As a car owner, engine damage is one thing that you do not want to experience. But did you know that engine damage can not only mean your car breaks down, but can also equal the end of your vehicle altogether?
The thought of the car becoming useless is disheartening. Hence it is important to be aware of the issues that could lead to your car ending up being sent to the scrapyard.
This is not only inconveniencing and stressful, particularly when you rely on that one car daily. But you will also then need to purchase another vehicle altogether which can be financially crippling.
As such, it is paramount to avoid the following major engine issues as much as possible.
Overheating is one of the most common engine issues. If the engine overheats, it means that there is too much combustion and the cooling system is not effective enough. It gets worse when the head gasket has blown or the cooling system is damaged.
The effects of overheating put you in grave danger, and if you are on the road, you should stop immediately and let the car cool down.
If the vehicle keeps running in that condition, it is a major risk to the engine. It could get to a point that the automobile is useless and your only option will be to sell it to a car removal company.
So, how can you tell the engine is overly hot when the vehicle is in motion? If you have never experienced such a problem, it might catch you off-guard.
The best approach to do so is to keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If it goes beyond half or reaches the red section, there is a big problem. You should pull over immediately.
When you pull over, there are two options that you can go for. If you can see coolant dripping to the surface, shut the engine off to cool.
On the flip side, let the motor idle to increase the flow of coolant if none is dripping. Also, consult an expert to diagnose what caused it to overheat in the first place and consider necessary repairs.
Friction Due to Low Engine Oil
When engine parts overheat due to friction, this can bring serious issues. Again, if the moving parts are not well lubricated, it is also a big problem.
If a car is left to run like this, the engine will be damaged totally. In some instances, it could be too expensive to repair an engine, and the only option becomes selling it to a car removal company.
One thing to do is always make sure there is enough engine oil. Do not wait for the next service to do it, but rather be checking it periodically.
In some instances, the oil pressure warning light may show on the dashboard. When it happens, speak to a qualified technician to diagnose it.
Low engine oils can damage this crucial part beyond repair.
Broken Timing Belt
A broken timing belt can result in massive engine damage. If it is an old car that is nearing its end of life, replacing the engine might not make sense. Hence, broken timing belts often leads to cars being dumped in landfills, backyards, garages, and driveways.
How does a broken timing belt damage the engine? Some cars use timing chains, while others use a timing belt. If it is the latter and it breaks, the piston will drub the valves, destroying them.
The damage can be severe to a point that an engine replacement makes more sense. If the car is old, the replacement might be too expensive.
It is an issue that can be avoided by following the owner’s manual. Instructions on when to change the timing belt should be heeded.
Hydro Locked Engine
Another reason you may need to dispose of your vehicle is when the engine is hydro locked. A blown head gasket and driving through high waters can instigate this problem.
Hydro locking happens when too much water gets into the cylinders, pistons are not able to compress gas and air in it. Water is hard to compress, and this is where the problem comes in particularly when it is too much.
The piston and piston rod may break as they struggle to compress the excess water.
Gasket and Seal Damage
When the head gasket is damaged and needs replacement, this is always a nerve-wracking task. The entire engine has to be dismantled for this to be done.
When the head gasket is damaged, oil starts getting into the engine cylinders. It should not be happening as it leads to low oil levels that damage the engine.
If you see white smoke from the tailpipe, the engine is overheating, or the oil has a milky white coloration, the head gasket could be blown. It could be the same if there are no leaks, but the coolant is being lost or there is bubbling in the radiator.
These are serious issues that you do not wish to experience. If it is not resolved in advance it could lead to the car being declared damaged.
It could be as a result of issues with the ignition system, control circuit, emission equipment, or air and gas delivery. Also, it could be a sensor problem.
Combustion stops occurring inside the cylinders, and this damages some components of the engine. The damage that it causes highly depends on where the misfire is taking place. For example, a catalytic converter could be damaged when a backfire happens in the exhaust.
Whichever the case, proper diagnostics must be done by an expert.
The engine is the most expensive component of your car. When it is not well maintained and has a major issue, it could become a junk car. In such a condition, only a car removal company would be willing to buy it from you.
By understanding what causes major engine issues such as hydro locking and overheating, you can prevent a big problem. Having a mechanic check your car regularly and maintain the parts will help a great deal. Of course, it must be someone who understands car engines.