When it comes to work on the car, it can be expensive and time-consuming. Driven by the desire to do it yourself or to save money, or just for the sheer joy of tinkering, one or the other courageously reaches for the toolbox and dares a look under the bonnet. But both beginners and experienced hobbyists sometimes make annoying mistakes that cost them a lot of time and money. Georg Barton, Managing Director of ATM Tornau Motoren GmbH & Co. KG, knows the typical pitfalls that casual hobbyists can expect when working on cars and explains what to watch out for when it comes to replacing the car engine.
Do it yourself - or not?
In times of Internet forums, YouTube and blogs, do-it-yourself trends are experiencing a huge boom and have also reached the automotive industry. Searchers can find explanatory videos or instructions on the Internet for almost every subject or car model. If you start on your own, a lot can go wrong. Even experienced hobby tinkerers sometimes find that the engines or spare parts ordered on the Internet simply do not fit. No matter how you twist and turn it – the installation cannot succeed with it. “In consultations with customers, we often find out in such cases that they have ordered the wrong engine or the wrong spare part.
When it just doesn't fit!
These do not fit in your own vehicle because they are compatible with a different vehicle type or year of construction. Customers often underestimate the fact that the year of manufacture of a car in the same model series already makes a difference when it comes to the engine," explains Managing Director Georg Barton, adding: "The same applies to instructions from the Internet: They often cannot be used if they come with a completely different year or model. The customer then wonders why the steps shown on the Internet cannot be applied to his car, although he also drives a Golf, for example. The right allocation is crucial.” Because small cars are not all the same small cars and even golf is not all the same golf. Suddenly the manufacturer uses a different component from a certain series, the size of the motor does not fit in the space provided, or the connections and components are in a different place.
Looking for suitable components
It is not easy to find engines and spare parts that are exactly right for the car from the large number of offers. When searching, the expert recommends taking a look at the key number, also known as the KBA number: "This code acts as a kind of ID card with which a vehicle can be clearly identified. It consists of the four-digit manufacturer key number, HSN for short, and the eight-digit type key number, TSN for short. Together they contain important information about the vehicle such as manufacturer, vehicle type, model, year of construction, body shape, engine and fuel type.” The HSN and TSN can be read in the vehicle registration document in fields 2.1 and 2.2 or “for 2” and “for 3”. The key number makes it easier to find suitable spare parts and exclude others better.
“In our online shop, compatible components are displayed immediately after entering the HSN and TSN. This makes searching easier for people who don't know or are unfamiliar with the necessary details about their vehicle, such as car model, engine type and the like,” says Barton.
Nevertheless, customers are often left alone with orders on the Internet without further information or assistance and, in the event of problems, at most they are informed of the possibility of returning the product. “We would like to counteract this situation with our comprehensive customer service. A team of experts with many years of experience in the field of engine construction and repair and in handling components and batches will advise you on any questions or problems relating to engines and engine spare parts. The customer tells us about the model and year of manufacture of his car and our experts explain why there were problems during installation and which components are actually compatible,” reports Barton.
Meant a little too well!
Working on car engines and other important elements requires a certain sensitivity and the right tools. Many hobbyists tighten screws and bolted connections as tightly as they can. This quickly leads to ruined threads, torn off or overstretched screws that break under later stress. “Especially with screws on engine and transmission parts, the correct torque must be observed. That means they have to be tightened to a specific, specified force, which varies depending on the type of bolting,” explains Barton. The use of a torque wrench is helpful. Here either the desired torque can be preset so that he tightens the bolts with a precisely defined force until that point is reached, or the torque reached can at least be read on a display.
Damage also occurs when hobbyists apply screws at an angle and thereby ruin the thread when screwing. If this happens with the oil drain plug, for example, the oil pan will leak and must be sealed or replaced. This requires an oil change. If you use the wrong oil, you risk engine damage. Because engine oils differ in their properties, for example in terms of viscosity. If the oil is too viscous, it cannot be sucked in and cannot reach the areas that need to be lubricated. If it is too liquid, it will not form a dense lubricating film. "Without sufficient lubrication, the metal parts in the engine rub directly against each other, resulting in material damage, fractures or overheating," warns the expert.
Repair success thanks to the right part from a specialist!
Since the engine is the heart and most difficult part of the car to replace, it is better to turn to a professional if you have any problems. “Many customers only come to us when the damage is already there. Here it is important to work in a solution-oriented manner and to give the customer a realistic assessment of which measures are necessary and sensible. Sometimes it makes sense to only repair individual parts on the engine or to replace them with new parts. This allows the customer to keep their old engine,” explains Barton. A new engine does not necessarily have to be expensive. Here, ATM offers various solutions that are tailored precisely to the needs of the customer and the requirements of the vehicle.
"Once the car's most important wearing parts have been replaced and the vehicle still has a certain residual value, we refrain from repairs and prefer to supply a new engine or an exchange engine that we have prepared as a suitable replacement," reports Barton.
Remanufactured engines are reconditioned engines in which all defective or worn parts or components whose functionality no longer corresponds to that of new parts have been replaced with new ones. They therefore work just as well as new engines. Thanks to a large stock, the competence team can repair any engine or build completely new engines within a very short time. Either new parts or used, professionally reconditioned parts from other engines are reused in order to save money and resources. A broken engine does not necessarily mean the end of a car and going to the specialist does not always have to be accompanied by horrific sums of money. More information at www.tornau-motoren.de
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