Used car buyers are protected under Pennsylvania law from purchasing a vehicle with certain problems, such as a damaged transmission, a bent or broken frame, or a cracked engine block. Unfortunately, despite the existence and enforcement of these rules, many used car dealers continue to sell defective vehicles to unsuspecting consumers, which can have devastating consequences for not only buyers, but also anyone else on the road.
It is possible, however, for wronged consumers to hold used car dealers accountable for failing to disclose certain damage, including a cracked engine block. If you were sold a defective vehicle, it is important to consult with an experienced used car fraud attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Engine blocks contain the cylinders, as well as a number of other major components of the bottom end of a motor. When an engine block is properly functioning, it allows the pistons inside the cylinders to move up and down, which then turns the crankshaft. The turning of the crankshaft then allows the wheels to move. Engine blocks are designed to last for the lifetime of a vehicle. Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong, leading to the formation of cracks in the engine block.
While there are a number of problems that can result in a cracked engine block, most involve excess heat, which is usually caused by an issue with coolant. When this occurs, the overheated portions of the engine expand, while the cooler areas do not. This in turn, can result in the placing of stress on the block, which can then cause a crack in the engine to form.
If you purchased a used car and then discovered that your engine block was cracked, you could be eligible for compensation. Please contact dedicated Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com today to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Hairline cracking within concrete block walls, often referred to as stair-step cracking or mortar joint cracking, is an example of an imperfection or distress but does not typically compromise structural integrity. Hairline cracking within concrete block walls is the result of internal stresses resulting from shrinkage, creep, and thermal expansion and contraction; all of which are anticipated, can be predicted, and need to be accounted for in design and construction.
Concrete masonry shrinkage occurs due to the reduction in volume of both the block and mortar. Given that the block makes up a majority of the wall area, block shrinkage is the primary mechanism driving concrete masonry shrinkage. Therefore, drying shrinkage depends on several factors including method of curing, initial moisture content, cement content, and the aggregates used in the block. While shrinkage in concrete masonry varies, published shrinkage coefficients within ACI 530-11 (American Concrete Institute) exist. According to these published coefficients, it is typical for 100 lineal feet of masonry wall to experience a reduction in length of a half inch or more.
In order for concrete masonry to structurally perform as intended, to transfer vertical loads and to resist lateral loads, the walls must be restrained. This restraint is accomplished by structurally connecting the wall to the foundation as well as other components such as pilasters and bond beams. In addition to connecting the walls with the foundation and bond beams, walls are typically constructed integrally at corners and at changes in geometry. All of these locations, although necessary for the proper structural performance of the wall, result in restraints within the wall which induce stresses as the wall experiences shrinkage. As with plain concrete, concrete masonry is strong in compression but weak in tension. Therefore, restrained tensile forces often lead to cracking as the wall acts to relieve the stress.
When concrete masonry shrinks the cracking that results will form different patterns depending on where the wall acts to relieve the stress. Typically, shrinkage cracks manifest themselves at changes in material, changes in geometry (such as openings for windows or doors), and adjacent to corners. Their patterns can be either in a stair-step, horizontal, or vertical configuration. Cracking can also occur along the interface of different components within the wall such as the foundation-to-wall interface or the wall-to-bond-beam interface. Cracks at these locations are typically horizontal in nature (refer to Figure 1).
OPENINGS AND LINTELS: Stair-step cracks will also develop at the corners of door and window openings. This occurs because larger openings create geometry changes within the wall assembly that serve to concentrate shrinkage stresses. This same phenomenon exists with other materials, like steel and wood. In these materials, the size and location of holes are restricted so as to minimize stress concentration or localized stress increase. In concrete masonry, as the wall undergoes its anticipated shrinkage, the stress developed at the corners of the door and window openings will often result in either a stair-step, diagonal, vertical, or horizontal crack depending on the configuration of the wall.
