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Disclosing Engine Block Issues


Although used auto dealers do not have to disclose all of a vehicle’s problems to potential buyers, they are required to notify them of certain types of issues. For instance, if a car’s frame is bent or broken and a dealer knows about the problem, he or she must notify the buyer or risk committing fraud. Similarly, dealers must tell potential buyers about any transmission-related problems, differential damage, and engine block problems. Dealers who fail to abide by these rules can be held liable for damages, so if you recently purchased a vehicle and discovered that the engine block was cracked or otherwise damaged, you should speak with an experienced used car fraud attorney who can help you file a claim against the at-fault party.

What is an Engine Block?

Engine blocks are actually made up of a number of different parts, including a reciprocating engine cylinder, as well as coolant passages and intake and exhaust ports. While these parts are specifically designed to weather the rigors of driving, failure can and does occur. In some cases, engine block failure can be repaired, while in others, the entire block will need to be replaced. This is especially common in situations where the block itself cracks, which is usually the result of excess heat. For example, engine coolant is intended to keep the engine within operating temperature, but when coolant is not enough to keep the entirety of the block cool, the overheated portions expand, while the cooler areas do not. The result of these changes in temperature is the placement of extreme stress on the block, which is often followed by cracking.

What Causes Overheating?

Low coolant levels are the most common cause of overheating, so it is important to keep an eye on low coolant indicator lights. In other cases, however, the fault lies with the radiator, which, if it fails, can cause the engine block to overheat. Similarly, water pump failure can cause overheating, as having a functional water pump is crucial in keeping the flow of water through the system steady. When coolant can’t flow through the system, severe overheating can result. Another common cause of engine block failure is a casting failure, which occurs during the injection molding process when the mold’s sand shifts, causing the block’s metal to thin in certain areas. As heat is applied to these thin areas, the thinner metal expands and contracts, eventually leading to cracking. Finally, it is not uncommon for an engine block to overheat and crack as a result of overpowering, so vehicle owners should be wary of adding a supercharger or turbocharger to their vehicle without ensuring that the engine was designed for this level of stress. Otherwise, the buyer risks running more power through an engine than it can handle, which then creates flexing and expansion and potential cracks.

The types of repairs that a person must make on a vehicle with a cracked engine block depend on the specific circumstances of each case. In most instances, however, buyers who purchase a vehicle with this type of problem will need to have the entire engine block replaced. Unfortunately, this can be expensive, making it especially important for those who have been taken advantage of by a used car dealer to speak with an attorney about filing a claim.

Contact an Experienced Used Car Fraud Attorney Today

Please contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to retain a Pennsylvania auto fraud lawyer who can explain your legal options going forward.



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