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Blow Up Engines Mechanical Engineering Related Questions

What causes engine blow-by? What is blow-by in internal combustion engines?

Why is my diesel engine blowing blue and white

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6 Answers
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David Smith
Answered Jan 26 · Author has 258 answers and 148.1k answer views What can cause an engine, like a Chevy 350, to
blow up?

Blow-by in an internal combustion engine is where the expanding gases caused What causes a spark plug to blow out of head on
BMW 530I 2006?
by the heat of combustion are allowed to escape past the piston into the
crankcase. Escaping gases cause a loss of power and efficiency (since any gases What causes an engine to stall especially at low
engine power?
that escape are not pushing on the piston to drive the crankshaft).
What causes a crank shaft to blow up?
Blow-by is supposed to be prevented by the piston rings. These are metal rings
that fit into grooves around the head of the piston. They are almost circular,
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and are compressed down as the piston is inserted into the cylinder, so that they
push outwards against the cylinder wall, sealing the piston into the cylinder.
Multiple rings are used to keep a good seal, since a single ring is not a perfect
seal (having a small gap where the two ends of the ring meet).

Blow-by can be caused by:

Stuck piston rings. Over time, carbon and other gunk can build up
around the rings, sticking them into their grooves so that they don’t
expand to seal against the cylinder wall. The main way to prevent this
is regular oil changes.

Worn/scored cylinder walls. Dirt and other detritus in the cylinder can
be carried along with the piston, scoring the wall and creating space
where gas can escape past the rings.

Worn rings. The rings are supposed to be sized such that, once fitted
into the cylinder, there is only a very small gap between the two ends. If
the ring is worn, or the wrong size has been fitted, the gap may be
larger than it should be, allowing more gas to escape.

Broken rings. The rings are essentially compressed springs, and they
can fracture. If this happens, they will no longer push against the
cylinder walls, and therefore they will not seal properly.

Incorrectly-fitted rings. The rings have a gap at one point around the
edge. The gap is very small (see above), and they are supposed to be
fitted so that those gaps do not line up (so that escaping gases would
have to travel a long, tortuous route around the circumference of the
piston to follow the route through the gaps). If they are incorrectly
fitted so that the gaps line up, this would make it easier for the gases to
leak out.
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Related Questions More Answers Below

What is blow-by in internal combustion engines?

What is causes the rod knock sound in an engine?

I overfilled my car's engine with engine oil, can that harm my engine?

What causes a diesel engine to stop running?

What does blow-by gas in a diesel engine mean? How does it affect the performance of an

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Mike Mahoney, Into cars and trucks and things that go ....
Answered Apr 7 · Author has 3k answers and 4m answer views


The fact nothing is perfect.

“Blow by” is caused because the piston rings sealing the piston and combustion
chamber of each cylinder of an engine are not 100% effective. Even on a new

Fuel mixture gases and combustion gases will leak past the piston rings as the
compression stroke progresses …pressure is building …and at ignition …even
more pressure is created due to the rapidly expanding burning air fuel mixture
…as the power stroke occurs.


Where do blow by gases go? Into the crank case area of the engine. Much of the
blow by is recirculated via the Positive Crankcase Ventilation system (PCV) and
drawn back into the engine to be re-burned. The PCV system was one of the first
emissions systems used on automobiles; used to be blow by gasses where simply
expelled via a draught tube directly into the atmosphere.

Blow by gasses are also “caught” buy the engine oil. This is one of the big
reasons for changing the oil and filter on a regular schedule. There is only so
much of the blow by gasses the oil can trap without compromising the ability of
the oil to lubricate the moving parts of the engine properly.
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Steve Thompson, former Automobile Technician for 40 Yrs. M.I.A.M.E.(Aust) (1965-

Answered Apr 8 · Author has 2.1k answers and 357.4k answer views
Worn or broken piston rings or pistons, and worn cylinder bores.

Vink Quan, Retired Mechanical Engineer. at General Motors (1981-present)

Answered May 2 · Author has 1.9k answers and 573.4k answer views

If you check your engine oil, look at the end of the dipstick, if the oil is blackish
color like black ink, that is the sign of engine blow-by. Your engine burns oil too,
when your piston rings are excessively worn out, or the cylinder walls have
some scratches or scores to create a leakage of pressure during the power
strokes of the pistons, the blow-by of the combustion gas is slipping out from the
piston heads to go down to the crankcase to make the oil becoming black, and
the hot gas would burn up some of the oil too, you have to add some more
engine oil every two or three weeks. Your engine would lose power when you
step on gas to accelerate, you car has very low torque power to go up hill.

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Steve Redgrave, studied Mechanical Engineering at Southern Alberta Institute of

Technology (2001)
Answered Apr 29

Pressure build up inside the engine (possible compression valve damage)

coupled with leaking valve cover gaskets. Or malfunctioning PVC valve which is
designed to remove internal pressure.

Bill Brannen, studied Mechanical Engineering at Southern Technical Institute (1967)

Answered Jul 25

Worn piston, rings and sleeve or wall!


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