The last thing you want to happen as an automobile enthusiast is to have a cracked engine block since it’s the biggest part of your car’s engine. When this happens, you’ll most likely see it as the end of the road for your beloved. But this isn’t necessarily the case despite it being made from cast iron, making it almost impossible to be welded. The welding can also lead to further cracking or cause deformation of the engine block.
Therefore, what’s the best thing to do with a cracked engine block? If you want the answer to this question, you’re in the right place. This guide will explain everything you need to know about it and the best action to take.
What’s A Cracked Engine Block?
The engine block is a solid piece of metal that’s typically made of high-quality iron or aluminum. Smooth and perfectly rounded cylinders are positioned inside the engine block to allow the up and down movement of pistons lubricated with oil to minimize friction. The role of the engine block is to offer support to the engine parts and pass on the heat to an engine coolant for it to be disseminated.
But when the temperatures inside the engine block reach extreme levels, the engine block cracks. Because getting a replacement won’t be cheap, the best option is to fix the cracked part. But the success usually depends on the initial crack’s severity, the repaired engine block’s expected life and performance use, and the skills you have in fixing.
If you live in a region with cold weather, freezing might cause the cracking of the engine block. This happens because the coolant starts expanding upon freezing and then pushes the metals around it, causing it to crack eventually.
In hot areas, the engine overheating leads to the quick expansion of the metal and causing the cylinder head to break internally or externally. While not noticeable from the outside, the internal crack causes the fluids in the block to mix, whereas the external crack causes leakage of the anti-freeze, coolant, and oil.
Repairing A Cracked Engine Block-
After confirming the engine block, you shouldn’t lose hope just yet; you can have it repaired and this might not cost you that much. Here are some ways to repair the cracked engine oil:
1. Cold Metal Patches:
When on a tight budget but still need the cracked engine block repaired, using cold metal patches is recommended. These use adhesives or epoxies for sealing the crack, but these don’t offer a lasting solution. Therefore, should you choose to repair the cracked engine block through cold metal stitching, make sure first to examine the signs showing there might be a crack?
Another solution for the cracked engine block is to use an arc welder to seal the crack. The welding of the engine block involves taking it apart and then assembling it back together. It’d be best to be careful when welding the crack to ensure it’s smoothened like its original condition. Otherwise, the slightest disparity or flaw might result in severe issues in the future such as engine shuddering or shaking after it’s cranked.
Re-welding the engine block is expensive, and you can end up paying USD$100 each hour.
3. Cold Metal Stitching:
You can also repair your cracked engine block through cold metal stitching. This process entails stitching together metal as you’d have done with fabric. The downside of this technique is the engine is prone to change in temperature. In addition, this process is difficult to execute because it’s time-consuming and costly to perform. Therefore, it might not be the best option to take when repairing your cracked engine block.
Items Needed When Repairing:
The process of repairing a cracked engine block is rigorous because it needs around 12 to 35 hours to be repaired; and by the end of it all, you might end up spending a minimum of USD$1,500 because you’ll need to buy several items such as gaskets, seals, bearings, and others. Also, you’ll replace any other component you find that’s either broken down or rotted when disassembling.
Having a cracked engine block frightens many car owners. When it happens, your car can still be in a drivable state, but this will eventually lead to more issues in the future. Therefore, the best thing is to have the problem rectified before using your car any longer. This guide has highlighted all essential details you need to know about dealing with a cracked engine block.