Horizontal cracks typically develop along the interface between precast concrete lintels and those portions of the wall supporting them. This occurs when a window opening creates a perforation within the wall section, similar to a control joint in a floor slab. As the wall sections on either side of the opening shrink and attempt to pull away from the opening, stress builds up along the precast lintel that is bridging the two wall sections. This condition results in horizontal friction or shearing of the mortar between the wall and the precast lintel.
REINFORCED CELLS: Vertical cracks typically occur within the field of a wall or alongside reinforced openings. This occurs when internal stresses associated with shrinkage causes cracking between the internally reinforced grout filled cells and the adjacent unreinforced sections. Varying material properties relate directly to varying material strengths. In the case of concrete masonry assemblies, a typical concrete block has a compressive strength of roughly 2000 psi as do most common mortars. Grout, however, can range in compressive strength from 3000 psi to more than 5000 psi. These varying strengths result in varying behavior and performance. It is this fluctuation and resulting change in volume that creates internal stresses. As the volume of the wall changes and shrinkage stresses build, cracking occurs between the much stronger reinforced grout-filled cell and the adjacent unreinforced sections.
When examining cracks within a concrete block wall, it is essential to evaluate not only the pattern and location of the crack but also the characteristics of the crack. For example, in a stair-step crack, if the separations along the vertical legs of the crack are uniform and there is not a measurable separation along the horizontal legs of the crack then this crack is consistent with shrinkage where the wall is moving horizontally and shearing along the mortar joint, as opposed to displacing vertically.
This same concept of horizontal shearing of the mortar joint, can also be found along the block wall to foundation interface as well as the precast lintel to block wall interface. Similar to the differential shrinkage and stiffness discussed at internally reinforced grout filled cells, the foundation is typically solid concrete that will shrink at a different rate than the masonry block wall sitting atop it.
When evaluating unreinforced concrete block walls, the characteristic of the crack and the location of the crack need to be considered. Unreinforced concrete block walls do have an allowable tensile capacity when evaluated in combination with its compressive load. Performance, however, can possibly be affected when a notable loss of contact unrelated to anticipated shrinkage exists. When such a condition exists, numeric evaluation is required so as to determine whether the separation has altered the load path and, if so, whether a stress increase or load path discontinuity has occurred in the balance of the structural system.
In between the block and cylinder head is the cylinder head gasket. This gasket serves as a seal for all the cylinders inside the block. The seal prevents coolant from leaking out of the cylinders and it also prevents oil from leaking into the cylinders and mixing with the coolant.
Most importantly, if there is ever a problem with the engine block or the cylinder head, the gasket will allow the mechanic to separate these two big pieces of the engine so that they can be individually repaired.
i have a 85 JD farm tractor with a 3cyl. Yanmar 21 HP diesal. just recently was told i have low compression on 1 cyl. , was within operating range. Since noticed that after just a few minutes of idle or light use that i am seeing coolant dripping from overflow. after inspection i realize that my overflow water is black. obvious that exhaust in leaching into coolant & forcing coolant to back pressure out overflow. is this a sign of cracked head/ block or gasket. does not appear that water is in oil.? also did radiator pressure test and had slow/minimal loss.(not running). if that matters?
I am not aware of a way to tell the difference between a cracked block and a head gasket failure without a teardown of the top end of the engine. A leak down test would likely show leakage into the cooling system in either case.
i have a 1973 ford truck with a year and a half old 390 motor that was using coolant but wasnt leaking now water is running out of exhaust on passenger side only but still runs but havnt driven it does that sound like a cracked block or head gasket
i have a 2000 ford taurus 86,000 miles and it recently started to slightly shake nothing major while at stop light and i also noticed very small amount of white smoke coming from tailpipe and small drips of water leaking from the exhaust not the exit of the exhaust but further back from it also my check engine light will flash a few times then stay solid its currently showing EVAP system leak detected and a cylinder 5 misfire 2b1af7f3a8