Servicing a car engine
A car’s engine, whether that be a diesel or petrol engine, is a complex bit of machinery, and it holds all of the power needed to make your car function properly. Therefore, It’s vital you take care of the engine by regularly servicing it.
It’s also important to change the oil regularly, and have a technician check everything is in working order. They can help to check that the spark plugs and cylinder head are working properly, that the catalytic converters and V-belt, fuel injection, fuel pump and everything in between works well. Modern car’s engines can fall into one of the following categories:
Internal combustion engines
Hybrid engine (internal combustion and electric)
Car engine check average costs and prices
The cost of a car engine check and repair, when your engine management light comes on, can vary depending on your car make and model. The average cost of checking an engine is £60.34. Repairing a car engine can cost on average around £424.22 based on WhoCanFixMyCar data.
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The average cost of a car diagnostic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £48.
Car diagnostics testing involves plugging your vehicle into special software that can reveal issues with its engine, electrical system, transmission, braking, exhaust system, and more. A specialist will run tests on your vehicle to expose the cause of any problems you're having with your car.Can include
- Full diagnostic testing
- Recommended repairs
The average cost of an engine replacement when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £429.45
In some circumstances, you may need a complete engine replacement. A professional will tell you if this is necessary or if other repairs may act as an effective solution.Can include
- Testing and inspection
- Engine replacement
The average price for an engine carbon cleaning on WhoCanFixMyCar is £100.
Specialist garages will have different equipment to complete your carbon engine clean.Can include
- Engine carbon pour-in treatment
- Injection of super-refined gas into engine
- Removal and blasting of engine components
Which car engine replacement service do you need?
Diagnosing a fault with your engine is not a simple task, and is best left to a trained mechanic to diagnose and fix. If you suspect that your engine is struggling or, in the most unfortunate cases, it seems to be failing, then it’s best to have a car technician check over your car’s engine for faults.
What is a car engine made up from: The car’s engine is made from numerous parts, working together to bring power to the car and help it to take off. Any one of these parts may need replacing over the course of driving a car for several years. These parts include:
Engine cylinders sit at the core of the engine and they are responsible for pushing the pistons up and down to create energy and movement to move the car. Cylinders are commonly arranged side by side in a bank or engine block. When it comes to engine parts, cylinders are buried deep inside the car and require lots of engine parts to be removed to get to them including the timing chain, pushrod head, rocker cover, rocker-shaft, rocker arms, cylinder head and lots of nuts and bolts.
The cylinder head is a crucial component of a car engine that is mounted on the cylinder block. The cylinder head has an important role in the combustion chamber, as it works to transform heat into energy.
Crankshafts are made from steel and sit below the cylinders and pistons in the engine block. Their job is to convert the vertical movement of the pistons into a rotation to be transferred through to the flywheel and then the transmission. The crankshaft has crank pins along its length that line up horizontally with the pistons above and form the ‘stepped’ orientation of the shaft itself.
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air and fuel inside a car engine to create combustion. Spark plugs are critical parts of a car engine and they must fire at the right time in order for a car to start. It is common for spark plugs to fail and mechanics will regularly check them if a car is failing to start.
Engine valves are responsible for the intake and release of air and exhaust fumes. Combustion is only possible when fuel and oxygen combine to ignite inside the engine. The valves close when the ignition happens as they compress the air to increase the pressure and strength of reaction as a result.
The piston or Torak plays a direct role in the combustion process to produce power. A piston is a cylindrical piece of metal that moves up and down the cylinder. The engine parts are subject to wear and tear just like any other engine part and may need to be replaced after a few years.
Piston rings provide a sliding seal between the outer edge of the piston and the inner edge of the cylinder. The rings serve two purposes: They prevent the fuel/air mixture and exhaust in the combustion chamber from leaking into the sump during compression and combustion. They keep oil in the sump from leaking into the combustion area, where it would be burned and lost. Most cars that "burn oil" and have to have a quart added every 1,000 miles are burning it because the engine is old and the rings no longer seal things properly.
The cooling system
The cooling system of the engine has three main functions. Firstly, it removes surplus heat from the engine; second, it preserves the engine operating temperature where it works most effectively; and lastly, it brings the engine up to the right operating temperature as swiftly as possible.
Other engine parts
There are a lot of other parts in the engine which a car cannot function without, modern cars are usually fitted with turbo chargers and on-board computers called ECU’s. There are also a huge number of sensors fitted to most of the engine parts in order to feed information on engine performance back to the driver.
Top warning signs that your car engine needs to be checked
Here are seven signs that your steering rack may need replacing:
Engine light is illuminated on your dashboard
Loss of power
Decrease fuel efficiency
Engine continues to run after it is turned off
Excessive amount of exhaust smoke
Common car engine problems
Some of the common car engine problems you may be facing are:
The engine parts require oil between their moving parts. When there is a lack of lubrication, it can cause friction in the engine, which leads to overheating and sometimes the engine can even seize up. Getting your car services regularly will help to avoid such situations.
