Engine reconditioning is the process of rebuilding and repairing the engine in order to improve its performance and increase its lifespan. For many car owners, it is often a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a replacement engine.
It is essential that the reconditioning process is left to engine servicing professionals. There are car owners out there who attempt to recondition their engines by following their car’s manual. However, due to the risks involved, we do not recommend that you recondition your engine on your own.
That being said, as the car owner, it’s still beneficial for you to understand what generally occurs during the reconditioning process. In this blog, we’re going to give you a basic overview of engine reconditioning. We’ll also discuss the benefits of reconditioning your engine as opposed to getting it replaced.
Benefits of Engine Reconditioning:
More often than not, getting your engine reconditioned will cost you much less than replacing it with a new engine. In fact, you can save even more money if you choose to only recondition certain components of your engine.
For example, if your engine block is in good condition, but your con-rods need repairing, you can choose to have your con-rods reconditioned independently from the rest of the engine.
Being able to isolate certain components could save you hundreds of dollars in repair and replacement costs.
Here are the other benefits of getting a reconditioned engine:
- Better fuel efficiency
- Increased lifespan
- Allows you to recycle certain components
- Your engine is thoroughly inspected for damage
- The engine will continue to be compatible with your electrical engine control unit (ECU)
Basic Engine Reconditioning Process:
Now that you understand the advantages of reconditioning, let’s take a look at what generally happens during the process.
Before anything is done to your engine, it will be thoroughly inspected for wear, signs of stress and other forms of damage that are invisible to the naked eye. Inspections might be carried out via a black light and or through magnetic particle inspection. These methods are used to see if there are signs of stress corrosion cracking on the engine block or other components.
The engine will be disassembled and its individual parts will also be inspected. The parts that may be inspected are the crankshaft, the conrod, the spark plugs, the pumps, the rod bearings and the pistons.
Once the parts have been inspected, each component will be chemically cleaned via a hot acid bath. Not only will this remove grime, dust and dirt, but it will also ensure that the oil and water lines are not clogged by swarf or other debris.
The cleaning process is particularly important if your engine is suffering from oil pump failure. Indeed, the most common causes of pump failure is engine sludge (solidified oil), malfunctioning oil passages and oil contamination. In most cases, these issues can be prevented through proper engine cleaning and maintenance.
Each component will then be sent to their own stations to be repaired independently. The main parts that are repaired during engine reconditioning are the crankshaft, the engine block, the cylinder head and the con-rod (connecting rod).
If the crankshaft has an issue, it will most likely be due to wear. Crankshaft problems sometimes are easy to identify as they make obvious knocking sounds when your car is running. The crankshaft must be ground down in order for it to function properly again. The bearings must also be replaced to accommodate the new diameter of the crankshaft.
When it comes to the cylinder head, the pressure of the valves and the ports will need to be checked. The body will also be checked for its straightness and height as well as for any leaks or cracks.
The con-rod connects the piston with the crankshaft and is used to transfer tensile and compressive forces from the former to the latter. Due to the constant stress that is put on the con-rod, it’s important that it is checked for signs of wear and replaced when necessary.
Lastly, there’s the engine block. Generally speaking, unless the vehicle is extremely old, the engine block rarely needs to be replaced. That being said, if the cylinder walls of the block are heavily damaged, they will need to be re-bored. Oversized pistons will need to be used to fit the re-bored cylinder walls.
If you think your engine isn’t functioning as it should or if you notice your car declining in performance, be sure to visit your local car servicer or engine rebuilder. They will be able to inspect your engine and let you know if there are any repairs or maintenance work that needs to be done. When looking for a rebuilder, make sure that they’re reliable and won’t push you to pay for unnecessary treatments or repairs.