How to Free a Seized / Frozen Engine (EASY) (2023)


How to easily free a seized or frozen engine the easy way.


And I got this old ford meteor wagon here now the engines froze up, so this video is going to be about how to free up an engine.

Sometimes when an engine is sitting for quite a long time, even if it's not seized or whatever it'll, actually freeze up, it'll, dry up and it'll call for that.

The rings will like freeze in the cylinder, so you can't turn it over.

So I'm going to show you guys what I think is the best way to get an engine free and without breaking the rings, because you do not want to break any piston rings.

Okay, so the first thing you're going to want to do is take all the spark plugs out all right.

I already did that here.

There's eight v8 took took them all out, and this will work for a v8 and six cylinder, whatever engine pretty much anything and then what I do is I spray a little bit of I sprayed a little bit of sea foam um deep creep in now.

What this stuff does? Is it kind of it's a little sticky and it's called penetrating oil, for a reason? Is it penetrates the rust and it penetrates just the between the metal surfaces now so spray a little bit of that in each cylinder? Okay and then what you're going to want to do is take a funnel and pour like, I don't know: 250 milliliters, 500 milliliters of diesel, into the cylinders.

Okay, this doesn't matter if it's a gas or a diesel that you you can put diesel in, because what that'll do it'll sit on top of the piston rings, all right as you wait, it'll saturate.

Now this is the thing you don't want to just pour the diesel in and then like 10 seconds later start wrenching on the engine and trying to break it loose.

You want to let it sit and soak in the diesel.

A really good idea and tip for this.

That will help you along is take a breaker bar put it on the crank there, because it'll be one big crank bolt and you want to get a snipe and you want to hang something that weighs like.

I don't know 20 pounds a little more off that and what that'll do is it'll just keep tension on the crank and the whole engine so that, as it soaks it'll slowly start to break down and there'll be tension there and it'll hopefully break free.

Now this one hasn't broken for yet I've.

Let it sit for a couple days.

So what we're going to do is we're going to lift up the car and then um we're going to take the inspection cover off of the transmission there and we're going to put a vise grip on the flex plate and just start to move it back and forth, and I will see you when I get under the car all right so we're under here and here's the inspection cover now.

I didn't really know what I was looking at, like I've.

Never really worked on fords before usually inspection cover on the chevy's is right, underneath the flex plate.

So it's actually easy to turn so we'll pop this one off and then we will assess the situation from there all right.

So, as you can see here, um ford does not think is clearly as chevy, so there's not really any way to get on to that flex plate um.

Honestly, I don't even know how you even do this, because this right under here should be the part that comes off, so you can actually turn the whole assembly turn the whole engine over in order to get the bolts in when you're putting transmissions in and everything so we're gonna have to figure out what we're gonna do here.

Okay, so obviously we can't really do much, because the inspection cover is in a stupid position, we're going to try something else here now.

I know this is a bit of a long shot, because I can't get as much tension on it, but if you've had diesel or something a lot of people use a marvel mystery oil soaking.

If you had that soaking in the cylinders for an extended amount of time, this might work so we'll try it out here and I'm just going to grab the fan.

Now the belt has to be tight.

Okay, the belt has to be tight on the whole assembly, like on the power steering pump the alternator everything, but I'm just going to grab the fan here and I'm just gonna wiggle really slowly and see.

If I can get that crank to turn in, would you look at that? She's already broke free.

There you go so this engine was completely frozen, solid and um.

We let her soak.

I remember what I said.

I had the alternator sitting on there with tension and now she's turning freely when you're trying to free up an engine, it's not about just going in there and hacking and trying to get it to break free in one hour.

It's about letting it soak and that tension really helps because all it takes is like a sixty-fourth of an inch for that thing to for the engine to move and then she's good.

And what would you look at that she's, nice and free? I should have tried this before.

I took the flex plate cover off, but there you go so now that you've got it free.

What you want to do before you start the engine because remember you're, going to hydro lock, you've got all that diesel sitting in there and if the engine's any good, it should have some compression and those rings are still going to be tight in the cylinder.

And if you were just to throw the plugs in right now and start it you're going to hydrolog your engine and bend valves and you're gonna have some major issues.

So you're gonna wanna do a couple things.

Well, three things actually drain the oil first.

Okay, then, what you're gonna do is put a good battery in keep the spark plugs out and you're.

Just gonna turn the engine over just to try and get a bunch of that fluid out.