Oil pump failure
Failure of the oil pump will result in inadequate lubrication. This is why it’s vital to check that the engine oil is of genuine viscosity, making it light enough to flow fast through the oil pump.
Aged oil with deposits and debris
The engine oil can become old and dirty, resulting in deposits and debris in the engine fittings, such as intake valves, spark plugs and combustion chambers. When you have your car serviced, they will often clean your car’s engine oil filters and this helps to dislodge any debris.
Poor fuel and air compression
When your car has inadequate compression of both fuel and air inside the car engine, then this can be a big problem for the engine. The most common reasons for poor engine combustion is due to broken valve seals, holes within cylinders and overused piston rings, forcing air to leak out.
Leaking engine coolant
This engine fault, (a leaking engine coolant) is a simpler issue to diagnose by a car technician. If the engine coolant remains low, even after tipping up, then you know then it’s definitely a fault within the cooling system of the engine.
Blocked engine radiators
Old engine coolant that has become contaminated over time, can result in filling your engine’s radiators with unwanted sediment and deposits. This is another common cause of overheating engines.
Prolonged engine detonation
If you hear a knocking noise whilst driving, there is a chance that there is too much heat within its combustion chamber. The overheating and high pressures creates engine detonation, also known as a spark knock, which can cause damage to pistons, head gaskets and piston rings.
This is why it’s important to get any unusual noises checked out by an engine specialist before it can do damage to your engine parts.
Damaged oxygen sensors
A faulty oxygen sensor is a risk not only for your engine but can affect the rest of your car. If the sensor isn’t giving the right signal to the car about how much oxygen is left in the exhaust and how much fuel is left in the tank, then you can run the risk of inefficiencies with the performance of the car.
Old spark plugs
This issue is particularly common in older vehicles. Spark plugs are made to ignite the compressed fuel in the engine of your car. An older spark plug creates a weak ignition and can stop an engine from turning over i.e. misfiring. This is another issue that results in inefficient fuel economy and can also cause serious long-term damage to the engine.
Find car engine replacement and engine repair garages near you
Are you facing engine problems with your car? We can help you find local engine specialist garages so they can diagnose and replace key parts of the engine to get it running smoothly again. No matter what the engine problem you are facing, find and compare quotes from engine replacement and repair specialists near you.
We work with over 15,000 garages and have plenty of car engine and cooling specialists on our site to deal with any problems arising with your vehicle.
What should I do when my check engine lights come on?
The check engine light can mean many different things, from a loose gas cap to a seriously misfiring engine. There are many sensors and electronic components that manage your vehicle's engine performance and emissions. When one of these shows issues, the "check engine" light is illuminated. Although your car may seem to run okay as it is, it is still vital to have the car checked by a mechanic.
If your engine light comes on whilst you're driving, it is best to stop at a safe space, and contact your local engine specialist garage who will advise you on what to do next.
What should I do if my car starts to overheat?
If your car starts to overheat, then treat this as a serious problem and do not ignore it. This is because if you leave your car to overheat over a long period of time, it can seriously affect the car’s engine, leading to costly repairs.
If the car is overheating, then stop in a safe place when it is possible, and turn the engine off. We do not recommend that you check the fluid level of the radiator because it can cause extreme burns if not done correctly. Have your car towed to a garage near you to have the problem diagnosed.
When should I get my engine oil changed?
Aim to get your engine oil changed every 3000 miles or as recommended in your vehicle's owner's manual.
Why is the engine oil discoloured?
Get this checked by a technician immediately, as it can cause serious engine problems. If the engine oil looks a milky brown then it is a clear sign that the engine oil has mixed with the coolant. This can happen if the head gasket has blown, due to a failed transmission cooler or cracked casings.
Is the engine repair or replacement part of the warranty?
Vehicle warranties often cover and protect against having to pay for parts and labour for electrical failure of components, such as the engine, fuel pump or radiator. You must check your warranty policy to find out if your car is covered.
Is the engine repair or replacement covered by the insurance?
To check if your car insurance policy covers the replacement of the car engine or repair of a faulty engine, depends on several things. Firstly, you need to know what kind of insurance policy you have - third party only, third party fire and theft, or, fully comprehensive. Third party will not cover engine repair or replacement.
Third party with fire and theft will only cover it if the damage was due to fire or theft. And finally a fully comprehensive policy will cover the cost of the replacement engine or repair depending on the cause of the engine failure. If the engine failed due to an accident or fire damage, then you will be covered. However, if it was due to wear and tear then your insurance will most likely not cover it.
How much does an engine repair or replacement cost?
The cost of repairing or replacing a car engine can be significantly different depending on what parts need to be replaced. The average cost from WhoCanFixMyCar is around £424.22.