What causes an engine block to crack? Know the signs and prevention

Engine Block

A vehicle’s engine block contains the combustion chambers and other interior parts of the engine. It’s made of durable metal that is built to withstand heavy use. For this reason, a crack in your engine block is rare. If it does happen, it is a serious concern that warrants a call to your local SE Calgary repair shop for an engine repair or replacement.

Car Engine Block
Car Engine Block

Signs of a cracked engine block include:

  • Overheating
  • Engine smoke
  • Poor performance
  • Antifreeze and oil mixing

It’s unsafe to drive with a cracked engine block. It’s important to know what causes a crack in your engine block and how to prevent this costly issue, which we list below.

The causes of a cracked engine block

Low coolant – The most common cause of a cracked engine block is excessive heat. The role of engine coolant is to prevent the block from rising to dangerous heat levels and maintain a safe temperature range.

Failed water pump – A vehicle’s water pump is in charge of circulating coolant through the block. A failed water pump often results in leaking coolant, a whining sound, or steam coming from under the hood.

Overworked engine – Excessive stress on the engine can result from installing turbochargers and superchargers that are not OEM parts and towing heavy loads and trailers that are out of the range specified on your vehicle’s manual.

Extreme elements – In Calgary, where we see experience extreme cold, the risk of freezing coolant is increased. Frozen coolant creates pressure against the walls of the block, which can lead to a crack.

How to prevent a cracked engine block

Routine maintenance is key to preventing a cracked engine block. SE Calgary repair shops maintain your coolant levels, inspect your water pump for any leakage, and repair or replace any parts before it can lead to a costly engine replacement.

An experienced technician will make sure that your engine has enough coolant but will use products designed for subzero temperatures to prevent any freezing. During the winter months, be sure to keep up with your regular maintenance schedule to keep your car running in good condition.


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