Symptoms of Piston Damage
Pistons are the most important component of a combustion engine. These pistons are in continuous motion during the functioning of an engine, therefore they are prepared to be durable. Despite their durability, they can be worn-out or broken due to multiple reasons. When engine piston damage occurs, it creates a direct and significant impact on the performance of an engine.
In this guide, we have enlisted all the possible symptoms that are reflecting piston damage in your engine.
Piston Damage Symptoms
Pistons work under extreme conditions in an engine. These extreme conditions can impact the piston and its working. See the following piston failure symptoms that we have enlisted for you.
Decreased Engine Power
Decreased engine power is also a sign of piston damage. Piston and cylinder walls are sealed to avoid oil and fuel leakage. Any potential crack or leaking in the piston can change its shape and affect the tightly sealed space between cylinder and piston. Change in shape can create increased friction or oil seeping into pistons which reduces its efficiency. It is characterized by slow acceleration and less pick-up.
Additional Oil Consumption
Excessive oil consumption is also a symptom of engine piston damage. It can be caused due to crack or damage to the top of the piston which leaks oil inside the combustion chamber. The leakage disrupts the combustion chamber and also fails to lubricate other engine parts properly. This results in excessive friction and lesser oil. Lower oil level dashboard warning lights and overheating of the car are common symptoms.
Different Colored Smoke from Exhaust
Excessive thick white smoke coming out from the exhaust is also a sign of piston damage. When pistons are damaged and oil leaks into the combustion chamber, it burns excessive oil with air and fuel mixture. This additional burning is omitted through the exhaust in the form of greyish or blueish smoke with a burning oil smell.
Noises from Engine
Squealing noises from the engine that are generated when a piston is damaged are also known as piston slap. Piston slap occurs when the outer boundary of the piston slides with the inner cylinder wall. It is also due to the reshaped piston which increases friction between the surfaces. It not only impacts the cylinder wall but also the rods attached to it.
A cracked piston causes extra air to penetrate inside the cylinder and piston which decreases the compression ratio. It works in the opposite direction and blows out the necessary air and oil from the piston. It requires a cylinder leak-down test to confirm the cracks in the cylinder.
What Causes Piston Damage
Pistons are the major element of an engine that are designed to be durable. Despite this durability, the piston or cylinder in which they are fixed can get cracked. Even the slightest damage or reshaping of the piston can create a significant impact on the working of an engine.
Here we have listed some of the common reasons that cause piston damage.
- Detonation: Detonation occurs when fuel and air mixture is detonated at an inappropriate piston position. This can create heat spots over the piston leading to permanent damage.
- Wrong Engine Oil: Piston and cylinder are tightly packed and require engine oil for lubrication. Wrong engine oil can increase the friction that can cause piston damage.
- Incorrect Valve Timing: Engine valves are controlled by a timing belt. Any malfunctioning in this belt can directly impact the piston.
Cost of Piston Change
Generally, pistons are prepared from aluminum alloy to make it durable. This is because fixing any defect in the piston is a difficult job and requires proper professional assistance. The starting price of a single piston head is around AED 113. Whereas, you have to pay around AED 1700 to the professional. Moreover, the piston is not repaired or changed alone, it requires changing gasket, rubber sealings, valves and engine oil which can increase the overall cost.
Repairing piston damage is costly, it will not only cost you a fortune but also a lot of time. Therefore, it is suggested to browse through these used cars for sale in the UAE, rather than fixing an old one. Other than that, new electric vehicles are equipped with electric motor engines which exempt the requirement of pistons. We have enlisted some of the considerable electric vehicles below:
- Buy second-hand BMW i8 2019 for sale in the UAE
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Stay tuned to UAE’s top auto blog for more information on piston damage.