How to Know If Your Car Has Bad Piston Rings

Peter Hollens
By Peter Hollens 3 Min Read

Your car engine has a number of rings on the pistons, that are called the piston rings. While you may not have noticed them, it’s best to know when they are acting up. Checking your vehicle’s oil usage is one way to do this. When the piston rings wear out or get damaged you will feel your vehicle’s performance declining.  The piston rings may be small but they play a critical role in the performance of your vehicle.

Damaged Piston Ring

One issue with a damaged piston ring is that it shows the same symptoms as a damaged valve seal. However, you can check it yourself or have a professional, such as this Denver auto repair company, take a look at your vehicle. If you wish to check for yourself, here are the four symptoms you will find.


You will find excessive blue exhaust smoke. This is one of the major signs of a bad piston ring, but keep in mind that the smoke should look thick, with touches of a blue, white and gray color. This happens due to the oil leakage As the oil burns it comes out in the form of  blue, white and gray smoke.

Oil Consumption

Due to oil leakage, you will soon realize that your vehicle is actually consuming a great deal of oil. Keep in mind that most vehicles only require oil to be replaced after 3,000 to 6,000 miles. If you find yourself filling the oil more frequently that this then you may have a problem.

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Declining Power

Another symptom of a damaged piston ring is low acceleration power. When your piston ring is compromised you will feel the engine losing power. This is due to the fact that piston ring helps with cylinder compression. Once the ring is damaged you can put your foot down on the gas and won’t be able to get the power you once did, making the car longer to speed up, and leaving you annoyed.

Poor Performance

A damaged piston ring has many impacts, one of which is poor vehicle performance. This means your vehicle will lose its power, you will find it hard to gain speed, the heating and cooling system performance will decline, and so on. If you don’t get your piston rings fixed (they should be fixed as a set and not individually) then this will impact the engine and could lead to damage to a piston rod and perhaps the entire engine.

Replacing a bad piston ring can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on your vehicle and how much work it needs. Once the piston rings are replaced and the engine is put back together, you are ready to hit the road.

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Peter is full time blogger, writer and consultant provides tips, guides and articles related to lifestyle, automotive, tech, social media and business!
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