldn't put anything in writing to me either, obviously worried for solicitors sake. They said that even though it had a full service history through the fleet company, it hadn't been touched by anyone holding a Ssangyong spanner so they wouldn't do anything about it. A call to fair trading confirmed they couldn't help me either.

Fast forward to just over 100,000 km, about 108,000, late 2016 and the motor died, black plumes of unburnt diesel smoke pouring out the exhaust pipe. Turned out, as confirmed by one of the high up Ssangyong technicians at a Sydney dealership who had 2 or 3 others come in around 100,000 km, that these pieces of s**t require the diesel injectors to be replaced every 100,000 km...

Yeah that's right, a $3,000 job every 100,000 km!

Geez, makes me want to rush out and buy another one... NOT!!!

No mention of that in their nice glossy brochures anywhere...

Had the vehicle towed to a so-called diesel specialist, and they slugged me $700 in labour to diagnose the issue being 2 or more injectors have failed.

While they were trying to remove them, the "specialist" snapped off 2 injectors deep down inside the head and the third snapped off above the head. They said they have a special tool to pull the injector up and out, however looking at the twisted shank of the last injector, clearly they tried to simply unscrew them, causing them to snap off.

Oh he saved me though by not touching the fourth injector - gee thanks so much!

Apparently some injectors can seize in a motor due to them being cast steel and often heads made of alloy, however these specialists with their specialist tools and specialist $100+ per hour labour skills should've been able to remove them without doing what they've done - I'm SO pee'd off right now!!!

They basically charged me $700 to f#@k up my car worse than when I towed it into their business. They quoted me around $3,5000 to fix it initially, including brand new Delphi injectors that I could buy cheaper myself elsewhere (even though they are an authorised Delphi agent) than what they quoted me, however after they stuffed them trying to remove them, the repair bill jumped to $8,000.

So I now own a car that will cost $8,000 to fix, which I would be lucky to sell for $8,000 or $9,000 even if it were already running 100% properly.

Anyway, four months later and now out of rego, it is sitting at my father's where every weekend we've spent pulling the car apart to get the head off. What a big job too!

Once it's off, we'll at least be able to punch the injectors back out and put some new ones in. Hopefully this will get it all up and running again, and then I will just have to drive it into the ground as I will lose WAY too much money selling it.

I was just starting to get it set up right for camping too with 2 auxiliary batteries, all 12v setup properly, touring awning etc... I'm so devastated to say the least.

I am going to check with Fair Trading to see where I stand on the 'specialist' totally stuffing my engine... will keep you all posted.

I wouldn't recommend buying one of these cars again. I used to love this car, however my faith and opinion of this vehicle has really dwindled somewhat.