What Causes a Car to Throw a Rod?

A thrown rod is typically caused by metal fatigue, poor lubrication, or excessive engine revving. When gasoline burns in a cylinder, it pushes the piston head downward, spinning the crankshaft. The connecting rod between the head and crankshaft may break if the metal is weakened. Inadequate lubrication can induce friction, and excessive engine speed can generate more force than the connecting rod can withstand.

Typically, throwing a rod is a catastrophic engine failure. In many instances, it occurs during the downstroke of the piston and can push the rod’s shattered end into key engine components. If it occurs as the piston is ascending, it can press the piston head into the top of the cylinder with sufficient force to join the two components. In either instance, the engine is generally need to be replaced.

Maintaining a well-lubricated engine is one approach to prevent this type of harm. Low oil pressure might result in insufficient oil within the piston to lube the bearings of the piston head. In conjunction with the metal fatigue prevalent in a high-mileage engine, a lack of lubrication might be the final cause of a thrown rod in an engine.


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