Piston Rings : These are split rings found on the piston that fit into the piston grooves to help fill in the extra space between the piston and cylinder wall to build up compression. The piston ring gap compresses to only a few thousandths of an inch while inside the bored cylinder. They are made hard and brittle, typically out of cast iron, high chromium alloyed steel, spring steel, unalloyed grey cast iron, low alloy, and or heat treated nodular cast iron with martensitic micro structure (for higher hardness).
There are three ring grooves in the piston. The top groove and middle groove contains the compression rings. These rings are what get the tight fit to build up the compression of the cylinder bore. The lower groove contains a set of oil rings. These rings help lubricate the piston while scraping most of the excess oil from the cylinder wall. All of the rings help transfer the heat of the piston to the cylinder wall in which the cylinder wall is cooled by the cooling system.
Piston rings wear over time but there are a few factors that can cause them to wear or break fast. Overheating usually blows a head gasket however, sometimes they will cause the rings to stick into the pistons and loose their spring tension. Running low on oil will cause the pistons to lave how oil pressure thus wearing the piston rings. Not changing your air filter or running an engine without an air filter scores the cylinder wall and greatly wears out the piston rings.
If you need piston rings, this is major work. The engine would have to be rebuilt or replaced. Guy’s Automotive offers engine repair / replace options. Call today and get a quote on your engine repairs and more.