Everything You Need to Know About Your Car’s Cylinder Head

When you think of your car’s engine, it’s easy to focus on the significant parts, like the cylinder block and the pistons. But one of your engine’s essential components can be hidden from view under your car’s hood. As a result, you might not even be aware that it exists! This part is called the cylinder head, and if something goes wrong with it, you could end up with severe engine damage that costs thousands of dollars to repair.

What Is The Cylinder Head?

The cylinder head is an essential part of your car’s engine. It sits on top of the cylinders and contains the open and closed valves to let air and fuel in and exhaust out. The cylinder head also includes the fuel injectors, spark plugs, camshaft, and other components. The cylinder head also plays a role in cooling the engine by directing coolant to the appropriate areas.

How Does the Cylinder Head Work?

A car engine’s cylinder head is responsible for many things. It houses the open and closed valves to let air and fuel into the cylinders. It also has passages that allow coolant to flow around the cylinders to keep the engine from overheating. The cylinder head sits on top of the cylinders, and it’s bolted down with big bolts called head bolts.

Symptoms That Indicate Something is Wrong with the Cylinder Head

  • If your car is making a tapping noise, it could indicate that the cylinder head is failing.
  • Another symptom of a failing cylinder head is if your car overheats frequently.
  • If you notice that your car’s engine is misfiring, it could also be due to a problem with the cylinder head.
  • A fourth symptom to watch out for is if you see white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe.

How Is It Fixed?

The most common repair for a failed cylinder head is to replace it. This process involves removing the cylinder head from the engine block and replacing the gasket. Once the new gasket is in place, the new cylinder head is bolted into place, and the engine can be started. The entire process can take several hours, depending on the make and model of your car.

The engine’s cylinder head is one of the two main sections of your car’s engine. The cylinder head consists of several components. While it’s rare for a cylinder head to fail, it can happen. Keep in mind that the main cause of cylinder head failure is an overheated engine. Therefore, most issues related to cylinder head failure can be prevented. If you notice any of the signs described above, see a professional immediately to get your car’s trouble diagnosed and fixed.

Photo by Katrin_Timoff from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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