Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Alldata question/help

I was wondering if anyone had access to alldata and could give me some info on my 2005 Kia Sorento. I recently posted on here regarding the problems i am having with a crankshaft bolt shortly after a timing belt change. My mechanic told me that he uses alldata to look up specs/etc when doing a job. So all that I am really interested in knowing is if there is anything stated on alldata (under either crankshaft bolt, harmonic balancer, or timing belt)saying that the crankshaft bolt should not be reused. Thanks!

Looking up specs and actually doing the job right are two different things. Alldata will likely say something like “loosen/remove crankshaft pulley bolt.” It will assume that the person reading it knows not to remove it with a sledge hammer, and knows not to thread it back on with an airgun. Your mechanic can’t blame alldata for screwing up the repair.

And if he wants to, then tell him that you paid him, he worked on the car, and he’s responsible for the outcome. If he wants to take it up with Alldata to recover what he owes you, that’s his prerogative, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is responsible for making you whole.

Yeah, I understand that. He is not blaming Alldata. The mechanic stated that he would never use an airgun to remove or install these bolts (he did not even want to use it to try to remove the bolt once it was deemed stuck). He said that he used Alldata to get the torque specs when replacing the bolts that were removed, and to check for any specific requirments/recommendations. He also said that it is not standard practice to replace crankshaft bolts everytime they are removed. This seems to be a Kia thing, and if it is not stated anywhere how is anyone to know.

I did check the ALLDATA site for Recall and TSB titles and there is nothing there about crankshaft bolts. Also keep in mind that ALLDATA can be incomplete and even flat out wrong. After pointing out several glaring mistakes on one particular vehicle in their info I was informed by ALLDATA that “the car must be altered”. Not. If the info can’t be completely trusted then it should not be trusted at all so I cancelled my subscriptions.

For what it’s worth I’ve reused bolts like this many times and there’s never been a problem; even when reusing cylinder head bolts.
A net search shows the revised bolts have a coating change. This means it was done to prevent seizures in the threads.

It’s still unclear as to whether this 1/4" of play mentioned is in the balancer to crankshaft fit (keyway) or if it means the tiny amount of play one might see due to the belt.
I read this as the former and that could be bad news.
At this point I still don’t see that the mechanic is at fault here but that could change depending on the minute details behind the problem.

Question. Do you live in a rust belt state (OH, MN, etc.) or has the vehicle been driven through or parked in high rainwater runoff, etc.? Water and salt can seize bolts up and if this previously mentioned 1/4" of play is due to the keyway my feeling is that this was a long time problem that has just now reared its head.

Thanks so much for checking that ok4450! I realize that ALLDATA can be wrong, but I can’t really fault the mechanic if he at least did check on this (as he stated) if that is what he uses. Regarding what you refered to as 1/4" of play, I think that I must not have explained this very well originally. I meant to say that the mechanic noticed that the crankshaft bolt itself would turn a 1/4 turn in both directions and then lock up (which indicates to me that the bolt was loose; how it loosened on its own is anyones guess - most likely due to the bolt being reused). The balancer has still not been able to be removed due to the bolt being seized, but by looking at it you can see that the bolt head is not in the center of the balancer (offset) which is what was causing all the noise i was hearing. So between January (when the timing belt was changed - bolt reused) until now, the bolt somehow became loose and siezed and therefore causing the balancer to wallow out. If the mechanic followed the procedures/recommendations that he had access to, I guess I really can’t fault him 100%.

Sounds suspicious to me. The bolt should never have been installed off center(cross threaded). It would likely require an impact wrench to get that bolt bottomed out while cross threaded.

One more thing ok4450…did you check the service/repair section in ALLDATA for the crankshaft and harmonic balancer as well? Sorry, so many questions…i am really just trying to see if the mechanic is being honest with me.

The mechanic said that due to the length and thread pattern of the bolt, he would have known if it cross threaded when he reinstalled it in January. He also said that he would never use an impact wrench on said bolt. I think that the reason the bolt appears to be off center is that the it somehow loosened (between Jan. and now) and got off just enough to cause the balancer to wallow out to the point it is today…the thing is the bolt has yet to be removed in order to inspect the balancer.

