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Effect of a Faulty Air-Oil Separator on Your Car

Car Oil Change

Posted on February 5, 2018 by Amy No Comments

Cars are simply complex machines that are engineered and designed with a particular clientele in mind. For instance, some cars are designed to lessen environmental impact, some are designed for families of four or more, and some are designed for luxury and performance. As the years have passed, the automotive industry has focused more on vehicle efficiency, including improving fuel economy. Today, cars are designed to meet specific standards that improve the efficiency of engines and lessen harmful emissions of exhaust systems.

Cars with direct-injection or turbo-charged engines are equipped with what’s called an air-oil separator, or an oil catch can, which to many people might sound like a completely foreign term. It’s a part that was introduced into auto engineering to maximize engine performance. For those who drive luxury, performance vehicles, this engine part might concern you. When something goes wrong with this part, it can take a major toll on the engine. It’s helpful to have a little background information on the part, including: what it does for your engine; how you can recognize the symptoms of failure; and what to do next.

What is an air-oil separator?

In basic terms, an air-oil separator is a type of ventilation system that is responsible for removing the air from the oil that circulates in your engine. This air is usually sent to the combustion chamber through the engine’s ventilation system; the air-oil separator is a critical component of this system. Though a simple part in the overall engineering of a car, if something goes wrong with the air-oil separator it can cause long-term damage to your engine and can also cause your performance to dwindle significantly.

Symptoms of failure or wear

The symptoms relating to air-oil separator failure are concerning to any driver, as they should be. Every driver should be vigilant of their car’s behavior, including troubling signs of engine issues. Especially since symptoms can mimic other issues, it’s important to bring your car to your automotive specialist if you notice any of the following concerning signs or symptoms of air-oil separator failure: the check engine light turns on, oil loss, buildup of sludge around the oil cap, or black smoke coming out of the exhaust.

The potential effects of air-oil separator failure

The air-oil separator modifies the quality of your oil and the air that’s separated from it. When the air-oil separator isn’t working properly, begins to malfunction, or completely fails, it can cause oil to build up or cake around piston rings, and cylinder heads or cylinder walls. This can greatly impact the efficiency of the combustion and exhaust processes. In other words, if the air-oil separator begins to fail it can take a serious toll on the other engine components, causing your car to lose function and suffer in performance.

The importance of ongoing maintenance

Taking good care of your car requires that you bring it to a professional automotive shop that specializes in the type of car you drive. Additionally, a routine maintenance schedule should be followed to keep up with regular oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections. By simply bringing your car in for these routine procedures, you can spare yourself a lot of money in repair bills—even better, you get to enjoy your car a lot more!

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Why it’s important to hire a specialist

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: it’s best to look for an automotive shop that specializes in the type of car you drive. Specialty shops have more knowledge, education, experience and skill in working with a specific type of car, and it shows in the quality of work they provide clients. Here at Munich West, we offer our clients in the areas of Decatur and Atlanta, GA, the same specialized services that dealerships offer, but at a fraction of the cost. Since 1976 we’ve been servicing European import brands like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Saab, Volvo, and Volkswagen, and we know that such brands often come with a hefty maintenance price tag. Our philosophy is to focus on preventive care and accurate diagnoses in order to save our clients every cent possible. Please contact our shop with any questions you may have, or if you would like to schedule an inspection to make sure your exhaust and oil systems are working optimally.