For many people in Uganda, with our potholed roads, driving is a torture.
But every now and then – for instance on roads such as the Soroti – Lira or the Luweero – Kafu, you can actually enjoy driving. If you turn up your windows and achieve speeds beyond 100kmhour, you can feel as if you are cruising at several thousand feet above sea level. In such moments, your car feels perfect.
Indeed it is often perfect – until your engine ‘stops’ some days or weeks later. Many get shocked – wondering how a car that felt like heaven the other day has suffered a seizure. Today we look at some of the causes of an engine seizure.
Prolonged parking. When the internal metallic components of the vehicle stay long without getting oiled, they will rust. Trying to start such a car that has not been started for a long time can cause an engine seizure. That is why it is aisable that if a car is to remain parked for more than a few days, you should have it started and the engine runs for some minutes each day.
Engine overheating: When the engine is running, it does produce a lot of heat, which comes from the well-burnt mixtures to enable the vehicle run smoothly. When there is overheating, the internal components of the engine expand, making the engine to move with difficulty or even fail to move totally. It is hence aisable that drivers always check that the cooling system of the car is in perfect health.
Bad or substandard engine oilslubricants that are sold on the Ugandan markets have greatly contributed to most engine failures and total seizure. These fake oils are either easily burnt through the exhaust pipe or they tend to solidify as they become exposed to heat. They get stuck on the piston rings, preventing them from moving effectively. In the end, these malfunctions reduce the levels of oil in the engine, culminating into seizures.
Weak oil pump and non-genuine (fake) oil filter: A combination of these two can easily fail the engine oil from reaching the upper-most part of the engine. This means the engine will not operate effectively since it’s lacking enough oil and in the process the engine will stall.
Extremely cold temperatures: This can fail the engines starting or even running – especially if the car was not adapted for specifically low temperatures.
Bad oils and failure of the cooling systems are the most dangerous causes of the engine seizures, although there are others. Robert Kato is a mechanic who can be reached on:
Source : The Observer