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Car Engine Overhaul: What Is It and When Should You Do It

Whether buying your first wheels or replacing your old ones, getting a car can be rewarding. It lets you travel to your favorite destination without relying on public transportation or paying for expensive taxi rides. Owning a vehicle can also make you feel independent and is essential in today’s hectic world.

However, like other things, your vehicle will eventually lose its initial efficiency, mainly if you frequently use it or if it’s an old model. For this reason, you should bring it to a reliable auto repair shop and schedule a car engine overhaul. This essential service will improve its performance and efficiency and avoid costly repairs.

If you want to enjoy a more efficient trip, this article will define a car engine overhaul and the best time to bring it to an auto repair shop.

What Is a Car Overhaul?

Your mechanic usually performs a car overhaul when your vehicle and engine have significant issues. They’ll dismantle the machine and examine its internal parts to determine the root cause of the problem and address it. Depending on their condition and the issue, your mechanic may need to replace components like piston rings, bearings, gaskets, and camshafts. 

They’ll also clean the engine and its parts to remove carbon build-ups and improve performance. Moreover, the mechanic will refurbish the engine cylinders’ internal surfaces to ensure the piston rings fit well with the cylinder walls.

What Issues Warrant an Engine Overhaul?

You may need to bring your car to an auto repair shop for an engine overhaul if there’s a drop in performance, cracked or broken components, oil levels decreasing without leaks, or frequent overheating.

2 Types of Car Engine Overhauls

After briefly discussing how a car overhaul works, this section will enumerate the two types of this essential service.

1. Top Overhaul

A top engine overhaul is when your mechanic only opens up the engine’s top half for repair without removing the entire machine. This method is ideal when the faulty components are accessible and replaceable. Some parts these professionals will usually change during this overhaul are the cylinder head, cylinder screws, head gaskets, rocker arm, valves, and valve seals.

2. Full Overhaul

On the other hand, a total engine overhaul means taking out the car’s entire machine and dismantling it. This method is necessary because the issues are usually difficult to access. Unlike a top overhaul, this full service requires more time and effort and costs more. During this procedure, your mechanic usually replaces necessary components like the crankshaft, piston rings and rods, engine block, bearings, timing belt, and chain set.

How Much Will a Top and Full Overhaul Cost?

The cost of a car engine overhaul can significantly vary based on the issue, the parts needing replacement, and what service you need. A top overhaul can cost between $200 to $700. On the other hand, a full service may cost $1,000 or more. However, you can only get an accurate cost estimate after your mechanic conducts a thorough engine inspection.

Warning Signs to Schedule a Car Engine Overhaul

Engine overhauls are sometimes necessary for older cars or those with high mileage. Signs that your vehicle needs an overhaul include white exhaust smoke, excessive engine oil consumption, and frequent engine overheating. You should also bring it to the auto repair shop if you notice black exhaust smoke, engine misfiring, reduced performance, and strange noises from the engine.

Moreover, these issues can occur because of worn-out or broken parts. Not letting a professional check these issues can lead to more serious mechanical failures and expensive damages.

Maintaining an Efficient and Long-Lasting Engine

Car engine overhauls can be expensive but necessary to keep your vehicle’s best condition. You can avoid mechanical failures and costly mistakes by bringing it to a reliable auto repair shop.

If your vehicle needs a complete Belmont auto repair or engine overhaul, bring it to Kirberg Motors, Inc.! Servicing the San Francisco peninsula since 1967, we’re committed to helping car owners enjoy safer trips by providing quality services. Call us now to schedule an appointment!

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