You can keep your engine out of the repair shop for years by doing the routine maintenance and tune-ups yourself. But when you need a major overhaul, you need to call in the professionals. Some engine problems signal major overhauls. If your engine acts up in any of the following ways, take it to the pros:
- If the engine refuses to start, despite your best efforts.
- If the slot in the crankshaft that holds the retaining key for the flywheel has been enlarged through wear. A new crankshaft probably will be required. However, if only the key is worn, you can replace it yourself.
- If the breaker points are coated with oil. This indicates a leak in the oil seal.
- If the spark plug in a four-cycle engine is repeatedly coated with oil, causing the engine to consistently run poorly. This may indicate worn piston rings.
When you go to the repair shop, first get a good estimate of how much it will cost to have the repair work done. Compare that price against the cost of replacing the old engine with a factory-rebuilt engine.