The type of engine found in a typical automobile these days is very well engineered and designed to last a long time. The technology is indeed tried and tested and all the components of the internal combustion engine are designed to work under high pressure and tension, with quite a bit of redundancy built in "just in case." However, parts do wear out and will fail ultimately. When this happens to your engine, an engine rebuilding is often called for. How can you figure out when this time is approaching and what early warning signs should you be looking for?
Watching the Replaceable Parts
While the various major components of the engine are made from cast-iron and sometimes aluminium, there are several parts that are designed to segregate the all-important fluids and seal one part from another. These changeable components are known as gaskets and there are typically three in your engine. One will separate the sump that holds the oil from the underside of the engine block. The next one separates the main block of the engine from the cylinder head and the third goes in between the head and the rocker cover, where the valves sit.
What are Gaskets for?
These gaskets are made from copper and designed to put up with very high temperatures, shrinking and expanding as the engine goes through its operational phase. They're designed so that there is a very tight seal between the components and no gases or liquids can leak into areas where they're not supposed to be.
The Critical Component
The most important of these three gaskets is the one that protects the cylinder head. You want to be looking out for any evidence that it is on its way out, as if it fails completely it will be very expensive. If you notice that your engine seems to be losing power, is starting to sound quite rough and may be pushing out some smoke and steam from the exhaust pipe, this is a critical warning sign. It means that water is starting to leak past the cylinder head and mixing in with the oil. You may also find that the engine is starting to overheat with no obvious sign of water leakage. Once again, the water could be leaking internally by getting past the cylinder head gasket.
In the worst-case scenario, the gasket will fail completely, the engine will overheat uncontrollably and the main block will crack. Instead of just a rebuild, you will need a brand-new engine.
Whenever you undergo any extensive repair work to your car's engine, always make sure that you replace the gaskets with new. Furthermore, always be on the lookout for any of the potential early warning signs, so that your rebuild is simple and not expensively complicated.Share
8 May 2017
My name is Donna, and I love my toys! I have an ATV, a caravan, a boat and a range of other "toys". I find that there is a lot of information online about auto service but not that much about servicing fun types of vehicles. Inspired by the phrase "be the change you want to see in the world", I decided to start a blog full of information that is usually hard to find online. I will write about servicing toys, vintage cars, sports cars and a range of other topics. I hope that you like these posts and that you learn from them. Thanks for reading and enjoy your toys.