And if you have some sort of pump like.

I have this one right here with this skinny little tube, I'm gonna stick that in each cylinder and suck out as much fluid as I can and then turn it over a bunch to get all the crap and as much fluid and diesel that I can out of the cylinders and then what I'm going to do is put the spark plugs back in put fresh oil in now.

If the engine is sitting for a long time, it'd be a good idea to throw some conditioner in and maybe even some engine like I know, lucas oil makes an additive that you can put in when you're building an engine and putting a new cam shaft in it'd be a wise idea to put that in too just because these parts haven't moved for a long time.

So it might be a good thing to get some extra lube in there fill it up with oil, put all the spark plugs in and then hopefully she starts and that's pretty much it.

But the main thing is is do not rush this process.

You want to let it soak and if you can keep tension on the crankshaft, while it's soaking that'll help.

Hopefully that helps you with what you are working on.

Remember, don't rush have a great day and we'll see you in the next video.


How to Free a Seized / Frozen Engine (EASY)? ›

Turn the bolt in a clockwise direction to free the engine. If you cannot get the engine to turn, apply penetrating oil to the walls of each cylinder through the spark plug wells. Give the oil a couple of hours to work its way past the piston rings and try again.

Can you save a seized engine? ›

If a mechanic has diagnosed your engine as seized, unfortunately, there are few options readily available to you. Depending on the severity of the damage, most mechanics will suggest a complete replacement rather than attempt a repair.

What is the best lubricant to unseize an engine? ›

Take an old toothbrush and give the outside a scrub while it's still wet and it should clean up almost like a new motor. Hope this helps. A mixture of 50% auto trans oil and acetone is an excellent penetrant. The best penetrating oil documented 50/50 ATF/acetone.

Will a seized engine try to start? ›

The primary sign of a seized engine is a vehicle that doesn't crank or start. In some cases, the engine might turn over slightly (often while making abnormal noises), but it will refuse to crank normally or run. You might also hear a click or clunk noise as the starter tries to engage the engine.

How much does it cost to Unseize an engine? ›

A seized engine repair is likely to cost at least $3,000 to $5,000. A seized engine either isn't working properly or won't turn over due to either a lack of oil or damage.

Can WD40 Unseize an engine? ›

Yes, the engine should be off when the WD is sprayed. WD40 is a water dispersant and will help an engine with a damp ignition system start.

Will Marvel Mystery Oil Unseize an engine? ›

Metals that are smooth and must slide over one another distort and become rough and gaul until the engine seizes. You might free up an engine after much effort with Mystery Oil, but it will never be the same.

How fast will an engine seize without oil? ›

The presence of oil and its distribution is absolutely crucial to an engines continued operation. Engines can work without oil, but the effect is so damaging they are only capable of running for less than 30 minutes until failing - and in most cases, it's a lot quicker than that.

What do you spray in cylinders that have been sitting? ›

When an engine sits for a long time oil drips down to the bottom of the drain pan. So the cylinders are usually dry. To fog the engine you should remove the spark plug wire and spark plug. To spark the cylinder, spray the spark plug oil in each of the cylinders.

How do you free up a seized piston ring? ›

Here's how I personally do it; Pour enough selected oil down spark plug holes until your're confident that the entire piston is covered. Let oil sit for 24-48 hours while occasionally turning engine slightly by hand. The oil will usually drain into the crank case over the 48 hours.

How do you thaw a frozen engine? ›

Let the Engine Thaw

If your car is parked outside in the cold weather, it'll take days for your system to thaw properly. Therefore, you should move your car to a sheltered location like a garage. You can make the thawing process faster by using a fan heater. The heat will help melt the fluid quicker.

How can I unfreeze my car? ›

  1. How to Unfreeze Your Car Door.
  2. Use an Ice Scraper.
  3. Pour Warm Water.
  4. Blow With a Hair Dryer.
  5. Buy a Lock De-Icer.
  6. Chicago Area Drivers Can Prepare Their Nissan Models For Winter Weather.

How do you warm up a cold engine that won't start? ›

Make sure the radio, headlights, heater, etc., are switched to “off,” so they aren't pulling energy from your battery and engine. Now put the key in the ignition and turn it from the "off" to the "start" position about ten times. You're "cycling the key," which can help warm up the battery and starter.

