Rebuilding an engine is one of the most expensive car repairs you can ever face so it's understandable that many people try to put it off for as long as possible. However, there comes a time when you may have no option but to rebuild the engine, and this may be the case if any of the below is true:
The Engine Is Knocking
A knocking engine is one in which a separate air-fuel mixture ignites shortly after the spark-ignited mixture. The second ignition results in a knocking or pinging sound that you should never ignore. It can be caused by a variety of issues; some are minor while others are critical. If you are lucky, you may be able to solve the problem with something as simple as changing the spark plugs. In some cases, especially if you don't address the issue in time, it may cause serious engine damage and necessitate a rebuild.
The Engine Has a Compression Loss
The air-fuel mixture in your car's combustion cylinder has to be compressed before it is ignited to provide the necessary power. Therefore, a loss of compression power will result in inefficient combustion and loss of engine power. Compression loss can be caused by different problems including leaking valves, a worn timing belt, and damaged pistons with holes. The cause of the compression loss determines the necessary solution.
The Oil Is Sludgy
Engine oil is a multifunctional fluid; it cools the engine, protects the engine from contaminants, and lubricates some parts. It needs to be clean to perform all these functions efficiently. Therefore, you should expect a problem with your engine if you notice oil sludge when inspecting or replacing the engine oil. The sludge itself may not necessitate an engine rebuild if it is diagnosed and fixed promptly. However, it may cause the engine to overheat and get damaged if not taken care of soon, and you may be forced to rebuild your engine.
The Tailpipe Is Emitting Lots of Smoke
A little smoke in the tailpipe is not a serious problem. However, you should suspect a serious engine problem if the tailpipe is belching a cloud of smoke. The color of the smoke should be able to tell you what kind of problem you are dealing with. For example, white smoke is usually produced if water or coolant is entering the combustion cylinder, which can only happen if there is damage in the cylinder head or gasket, while blue smoke typically means the engine is burning oil.
Make sure that you don't put off any auto repairs--but especially when it comes to your engine. You don't want your car to malfunction on you when you're in the middle of a busy highway.