Damaged cylinder head, symptoms, how to solve the problem?

The cylinder head is the basic element of the engine. It is because of its work that the injection of the fuel mixture is possible. In addition, it is responsible for the removal of heat resulting from the combustion of a fuel-air unit to the cooling system. What to do when it fails?

What is the cylinder head?

The cylinder head is an element found in every vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine. The material used for its production is usually cast iron or aluminum. Its basic task is to close the engine combustion chamber. Interestingly, the more modern the unit, the more the engine head is loaded. We find in its intake and exhaust valves, pushers and channels, in which there are a cooling liquid and oil. In addition, the camshaft is placed in the cylinder head, and in the case of diesel engines – the injection system (injectors).

What the symptoms?

The most common symptom of engine cylinder head problems is the loss of refrigerant fluid from the system. In spite of this, there will be no spots under our vehicle indicating its leakage. In this case, check that there is no oil in the cooling system. The situation can also be reversed, i.e. engine coolant can be found in the engine oil. In addition, when there are problems with the cylinder head, the car can start smoking during operation. In many cases, the engine will vibrate, especially during low revs and when working on a cold engine. In the compensating tank, we can see the creation of the so-called butter. Problems with the cylinder head are also felt under the gas pedal – the car will be much slower to accelerate.

How to check the cylinder head?

Due to the fact that disassembly of the head is not easy to service, before starting work you have to be 100% sure that the cause of incompatibility is the problem with this part. If we want to diagnose the damaged head by ourselves, we should equip ourselves with a set containing a tube and a bottle of liquid that reacts in contact with carbon dioxide, which results in a change in color. The tube must be placed in the place of the equalizing reservoir stopper and the liquid should be poured into the tube. Then we start the engine. If the liquid does not change color, we can be calm – everything is in good order. When it changes color, it means the presence of carbon dioxide in the cooling system, ie problems with the vehicle’s cylinder head. In the case of a diagnosis in the car workshop, mechanics usually use the pressure measurement in the cooling system, which is carried out while driving. If it exceeds the level of 1 bar, there is certainly a flue gas exhaust to the cooling system.

How to solve the problem?

Usually, the problem with the cylinder head is actually a damaged seal separating the head from the engine block, which is burned out, and then simply disappears. It is enough to buy a new seal and give the cylinder heads to the so-called machinist. This process involves leveling its surface with a grinder or milling machine, thanks to which it will be perfectly smooth. Remember to ask for a check when submitting the cylinder head to the machinist. A worse case is a crack cylinder head, which can not be repaired in any case. Before deciding to submit the regeneration of the cylinder head, ask about the exact cost, because it is usually more profitable to buy a used head than its regeneration.

The failure of the engine cylinder head is one of the most serious failures that any vehicle owner can encounter, so when we decide to repair, do not save money try and use professional workshops. Saving, in this case, can be deplorable.

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