A blown engine – those words alone can send shivers down any car owner’s spine. It refers to a motor that has suffered from severe internal mechanical damage to the point that it will no longer work. There are many reasons why this may have happened to your vehicle. We’ll explore the most likely causes, helping you prevent a blown engine from happening, or if the worst does happen, helping you decide what to do next.

1. Low or Contaminated Oil

When it comes to engine health, the importance of clean oil cannot be overstated. Oil keeps the engine running smoothly by reducing friction between all the moving parts. Low oil levels can cause wear and tear on the internal mechanisms, drastically decreasing your engine’s lifespan. Low oil can also burn in your engine, starting a fire and overheating your engine. Additionally, if your oil is old, it can build up over time and clog vital engine components. For proper maintenance, you’re supposed to change your oil every 5,000 miles. If you haven’t changed your oil in that timeframe, it could be the reason behind your blown engine.

2. Overheating

If you’ve ever noticed the temperature gauge in your car turn red, then you’ve had your engine overheat. This can be something to watch out for during the summer months or if you’re hauling a heavy load. In most cases, you may just need to shut your engine off for a bit to help it cool down, but if your engine overheats for too long then it could be disastrous. Insufficient cooling can cause irreversible damage, and be caused by any number of issues. The best way to prevent overheating is to keep up with routine maintenance. If you want to prevent a blown engine, you may want to start by checking these parts:

Coolant Leak

If there’s a leak, then there’s likely not enough coolant to keep your engine’s temperature down. Check under your car for a pool of it. If there is one, you’ll need to find the leak and replace the worn-out part.

Blocked Radiator

If your radiator is blocked, that can disrupt the airflow of your engine and cause it to overheat. You’ll need to remove the debris and flush the system with distilled water, or replace the radiator completely.

Water Pump

A water pump helps circulate coolant through the engine. If your water pump is broken, then the coolant can’t cool down your engine, and before you know it, you’re in the red. You’ll need to have it fixed or most likely, replaced.


A broken thermostat may report that your engine is cooler than it is, which can lead to overheating. If your thermostat is broken, you’ll need to replace it.

Broken Head Gasket

A broken head gasket can cause your coolant to leak and make your engine overheat. If your coolant leak isn’t fixed by replacing the hose, you might want to try the head gasket.

3. Contaminated Fuel

While you can generally trust any gas station to provide clean fuel, sometimes other junk can end up in it and cause harm to your engine over time. Water, leaves, dirt, debris, and other contaminants could end up in your engine for any number of reasons. If you have a blown engine, it might be from built-up debris that has entered through damaged fuel filters, a poorly sealed gas tank cap, or a malfunction at the gas station pump. The contaminants will affect your engine’s compression and combustion, causing it to stall, hesitate, or shut down completely. Be sure to regularly inspect your fuel system and check your gas cap’s seal to prevent water or debris from entering your fuel.

4. Internal Mechanical Failure

Engines are intricate machines, and their lifespan depends on the health of various internal components. It’s inevitable for parts to wear out, and any number of them could lead to a blown engine. Worn guide seals, damaged piston rings, inefficient crankcase ventilation, and a broken head gasket, are just a few parts that could cause your engine to stop working. Through regular maintenance, you can catch these worn-out parts and replace them in time to prevent total failure.

5. Over-revving

Over-revving happens when your engine exceeds its designed RPM limit. That may be from improper gear shifting in manual transmissions or excessive stress during heavy loads. Over time, the strain can lead to severe engine damage. For most automatic vehicles, over-revving isn’t an issue because their transmissions automatically shift the gears, but for stick-shift drivers, manually shifting gears inappropriately can cause a blown engine.

What to Do If You Have a Blown Engine

If that dreaded engine light comes on, or it refuses to start, the road ahead may seem difficult. In most cases, you’ll likely need to replace the engine entirely or consider purchasing a new vehicle. While both options can be expensive, opting for a new or used engine allows you to keep your current vehicle and save money in the long run. Try shopping online to find the exact make and model you need while comparing prices for the cheapest option.

Affordable Engine Replacement With Sir Car Part

A blown engine is every car owner’s nightmare, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In the event of a worst-case scenario, Sir Car Part is here to help you with affordable and reliable engine replacement options. We offer new and used engines that come backed with solid warranties that guarantee your satisfaction. Contact us for a free quote on your engine replacement, and we’ll help you get back on the road in no time!

Easy 3 Step Process

Complete the form

Receive Price Quotes

Choose & Purchase