Masterparts offers precision-engineered cast-aluminium and steel pistons for sale in South Africa.

What are pistons?

A piston is a moving component located inside the engine’s combustion chamber. It is attached to the crankshaft by a connecting rod.

The piston transfers the force generated from the exploding gases in the cylinder to the crankshaft.

In turn, the crankshaft converts the vertical movement of the pistons into rotational movement, which drives the vehicle’s wheels.

The piston and piston rings form an air-tight seal within each cylinder, preventing the combustion gases from entering the crankcase.


Image source: Motortrend

How does a piston work?

As it moves up and down in the cylinder, a piston performs different functions.

The downward movement of the piston draws air and fuel into the combustion chamber. The upward movement compresses the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder, which is ignited by the spark plug.

The force of the explosion pushes the piston back down again. When the piston moves up to the top of the cylinder, the ignition gases are expelled.

At high revs, this cycle repeats at approximately 80 times per second.

For a better idea of how the pistons in a vehicle operate, see this YouTube video.

Signs of a damaged piston

Pistons are subjected to high temperatures and extreme force. Over time, the components can wear, crack or even melt.

Common symptoms of piston damage include:

  • reduced engine performance and sluggish acceleration
  • thick white, blue or grey exhaust smoke, accompanied by a strong smell of burnt oil
  • loud banging or knocking noises from the top of the engine block
  • reduced compression in the affected cylinder
  • excessive oil consumption.

A damaged piston can have a significant impact on engine performance. It can also lead to irreversible engine damage.

High-quality automotive pistons for sale in South Africa

Masterparts offers a comprehensive range of vehicle pistons, from respected manufacturers such as King, FPR and Kolbenschmidt. Components are manufactured from high-strength alloys and subjected to rigorous testing.

Where to get pistons from Masterparts

We offer door-to-door delivery. Alternatively, visit any of our branches across South Africa or in Windhoek, Namibia.

Pistons in and around Cape Town:

Pistons in KwaZulu-Natal:

Pistons in Namibia:

As well as pistons, Masterparts stocks piston rings, cylinder sleeves, cylinder knock sensors and other cylinder components – so you can complete a full cylinder repair with one stop. Contact us if there’s a part you need, and we’ll be happy to help.


Call us on 021 657 5757 or complete the form below to get a quote.

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