Can you jumpstart a car with a seized engine? ›

If your engine is seized then it cannot be jumped since the engine will not turn. If you have a blown head gasket and engine can still turn then you may be able to jump start the engine for a short time if engine is overheating or runs real bad.

How much can you sell a car with a seized engine for? ›

The value of a vehicle with engine problems depends on numerous factors including the year, make, model, mileage, condition, location, and more. If your engine blows up on you and you want to sell it, we can pay anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or more depending on what kind of car you have.

Can a blown head gasket seize the engine? ›

Even a small break in the head gasket can cause air and fuel to leak out or other engine liquids like water, oil, and antifreeze to mix, resulting in the loss of engine power, parts of the engine breaking down, or the whole thing seizing up.

What happens when you put WD-40 in your engine? ›

WD-40 removes carbon residue and keeps moisture away from spark plugs and spark plug wires. WD stands for Water Displacement, so if your spark plugs are wet or you need to drive moisture away from ignition distributors, WD-40 will do the trick.

How do you lubricate an engine that has been sitting? ›

If you care about the car, and it's been sitting for years, it's strongly advised that, once you verify that the engine rotates, you lubricate the rings and cylinder walls by removing the spark plugs, squirting oil through the plug holes with a Wizard of Oz-style oil can, and gently rotating the engine a few times.

How long does WD-40 take to loosen? ›

All you need to do is soak the screw with the WD-40 Specialist Penetrant spray and let it work its magic for about fifteen minutes or so. The WD-40 Specialist Penetrant spray will loosen the screw enough for you to remove it with ease with a screwdriver in your hand. It's as simple as that!

How much Marvel Mystery Oil should I put in my engine? ›

Q: How much MMO should be added to oil? A: Marvel Oil Company recommends replacing between 10 and 25 percent of your motor oil with MMO. For example, if the crankcase capacity is 5-quarts, add 4 quarts of your favorite motor oil and one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil.

Is it okay to put Marvel Mystery Oil in your gas tank? ›


ADDED TO FUEL: At every fill-up add 4 ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil or Marvel Ultimate Oil to every 10 gallons of diesel or gas. An average passenger car tank is 15 gallons, so you would add 6 ounces at every fill-up. Regular use can lead to improved fuel economy.

What does Marvel Mystery Oil do in the gas tank? ›

Marvel Mystery Lubricating Oil is safe for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors. Added to gas it cleans and lubricates fuel injectors and carburetors, improves gasoline mileage, extends spark plug life, reduces and prevents varnish and gum build-up.

Can too much oil cause an engine to seize? ›

What if you overfill your vehicle with engine oil? It can actually cause significant damage to the engine components and even cause your engine to seize up.

What does it sound like when there is no oil in the engine? ›

If you hear grinding, clunking, or knocking noises from your engine, your engine may run without enough lubrication, leading to metal-on-metal contact. If you notice these sounds, it's important to stop driving your car immediately and have your engine checked by a professional.

What is the fastest time to remove an engine? ›

The world record for removing and replacing a car engine is 42 seconds! ⏰ #speed #fast #carfacts #funfact.

Is seafoam good for stuck piston rings? ›

To clean from the topside, I would remove the plugs, spray a healthy burst of Sea Foam Spray into each cylinder cavity. With Sea Foam Spray soaking on the tops of the pistons, let the engine sit with the plugs out for 3 days.

Does seafoam clean oil rings? ›

In addition to using HIGH MILEAGE, you can run Sea Foam Spray through your engine's intake or spray it directly into cylinder cavities to let pistons soak, cleaning rings from the top end. It will also clean intake valves, which is particularly important on gasoline direct injection engines.

Will engine flush clean piston rings? ›

The engine flush can effectively clean piston rings to provide a good seal for burning gases so that they won't escape into the crankcase and reduce engine compression.

Why won't my car start after sitting for awhile? ›

A difficult start could be due to a number of things, from a dying battery to a faulty starter. But if your vehicle has a hard time starting after sitting for just a few hours, it can cause an extra layer of confusion. When this happens, one of the most common causes is low fuel pressure.

Can you mix old gas with new gas? ›

Old and new gas should not be mixed for a variety of reasons, the major ones are; The old gas degrades over time it should not be added because it has already lost it's combustibility. It can cause sputtering. It might fail to fire it up.

Does fogging oil really work? ›

Applied as an aerosol, fogging oil is designed to prevent rust and protect internal engine components during storage or long periods of inactivity. Engine Fogging Oil offers superior film retention, providing long-term protection against corrosion and dry starts, extending engine life and reducing operating expenses.

