Here’s the story: a man owns a Fiat Tempra, but finds that the car just isn’t running as well as it should be. Something’s clearly up, so he decides to investigate and give the engine a thorough looking-over. Eventually, he removes the head from the engine and discovers three normal, metal-alloy pistons, happily resting in their cylinders and one, um, other piston. A concrete piston.

Here’s a video of the discovery of the concrete piston:

Wow. I’m actually impressed.

I mean, think about it: whatever creative mechanic did this had to have actually made a cast from another piston to get it the proper size, right? I mean, the engine ran with this thing inside it, so it clearly had to be able to move up and down, like a normal piston.

Was it connected to the crankshaft, or just sort of freely floating in there? What did this engine sound like with a concrete piston banging around in it?

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Was this easier than just putting in a new, real piston? It seems like it would involve a lot more steps. Similar pistons are about $75 on eBay; this seems like a crazy amount of effort to save $75.

Now I kind of want to see if you can get a car to run with all concrete pistons. Maybe we’re missing out on a revolution in cheap auto repair here?

(Thanks so much to Paulo for sending this in!)