Cracked Engine Block
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If there’s one rule when it comes to engines, it’s “Be cool.” California is home to plenty of cool drivers, but cracking an engine block? Not cool. And when a driver does crack an engine block, it’s usually their own fault (really not cool).
Excessive heat is the most common culprit. When an engine overheats, the coolant cannot maintain the engine’s proper operating temperature. The overheated portions of the engine expand, the cooler areas don’t, and the engine block will crack under the pressure. So how is that the driver’s failure? Low coolant is the number one cause of overheating, something that is completely avoidable by keeping up with scheduled maintenance. If you’re a gearhead, your recent supercharge may be putting more stress on the block than it can handle. You’ll be the envy of the dragstrip – right up until all that flexing under the hood pops your muscle car. An engine crack can also be the result of failure with either the radiator or the water pump, both of which should be detected by your friendly neighborhood technicians.
And don’t forget to change your oil! Low engine oil or dirty engine oil will neither absorb heat efficiently nor lubricate effectively. A piston shooting through your car’s hood will definitely crack your block (and pose a hazard to low flying birds).
Overheating does not always result in a cracked block. Sometimes the opposite is the case. Drivers who live in colder climates must remember to always keep the proper mix of water and antifreeze in their cooling system. Coolant without enough antifreeze will actually freeze and crack your engine block!
(In rare cases an engine may crack due to a “core shift,” thinness in the block caused by an imperfection during the injection molding phase. A thinner engine wall will overheat faster and be torn up by its own pistons. In this case the fault is not with the driver but with the manufacturer. However, this is seldom the issue and even less so with modern engines.)
If the Low Coolant light pops up in your dashboard, you better believe it’s time to get that checked out! Be cool and bring your car to be serviced at Advanced Computer Automotive and we’ll diagnose the problem. Remember, a cracked block is a serious issue and may require you to replace your engine, a very expensive penalty for an easily avoided problem.