Complete car engine failure is not something you want to hear from your mechanic. Replacing an engine is so expensive that it is sometimes better to scrap the car and purchase a new one. So why would an engine fail?
Detonation occurs when the air/fuel mixture is subjected to too high temperature and pressure that it self-ignites before the spark plug fires. You will know that your engine is detonating when you hear a pinging, hammer-like sound from the engine.
Detonation is caused by myriad problems such as:
- Poor ignition timing
- Poor cooling
- Using low-octane fuel
- ECU sensor failure
These are just a few examples, but there are other causes of detonation. As you can see, some of them (such as use of low octane fuel) are things you can prevent on your own while others (such as ECU sensor failure) require a professional's mechanic intervention.
While light detonation may not be much of a problem, you should head to the mechanic when the detonation gets heavy or frequent. Such serious detonation may cause fractures in your engine block, pitting of the piston crown, breakage of ring lands and other serious engine damages. In the worst case scenario, you will have to replace your engine.
Apart from detonation, overheating can also cause complete engine failure. Overheating can cause:
- Cylinder heads to crack or warp
- Pistons to seize
- Head gasket to blow
These and other problems may necessitate engine replacement.
Anything that makes your engine lose its cooling power may cause it to overheat. An engine may lose its cooling power if the
- refrigerant is leaking
- fan is malfunctioning
- water pump is leaky
- radiator is dirty, among other problems.
Therefore, you should strive to keep your engine cool if you don't want it to overheat and fail.
Isn't Properly Lubricated
An engine is comprised of several moving parts all of which must be properly lubricated. If lubrication isn't properly done, then the moving parts experience increased friction that accelerates the rate of normal wear and tear. Improper lubrication may occur if:
- The engine is experiencing low oil pressure (perhaps due to excessive clearances in the bearings)
- A failed oil pump is starving the engine of oil
- A high viscosity oil is used
- Oil is leaking
Now you know what can make your car's engine fail, and what you can do to prevent such an expensive damage. Since engines rarely break down out of the blue, you can also keep your engine alive by taking it for regular service. To learn more, contact a company like M.R. Automotive with any questions or concerns you have.