What causes engine failure?
Worn Engine Bearings
Moving parts such as the crankshaft, rods and pistons are mounted on bearings to allow them to move freely. These bearings are lubricated by engine oil and are designed to last for a long time. However, they do wear out and wear is accelerated if the car is poorly maintained, the oil levels are allowed to go on low or if oil change schedule is erratic.
Worn Piston Rings
Piston rings seal in the expanding gasses produced by the burning gasoline in the engine. They eventually wear out and lose their ability to seal the cylinders properly. This results in what is called “blow-by” – a phenomenon that occurs when crankcase oil escapes through the worn piston rings and is burned with the fuel in the cylinder. This is what causes the excessive amount of smoke emission in older engines.
There are some fairly obvious signs that you may have a problem with your engine. At American Auto Care, car repair in Murrieta, we are experts in diagnosing and fixing engines. The most common signs of engine problems are
- oil consumption,
- excessive white smoke in the exhaust, especially when the engine is cold
- metal shavings in the engine oil (a common sign of dangerously worn bearings) and
- knocking or chattering sounds .
However, a rebuild can be very expensive and it might not be the right choice. If you think that you might be ready for a rebuild, you might also want to consider swapping in a lower-mileage engine or an engine that is in better condition as this option could be cheaper.
Why should you consider investing in rebuilding your vehicle’s engine as opposed to just getting rid of your car?
Rebuilding an engine can be a very economical option when the engine’s performance is the motivation in seeking a new or used car. With an engine rebuild, you can basically double the mileage you get from a car that you already own, since rebuilding the engine essentially makes the engine “new” again.
Since today’s cars rarely rust out, particularly here in Southern California, their suspensions last longer. Further, from year-to-year today, model designs do not change drastically, so if you like your car, and how it looks, it makes sense to extend the return on your vehicle investment through rebuilding your engine.
Additionally, people may choose an engine rebuild for an older vehicle that they own but do not use for primary transport . The car can be made to run like new again and can be used reliably without fear of it conking out in the middle of a ride. Some car enthusiasts use an engine rebuild to soup up a car to give it more power.
However, in the vehicle interior, the capabilities have changed a lot, including large embedded screens for GPS systems, built-in Bluetooth systems, and capabilities to play music directly from your iPod or phone. In addition, newer cars have back-up warning systems, and cameras, etc. So, if these geegaws are attractive to you, then an engine rebuild may not be a good idea.
Basically, with an engine rebuild, all the wear parts in an engine are either replaced or resurfaced to a “new engine” condition. Typically, the cylinders are bored out; new pistons, piston rings, bearings, camshafts, lifters (tappets), gaskets, oil pumps, timing gears and chains, crankshafts are reconditioned, and cylinder heads are reconditioned. After all of this is done the engine performance is as good as (or better) than out of the showroom.
In any case, the first thing the American Auto Care Certified Mechanics do is to thoroughly check out your car to be sure the problem really is with the engine and merits a rebuild. We will look for other problems that might make it appear there is a problem with the engine when in reality it is something else.
Whatever the situation, we will identify the problem and let you know our findings before we start any repair work.
Call us at 951-461-2507 to schedule an appointment for diagnosis and car repair in Murrieta, CA, or Schedule An Appointment Online.