At Protto, we deal with wide range of customers. From customers who care about their motorcycle more than their girlfriends/boyfriends to the customers who believe bike is just a piece of machine used to transport people and doesn’t need much care. Today, I will tell you the story of the second customer.

On 17th Feb 2019, a customer calls us as his bike just stopped in the middle of the road. A pick-up truck was sent his way to get his motorcycle to our service station. Once the bike reached the service station, we started inspecting the bike by trying a different method to start it. Since it wasn’t starting after multiple attempts. We went ahead and started its service process. During service process, we drained out the engine oil from the engine. We realized, only 200 ml of oil was drained out. We then realized that the engine was seized due to over-heating.

Okay, is the information overwhelming for you?

Look at this picture below, the inner part in the circle is piston and the out part is engine wall. If you look closely, the piston and engine wall are welded (merged). This is caused by over heating and it is called seized engine.

Seized Engine

What is a seized Engine?

An engine Seizure occurs when the engine overheats. All the metals in the engine tend to expand and two such parts that are place with hairline gap between them are piston and engine wall. This causes the both of them to expand and sometimes fuse together to form a weld, which blocks the piston movement.

Now, the important question to ask is what causes a seized engine?

For me answer is very simple, it’s under-maintenance. But that’s not something you did not know right? So, let me tell you something you might not know.

Cause & Effect of a Seized Engine

As not it is established that overheating causes engine seizure. Let’s understand what in your motorcycle causes overheating.

Driving Conditions

If you have that inner Valentino Rossi inside you who gets out every-time you see an open road, either don’t or get your motorcycle service more frequently. My personal suggestion would be to at least use semi-synthetic engine oil and replace oil every alternate service. As for those of you who do, and know the ill effects of driving at high RPM would agree to what I am saying. As heat generated is directly propositional to average RPM you ride your motorcycle at. If you are riding it for very high RPM, make sure you give time to your engine to cool while riding.

Bike Service Quality

Servicing your bike is like visiting a doctor, you wouldn’t want to visit an unreliable doctor. As it would cause pain in the wrong areas. Something, similar goes with motorcycles, always visit a reliable technician. And, always ask your technician about your bike just the way you ask your doctor about your body. It will help you understand the problems in your bike and how can you avoid these problems it in the future. As most of the technicians are highly unreliable when it comes to servicing your motorcycle. Use your own network to determine a good technician around you. Sometimes, it takes time to adjust to one but, keep switching till you are satisfied.

Engine Oil

To select the right engine oil grade for your motorcycle, there are a few parameters involved like average temperature in your city, riding conditions, and service frequency. As engine oil with right viscosity will keep your bike cool and lubricated. As the engine oil with very high viscosity can cause engine seizure. It is recommended to replace engine oil every alternate service.

Oil Filter

Oil Filter should be replace during every alternate oil replacements. As the name suggests it filters the oil. The unfiltered oil has very high viscosity which cannot lubricate oil properly and may result in engine seizure.

Coolant Level

Liquid cooled engines very more efficient than its air-cooled counterparts. As far as engine seizure is concerned, a liquid-cooled engine is prone to engine seizures. Reason being coolant level, the coolant plays an important role in liquid cooled engine failure. The way this works it that, the coolant is cooled by air flowing through a radiator and in turn coolant cools the engine. If the amount of coolant is not ideal, this may cause the engine to overheat as in liquid-cooled engines oil alone cannot cool the engine. This overheated engine can cause engine seizure. It is recommended that you always top-up your coolant during every service and check for leakages.

Other Factors

There some of the other factors that play a minor role in causing engine to seize, although these factors do not contribute much to engine seizure.

  • Tire Pressure – Ride your motorcycle at right tire pressure.
  • Overloading – Do not overload your motorcycle.

Preventing a Seized Engine

Here’s a basic list every motorcyclist should follow to avoid engine seizure.

  • Periodic Service
  • Periodic Oil and Oil Filter Replacements
  • Coolant top-up for liquid cooled engines
  • Not revving the engine too much to stress it
  • Quality Service

Feel free to ask questions in the comment.

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