No, I did not go into ALLDATA as it requires a subscription. Due to me wasting a number of hours of my life several years ago chasing imaginary wiring based on an ALLDATA schematic that had some glaring errors I cancelled and never went back. The even sadder part was that when examining a wiring schematic out of a Haynes manual several days later I found the same schematic; with errors, print blotches, and all. Apparently ALLDATA must be scanning this stuff from manuals like this and putting it on-line.

Please understand that I’m not defending the mechanic but I’m also not condemning him right off the bat because without knowing the tiny details and being able to physically examine the car I just can’t say one way or the other if he screwed up or not. I will say that it’s actually pretty difficult to crossthread a crankshaft bolt and one has to really be hamfisted to do it.

Per my reference about car makers trying to keep the VIN range on Recalls down you might look at the production date of your vehicle to see if it’s an early production model. This will be on the tag on the driver’s door jam and will have something like 8/04 which means it was built in August of 2004. If it has a 6/04 or 7/04 this means it was very early off the line. This does make me wonder about the possibility of one of the Recalled bolts being installed on a non-recalled year model.

I know the bolt will move back and forth but is it known if the balancer moves with it?
Sorry I can’t be more precise on this and no matter the dispostion of this matter could you keep us informed about anything that crops up? I’m perpetually curious is why I ask.
Normally I might say without much hesitation that the mechanic was at fault if this problem happened a week or so after the belt job but there was a lot of water under the bridge between January and now so I’m just not sure.

“I know the bolt will move back and forth but is it known if the balancer moves with it?”

From what I understand, I don’t think that the bolt moves back and forth (but it does loosen and tighten a 1/4 turn. Look down on the balancer, you can see that the bolt is not in the center. After cranking a few times, the bolt seems to be in the same position, with the balancer moving all over. I’ll keep you posted as to what happens…

Okay…so a buddy of mine (who might as be a mechanic) was able to get the crankshaft bolt out with a 3/4" drive. This really makes me wonder if the mechanic really tried as he had stated (said he even put an impact wrench on it with no success). So after I go to Kia and get a new bolt only to find that it is a little longer than the one we got out??? After closer inspection, we noticed that the end of the bolt (maybe the last 2-3 threads) are sheared off and still in the crank. Whats really interesting is that the end of the bolt we got out is corroded looking (not freshly sheared), which indicates to me that the either the mechanic sheared the bolt in January (when removing or replacing), or at the very least should have noticed that it was not right. Also, the last 5-6 threads on the bolt are all mangled…

This is still going to be a bit murky though. There’s a possibility that the bolt damage could have occurred after it was reassembled during the original timing belt repair.

It’s also quite possible that using the 3/4 drive could have done this. Believe it or not, a 3/4 drive can exert more force than a typical 1/2" air wrench.
Getting the remains of that bolt out may be next to impossible. About all I could recommend is that a thread chaser be run through the crankshaft nose, a new bolt obtained, and then possibly shim the new bolt up with a flat washer and a lock washer.
This is all dependent on the crankshaft threads being good of course.

Sorry I can’t be more exact as to what happened here. It’s possible that the mechanic could have botched the original bolt install but it’s also possible that it’s not his fault.
There is just no way of definitively knowing in my opinion.

Thanks for the tips. Tomorrow we are going to run the tap to clean out the threads. If we are not able to get the remains of the bolt out and have to shim the new bolt (or possibly cut off the end; would only have to cut 2-3 threads worth) should we apply loctite? I just don’t want this problem popping up again. I pretty much know that I am going to get rid of the car, but I don’t want this problem to happen to the next owner.

What bothers me is that the end of the bolt (where is has been sheared off) is black (oxidized), which tells me that we did not shear it off when we removed it yesterday with the 3/4" drive. It had to have already been that way. The last person to touch the bolt was the mechanic, which was in January.