It’s every driver’s worst nightmare to turn their key in the ignition and find nothing happens. There may be a clunk before the deafening silence, but either way you’re going nowhere fast. This article aims to unpack this nightmare situation as we explore why your Maserati has experienced engine seizure and what you should do about it.
Engine seizure occurs when its moving parts can’t move. This is typically caused by mechanical failure or oil starvation. Oil starvation occurs when the oil in the engine is old and ineffective or missing from the system, typically caused by an undiscovered leak. This causes the engine’s moving parts to become under-lubricated and rub against each other, creating excessive amounts of heat and friction that can warp metal parts and even cause some parts to fuse together. As a result of this catastrophe, your engine will seize up and be unable to work. Depending on the scale of the problem, engine seizure can range from a minor issue to a serious concern.
Your engine can temporarily or permanently seize up for a variety of different reasons. Lack of use is one of the most common reasons, with parts simple becoming stuck over time and years of neglect. However, there are some types of seizure known as hydrolocking and vapor locking which can occur to cars which are used regularly.
A hydrolocked engine occurs when water is able to find its way inside your engine’s combustion chamber. Once inside, it will impact the retraction of the piston, affecting compression rates due to water’s differing chemical composition. This will reduce the flammability of the air and fuel, resulting in an engine that just can’t work. If this occurs when your Maserati is at low RPM, then it is likely your engine will be saved from severe damage. At higher RPMs, however, you can be certain your connecting rods and pistons will be destroyed.
Vapor locking prevents your engine from starting due to problems with the fuel system. This issue most commonly occurs in older cars that have low-pressure fuel systems. Vapor lock occurs when the fuel in the system turns from liquid to gas, which starves the engine and stops it from functioning. Your engine won’t stop immediately. Instead, it will sputter for a time, then lose power, and finally stopped entirely. While it is possible to restart a car which has become vapor locked, reignition won’t happen immediately, and you’ll likely need to let your Maserati sit for a while.
Engine seizure can be caused by a variety of factors such as:
If engine seizure happens to you when you’re driving, remain calm, set your transmission to neutral, and coast to the side of the road or hard shoulder. Try starting your engine once or twice, but if you get no response, don’t keep pushing it, as it is likely you’ll end up damaging your starter in the process.
Whether or not it is worth repairing your engine all depends on a series of variables. How bad the seizure is will greatly affect the cost of repairs. If you’re driving a new, luxury, or rare vintage model, then the inherent value of your car will be worth the cost of replacing the engine and its parts. Your car may also have sentimental value to you, and any amount to repair the engine is worth it to retain the emotional tie to your Maserati.
The friendly team at European Service Center will help you deal with engine seizure in an honest and transparent manner. We have skilled teams of experts at all our 7 locations throughout Texas and Georgia. We will make sure you have the information you need to make an informed decision about the future of your vehicle. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your car’s service and repair needs.
* Maserati GranTurismo S image credit goes to: bluebeat76.