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Tracking Down Causes of Engine Failure

Omkar Phatak
An engine failure is the most costly car repair job you might ever have to pay for. This story presents the prime causes of engine failure, which every car user should be aware of.
Like the incessantly beating human heart, a car engine must keep functioning smoothly to power the wheels to move forward to the destination of your choice. The modern car engine is the epitome of man's ingenuity.
It is a powerful mechanical heart built for the automobile, powered by the combustion of fuel. Neither is the heart infallible and nor is the car engine.
There are a multitude of causes that may lead to a car engine's complete failure, bring your car to a complete halt. What follows after that is towing of the car to a service station, where after a few anxious moments, you are informed about the engine failure and a hefty bill, to get it back on road again. To avoid finding yourself in such a predicament, it's best that you know about the most common engine failure causes.

Prime Causes of Engine Failure

Once the engine is installed in a car and it enters the real world from the pristine and clean factory floor conditions, it is subjected to the forces of heat and friction which take their toll. Through maintenance, their impact can be lessened, if not completely nullified. When a car user doesn't believe in car maintenance and thinks of the machine as a self repairing entity, the consequences can be drastic. Here are the most common causes.

Wrongly Assembled Engine

One cause that can lead to engine failure, which cannot be blamed on a user's lackadaisical attitude towards maintenance is a manufacturing flaw or assembly flaw. A structural defect in the form of a improperly fitted head gasket, wrongly aligned camshaft assembly, bolts tightened with the wrong torque values, inadequate lubrication and several other faults can prove to be the undoing of any engine, leading to a failure.

Lack of Adequate Lubrication

An engine has several moving parts including the piston and camshafts, which require adequate lubrication to prevent wear and tear. Considering the high temperature levels at which an internal combustion engine functions and the amount of friction its parts are subjected to, maintaining adequate lubrication levels is absolutely necessary.
If the engine oil is not replenished periodically or a low quality oil is used, wear and tear is accelerated with time, ultimately resulting into the breakdown of a part like a piston, due to heat and friction. Frequent oil change can help save your car engine from this catastrophe.

Detonation In Engine Confines

Another factor which may cause an engine to fail completely, by devastating its internal structure is detonation of fuel inside the combustion chambers. Due to abnormally high temperature and pressure generated inside an engine, by failure of the EGR valve, messed up engine timing,
high air to fuel ratio (lean mixture ) and many other causes, the fuel explodes in engine interiors, instead of undergoing smooth combustion. Detonation can be a result of several combinations of problems that crop up over a period of time.

Overheating Due to Coolant Leak

Metals expand when heated and therefore the car engine needs an efficient cooling mechanism that can keep its temperature under check. Leakage of coolant at any point in the assembly can lead to low coolant levels, resulting into engine overheating. A blown head gasket may also cause the engine to overheat.
As the temperature rises beyond a critical point, the engine parts simply start fusing together or get bent out of shape, causing the engine to fail. Preventing coolant leaks and taking adequate measure to plug them can save your car from an imminent catastrophic meltdown.
These are the four prime causative phenomena that may turn out to be the bane of your car engine, if not rectified in early stages. Heat and friction are engine killers and therefore the coolant mechanism and engine lubrication assembly form the life lines of an engine.
Come what may, never forget to change your engine oil at regular intervals and always check to ensure that the engine coolant mechanism is functioning properly. Make engine health check to be top priority in your car maintenance schedule.
This will not only save you from the crushing expense of repairing a failed engine, but it will also guarantee smooth driving!