Updated at: 22-07-2022 - By: Lucas

Reduced compression ratio and increased fuel and oil consumption are the most common signs of seized piston rings. Additionally, the engine has a difficult time starting, and users have reported a decrease in the car’s dynamic skills. This issue can be addressed in a number of ways.

Why are piston rings stuck?

Several steel rings are inserted into the piston’s body to keep the combustion gases from escaping into the engine crankcase. During normal engine operation, the combustion products of gasoline and oil clog up the passageways and restrict movement of the piston rings, resulting in decreased compression pressure and irregular engine functioning.

If the automobile is frequently driven for short distances without warming up the engine adequately or using low quality oil that does not satisfy the specifications of the car manufacturer, the number of deposits will increase.

The piston rings can also get caught if the car is left sitting for an extended period of time.

Symptoms of stuck piston rings

Stuck Piston Rings Symptoms-2

  • Problems when starting the engine, regardless of the ambient temperature, the car has a bad start;
  • Increased fuel consumption while maintaining standard operating conditions;
  • Increased engine oil consumption with the appearance of gray smoke from the exhaust;
  • The check engine light will be present in the dashboard;
  • A decrease in power and torque, which negatively affects the car dynamics;
  • A decrease in the compression value due to increased gaps;

What are the consequences of stuck piston rings?

If you keep driving like way, you’ll face the following severe issues:

  • An increased amount of carbon deposits due to burnt oil;
  • Misfiring due to insufficient compression and grease on the spark plug electrodes;
  • The piston will overheat, leading to small fragments of metal into the oil system;
  • The engine oil will lose its properties due to the penetration of combustion products into the crankcase;
  • Damage to the cylinder because of solid carbon particles falling under the rings.

Preventive maintenance utilizing chemical compounds should be carried out as soon as these early warning indications are noticed. These substances break down or soften the carbon deposits that enter the engine crankcase and are partially caught by the filter. If the engine is heavily contaminated, disassembly will be required for mechanical cleaning.

How to unstick piston rings?

Stuck Piston Rings Symptoms-3

Mechanical decarbonization

In order to perform the procedure, the engine must be dismantled. After the oil and antifreeze have been drained, the crankcase and cylinder block head must be removed, and the connecting rod journals must be unscrewed.

A gentle brush and an organic solution are used to clean the removed pistons. Remove carbon deposits from the grooves and restore the rings’ movement with these particular compounds. The use of special cloth wipes is also recommended to remove the tiniest specks off surfaces.

The motor must be reassembled after cleaning. The cleaning process necessitates the use of specific instruments and expertise, thus it is best done at a repair shop. If the engine is dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled incorrectly, it could result in more issues.

Cleaning carbon deposits using additives

Additives to fuel or engine oil can also help remove carbon deposits from the pistons. Deposits that are burned away or washed into the crankcase and filtered out by the filter are dissolved by the active chemicals. At refueling, these additives are added to the tank, and at the next service, they are added to the crankcase.

To eliminate carbon deposits without damaging rubber parts, there are many suitable compounds. While this may be the case, there is a downside to using these additives.

Chemical cleaning

Chemical cleaning is the process of removing thick carbon deposits from an engine’s cylinders by injecting a specific solution into the hot combustion chambers. The oil filter and the exhaust are both responsible for removing some of the buildup.

Additionally, harsh chemicals used in chemical cleaning might break down rubber seals causing oil leaks, making this method less effective than others.

Using a rubber bulb or syringe with an extension tube for refueling, the engine is warmed to working temperature and the chemical is added to each cylinder in accordance with the instructions. Due to its low detergent qualities, you can mix it with kerosene and acetone in equal parts and treat it for 6 to 8 hours.

It is imperative that the crankshaft be turned in both directions to ensure that the reagent penetrates the plaque and removes the deposits. The engine is started and allowed to idle for nearly an hour after the chemical cleaner has been removed.

Oil and the oil filter are replaced with a high-quality oil recommended by your car’s maker when the symptoms of jammed piston rings have subsided.

How to prevent piston rings to stick?

At least once a month, you should perform this simple technique. At least 50 kilometers or 30 miles, the RPM should be at least 3500-4000 rpm for 1 or 2 minutes of driving time.

The layer of deposits is destroyed by the high gas exchange and high temperature in the combustion chamber. Particles are either burned out or thrown out of the exhaust as a result. Avoid operating the vehicle at low air temperatures without first thoroughly warming up the engine.

The type and viscosity of the engine oil are specified by the manufacturer, and if the standards are not met, deposits are formed and the engine runs poorly. Carbon deposits can be prevented by adhering to the maintenance plan.

Endoscopes should be used to check the piston group’s condition, and the spark plugs should be replaced on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to check the memory errors on cars with electronic control units (ECUs) to see if there are any engine problems.

Measurement of cylinder compression can help identify stuck or worn piston rings. These results allow for a more precise diagnosis of the problem and the underlying causes.

Piston ring damage can occur as a result of engine overheating. Unless decarbonization worked, the rings are most likely shattered or have lost their flexibility as a result of overheating. Only a new one will do in this situation.