The crankshaft sits on slide bearings, also referred to as plain bearings. Their damage or wear requires a major engine repair. Damaged bearings prevent proper engine operation and accelerate the wear of its components.
What are crankshaft bearings and how are they replaced?
The crankshaft sits on a few slide bearings. When worn out, their replacement requires the entire engine reconditioning. To this effect, the cylinder head must be disassembled, together with the connecting rods and the crankshaft. The crankshaft must be polished in the areas where the bearings sit. Next, depending on how much material has been removed, new bearings of suitable thickness must be fitted. The connecting rod bearings, too, may require replacing.
The pistons must be provided with new rings, which requires application of a specialist tool called the piston ring compressor. When fitting the cylinder head back into place you should check its tightness, machine its surface and apply a new gasket. After reconditioning, the engine has to be filled with fresh oil and provided with a new oil filter, timing belt, as well as tensioning and guide rollers.
How to prolong the useful life of the crankshaft bearings?
Failure of the main bearings of the crankshaft may result from lack of regular oil change or oil thinning caused by driving a car mainly over short distances, as a result of which its engine does not reach its working temperature and the fuel drips down the cylinder walls and into the sump. Consequently, the oil loses its lubrication properties. Regular engine oil and filter change, as well as application of a good quality oil and proper car use extend the useful life of the crankshaft bearings.