6 Signs Of Worn Piston Rings

November 1st, 2018 by

Piston rings are found in a car’s engine and help in controlling the oil pressure and also regulating the consumption of engine oil. When they become damaged, they will cause different problems thus, necessitating engine repair. Some of the warning signs to look out for in a Volkswagen Atlas in Libertyville include the following.

Excessive Exhaust Smoke

Whenever car owners notice that their vehicles are emitting a lot of smoke from exhaust pipes, it could be a sign of worn piston rings. The smoke normally appears very thick with white and gray colors. When the piston rings wear out, the oil starts leaking into the combustion chamber where it then burns to create thick, white and gray exhaust smoke that can be seen coming out.

Weak Speeding Power

When piston rings get damaged or wear out, the engine starts to lose power since very little compression is happening. This means that whenever the car owner hits the gas pedal for acceleration, the vehicle takes ages to speed up. In such a case, the piston rings need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Excessive Oil Consumption

This symptom produces similar results like that one of excessive exhaust smoke. With worn out piston rings, the engine oil leaks into the combustion chamber, causing the vehicle to consume too much oil. This leaves car owners with the duty of having to top off oil in their vehicles regularly instead of having to wait for the normal 3,000 to 5,000 miles before doing so. If car owners have to add oil more than the standard rate, they should have a qualified mechanic inspect their piston rings for possible replacements.


This is what happens whenever the piston rings are not sealing properly. It means that they are allowing oil and other fluids to get forced out of the vehicle’s engine by pressure. Blow-by is meant to vent out via a valve in the car. However, when piston rings get damaged or worn out, the fluids will escape through the least resistant path.

Loss Of Compression

A car’s engine operates by building up compression. However, when the engine’s seal weakens and pressure starts escaping via the piston rings, it will end up losing some compression. This loss of compression manifests itself as loss of horsepower in the vehicle.

Poor Vehicle Performance

The worst symptom of worn pistons occurs when the car loses power. This means that the owner will not be in a position to accelerate the vehicle, which will lead to poor performance. The vehicle will probably need to be towed to the closest dealer since the performance will be at almost zero and it cannot be driven. However, this symptom is only apparent if the car owner had ignored all the other signs when they occurred.

In case car owners notice any of the above symptoms, they should seek help from qualified mechanics to have the piston rings replaced before more problems occur.