Car Maintenance: Taking Care of the Brakes

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Is It Time For New Piston Rings?

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Your vehicle's engine is a complex system of mechanical components. Many of these components are in constant motion when your vehicle is in use. Proper lubrication is required to prevent friction damage and to keep the engine in your car or truck from overheating.

Pistons are responsible for regulating oil distribution in your engine. Over time, the piston rings that provide an airtight seal can deteriorate. Be on the lookout for these three signs that it might be time to install new piston rings in your vehicle's engine:

1. Excessive Oil Usage

Since the piston rings are responsible for helping to control the distribution of oil throughout the engine in your vehicle, you can use oil consumption as a gauge to help determine the health of your vehicle's pistons.

Check the oil levels in your vehicle on a regular basis. When the piston rings have started to deteriorate, more oil will leak out of the piston itself. This causes your engine to burn off oil in excess.

You will be able to identify an increase in oil usage and get your vehicle to a mechanic to have new piston rings installed when you carefully track your vehicle's oil usage over time.

2. Engine Backfire

Most vehicle engines rely on compression to help them function properly. Maintaining compression levels within the engine is one of the roles that pistons play within your vehicle's mechanical system.

Piston rings that are damaged or deteriorating will no longer provide the airtight seal needed to maintain proper compression. This will result in sudden and random losses in compression that might cause your engine to backfire.

As soon as you hear your engine backfire several times within a few days, schedule an appointment with your mechanic to have the piston rings examined and replaced.

3. Loss of Power

Proper compression within a vehicle's engine also contributes to the amount of power the engine can generate at any given time. One of the more noticeable signs of piston ring failure is a sudden loss of power caused by irregular compression.

This loss of power is typically most evident during acceleration, when you might feel your vehicle lurch and hear the engine backfire as compression levels fluctuate. New piston rings will help restore an airtight seal within the pistons themselves, allowing your vehicle's engine to generate the power needed for consistent performance.

Don't overlook the warning signs of piston ring damage. Recognize when your piston rings are failing and have an experienced mechanic replace damaged or deteriorating piston rings to preserve the life of your car. You can contact companies like Dean's Auto Repair Inc for more information.