Common Causes Of Major Engine Damage - Service Research from Carr Chevrolet

Some parts of your car -- like the brakes, the tires and the climate control system -- require a little bit of regular maintenance and maybe a minor repair now and then. It just comes with the territory of owning a car. But you can prevent major damage to the most expensive part of your car to repair: the engine. You just have to know a little bit about what causes major engine damage. We'll be happy to tell you on this page! We've gathered a list of five things that can cause severe engine damage. From engine misfiring to overheating to simply getting in an accident, you'll want to avoid the following five things if you also want to avoid a costly engine repair.

A driver has pulled off the road and popped the hood so he can examine the engine.

5. Major Accident Damage

Of course, your engine could be damaged in a significant accident. While the engine is located deep in the engine bay, and it's well protected from fender-benders and other small accidents by the vehicle's frame, a major collision could still damage the engine. However, if your engine was damaged in a collision, chances are the rest of the car didn't fare too well, either. What's more, even if the engine block itself is in good shape, various accessories that make your engine work are likely to be damaged and need repair as well. In many cases, a car in an accident that damages the engine is likely to be totaled.

This warning light indicates low oil pressure, which can be caused by a severe lack of oil.

4. Lack Of Oil Damage

If there were no oil in your car's engine, it would utterly destroy itself in a matter of minutes, not days or hours! At the speed at which your engine spins, that oil provides vital lubrication. Without it, metal parts would slide, grind and scrape against one another, until the engine just seized and stopped running entirely.

Eventually, the oil in your car's engine will stop providing as much protection from friction and heat. That's why it needs to be replaced regularly. Traveling too long without getting the oil changed can cause overheating, damage to various gaskets and seals in the engine and more. You can also sustain major damage if the oil level in your car is too low, whether from an unchecked oil leak or due to an engine that's burning oil.

3. Engine Misfire Damage

When an engine misfires, that means combustion is taking place outside the engine's cylinders. This can cause major damage to various components in the intake and exhaust, depending on where exactly the backfire is happening. For example, a backfire into the exhaust is likely to cause major damage to the catalytic converter. This is a crucial part of your vehicle's anti-pollution system, and removing it from your car can even be illegal! It's also costly to repair, so get your engine's misfire problem fixed ASAP so you can avoid having to fork out for catalytic converter repair.

Steam rises from under the hood on this car, indicating a dangerously hot engine.

2. Seal & Gasket Damage

There are basically two major parts of your car's engine: the block and the head. In between them is a seal called the head gasket. As you might already be aware, replacing this gasket is a costly repair, because it means dismantling the entire engine until the head can be taken off the block. The head gasket is just one of a variety of important seals on your car, including valve seals, the rear main seal and others. As these seals dry out, expand and contract from intense heat and changing temperatures, they can start to leak. You'll want to get these seals replaced right away when they start to leak, or your engine could sustain serious damage! These seals keep various fluids in their proper places in the engine. For example, a leaking head gasket could allow oil to seep into the engine's cylinders, where that oil will be burned -- leading to a low oil level, and eventually causing damage.

1. Engine Overheating Damage

Your car needs a sophisticated liquid cooling system to keep the engine at a safe temperature. Without that cooling system, the combustion process can actually raise the temperature of the engine to the point that metal parts expand, warp, deform and even fuse together. This can cause your engine to seize entirely!

That's why it's so important to keep an eye on your car's temperature gauge. If the engine temperature starts to creep toward the red, consider turning the car off and having it towed to our service center. Even just a few minutes of operating at an unsafe temperature can cause permanent damage to your car. Instead, get your overheating problem fixed right away, so your engine stays protected and continues running well for miles and miles to come.

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  1. CARR Chevy World

    15005 SW Tualatin Valley Highway
    Beaverton, OR 97006

    • Sales: (866) 970-1590

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