If you have noticed that your car has started losing power and acting strangely, you may wonder what could be causing the issue. If so, look for the following three warning signs that the problem is caused by a crack in your car's engine block:
One sign that your car has a cracked engine block is that it is constantly overheating, even on cool days and only after driving it for a few minutes. Depending on where the crack is located, your engine could be leaking antifreeze.
An overheating vehicle is also a sign of a radiator leak. Look under your car to see if you find a puddle under the front end of the hood. If you see one, the radiator is likely the issue.
However, if you do not see a puddle, your engine block probably has a crack. This is especially true if combined with smoke rolling out from under the hood, as discussed in the next section.
Gray or Black Smoke Coming from the Engine
When your car overheating because of low coolant, you usually only see white steam coming out from under the hood. However, if the low coolant is caused by a cracked engine block, you will see gray or black smoke rolling out.
The dark smoke is caused by an oil leak caused by the crack in the block. As the leaking oil touches the hot metal, it burns up and produces the smoke.
If the crack is severe enough, the antifreeze and oil will both leak, causing a mixture of steam and smoke. The crack can also cause the two to mix, as discussed below.
Oil Is Contaminated with Antifreeze
When the crack is causing leakage of both your coolant and oil, the antifreeze will usually mix in with the oil and contaminate it. If your oil becomes contaminated, it is no longer able to fully lubricate your motor, causing the gears to grind down and eventually making the motor seize up.
Pull out your oil's dipstick to check its color and consistency. If it appears frothy and whitish brown, it has become contaminated with coolant.
If you find any of the above warning signs, your car most likely has a crack in the engine block. Make an appointment with an auto repair service as soon as possible so they can diagnose the issue and discuss your options for either rebuilding or replacing the block, depending on the extent of the damage.
Contact a company like DiNardo Foreign Motors for more information and assistance.