What is the remedy for gummed up rings? ›

What is the remedy of the cause "Gummed up rings"?
  • A. Clean it.
  • Clean the ring groove and use new piston rings.
  • Overhaul the carburettor.
  • All are correct.

What tool is used to compress piston rings? ›

Piston Ring Compressor. The piston ring compressor is a special tool that is specifically designed for compressing the piston rings when a piston is re-installed. This is accomplished by opening the piston ring compressor enough so that the piston will slide into the opening.

Is it cheaper to rebuild or replace an engine? ›

If properly done, a remanufactured engine should be as good as a new engine and it should carry a warranty for a year. And generally, it should be cheaper than a fully rebuilt engine. But you need to find out exactly who is doing the rebuilding.

Can you trade in a car with a seized engine? ›

Can I Trade In A Car With A Blown Engine? If you have a non-running car, you are probably wondering, “Can you trade in a car with a bad engine?” The simple answer is yes, you can. While a used car dealership will allow you to trade in your broken vehicle, you won't be taking home a large check at all.

How many miles before engine rebuild? ›

Remember how the starting, stopping, and idling, with the idling add up with the engine mileage. With those factors considered, an engine overhaul may be needed at around 750,000 miles. Once the engine overhaul is completed, you can expect to get another 10,000 engine miles of driving and/or idling time.

How much will a shop charge to rebuild an engine? ›

How much does an engine rebuild cost? Depending on the type of engine, it can cost between $1,500 and $2,000 to repair one. The price of a four-cylinder engine ranges from $500 to $2,000. A V-6 engine can cost up to $2,000, while a V-8 or V-10 engine can cost more than $4,500.

How much longer will a rebuilt engine last? ›

The lifespan of Perfectly Rebuilt Engines

Whatever mileage you have on your clock now, a good rebuild could add you an extra 150,000 miles or more if well maintained. Proper maintenance involves regular inspections, oil changes, and mechanical adjustments after a certain mileage.

Can you unfreeze a seized engine? ›

After the car sits for 24 hours, you may be able to unjam it with a breaker bar. If your engine seized because it's been sitting too long, pull the spark plugs out of all the cylinders. Fill the cylinders with engine oil and let it sit for a few days. Then, try turning the engine over with a breaker bar.

Can too much oil seize an engine? ›

What if you overfill your vehicle with engine oil? It can actually cause significant damage to the engine components and even cause your engine to seize up.

What does a Hydrolocked engine sound like? ›

You might hear a slight sputter, then your engine comes to a jarring halt. When you try to restart the engine, there's not even a tiny chance it's going to turn over. Your engine is hydrolocked.

Will a blown engine still run? ›

Essentially, a blown engine means your engine is completely unsalvageable, dead, or incapable of running.

Will CarMax buy a car with a seized engine? ›

The short answer to this question is yes, they do. CarMax buys cars in all types of shape. They buy cars with transmission trouble, engine trouble, blown head gaskets, bad clutches and more. CarMax will buy almost any vehicle.

How much does a new engine cost? ›

Replacing The Engine

If the damage is done, you will have to replace the engine. Usually, you can spend as much as $4,000 for a four-cylinder to upwards of $10,000 for a high-performance engine. Here you have lots of options, and, most of the time, you want to delegate the decision to your mechanic.

What does it sound like when you have a blown head gasket? ›

If the head gasket fails in such a way it allows the compressed air/fuel to escape, the compression of that cylinder is reduced. This loss of compression results in a rough running engine and a notable reduction in engine power. This sort of failure typically is accompanied by a sound like an exhaust leak.

How do you know if you have a crackhead in your engine? ›

Four Symptoms or Signs Your Engine has a Cracked Head and Requires Repairs
  1. What's That Smell? ...
  2. It's Getting Hot in Here. ...
  3. Where There is Smoke. ...
  4. Poor Performance. ...
  5. Bonus Tip: Engine Misfires. ...
  6. Why Choose Noordeman Diesel for Cracked Head Repairs.

Is it worth replacing a blown engine? ›

If the rest of the vehicle is in good condition mechanically and is a newer vehicle, an engine replacement could be the best option budget-wise. Engine replacement or rebuilding can be cost-effective when it comes to saving money rather than spending thousands on a new vehicle.

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