It can be difficult to diagnose a cracked block on a car engine. Many different things can be wrong, but all those things can mean something else is wrong. If you recognise a couple of symptoms, there's a good chance your engine block is cracked. If none of them are familiar, it probably isn't.
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Check to see if your engine is leaking oil and/or coolant. This causes your engine to overheat and if it's not fixed, it can cause it to freeze up.
Check your oil and antifreeze for contamination. If your oil or antifreeze looks different in any way, have it tested by a lab to determine if contamination has occurred.
Look for computer codes flashing on the dashboard. This is often accompanied by reduced performance or a change in the way the car handles while driving.
Check the level of fluid in your radiator. If your car suddenly loses a lot of coolant or the level is very low, this can indicate a cracked block.
Look for excessive smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.
Check the radiator’s coolant mixture of antifreeze and water to determine if it has frozen.
Check to see if the engine has overheated severely. Overheating can be caused by another engine problem, but the effect of the overheating can be a cracked block.
Tips and warnings
- If you suspect your engine block is cracked, have a professional mechanic look at it. Because the symptoms of a cracked block are also symptoms of other engine problems, the only sure way to tell is to take apart the engine and inspect the block.
- Stop driving your vehicle immediately if you suspect your engine's block is cracked, or you may cause even more damage.