What to Do When Your Cylinder Head Breaks

Nothing worries a car owner more than the daunting reality of an unexpected car repair, along with the budget-breaking costs that come with those repairs.

Often, if you know your way around a wrench, you can fix many parts and problems on a car or truck on your own. However, a cylinder head repair requires a professional machinist or engine builder to either fix the cylinder or offer services for remanufactured cylinder heads.

A good mechanic helps determine the amount of damage and potential costs needed for your cylinder head repairs. Cylinder head repairs costs are often hard to estimate without a professional opinion.

Early Detection of Cracks and Other Breakage in Your Cylinder Head

Many components make up a car or truck’s cylinder head. The most common issues with a cylinder head include warped or broken components. Another unfortunate problem is that you can’t determine what part of the cylinder is broken or cracked without having it removed first.

However, you can determine whether you will need potential repairs by looking at other engine symptoms. After all, cars and trucks often give off other warnings of a potential engine part failure.

Here are the top five symptoms you should look for to determine whether you need a cylinder head repair:

  • Weak engine performance

If you start to experience your engine running slower or in an awkward manner, you may have a cracked cylinder head. The reason this is possible is that you have compressed air escaping from the combustion chamber of the engine.

  • Experiencing engine misfires

If you must keep turning on your engine because your engine dies as you try to drive, you have a severe case of a cracked cylinder head. Just like the first engine symptom, except that the compressed air in the combustion chamber leaks out so much that the rest of the cylinder cannot function as it should.

  • Oil leakage near the cylinder head

A major clue to look for is when your check oil light is on. If it is on you should go to look under the hood of your vehicle. What you need to look for is if there is any oil leaking out or around the cylinder head. If you see any oil leakage, then your cylinder head most likely has a crack in it.

  • Coolant leakage near the cylinder head

If your engine heats up too much and the check oil light on your vehicle comes on, you should check your coolant levels, and investigate around the cylinder head. If you see not only oil but also coolant leaking out of your cylinder head, you have a severely cracked cylinder head.

  • Smoke is coming from the engine

If you see smoke coming out of your engine, then this is most likely exhaust gases leaking our of a severely broken cylinder head. Although this is one of the rarer engine symptoms. If it does occur, you will need a new cylinder head.

These little mechanical symptoms help you get to a professional to prevent any more damage to the rest of the engine.

Finding a Reliable Professional for Repairs

Finding reliable mechanics and machinists can seem like a very daunting task for those who don’t know where to look in a hurry. Not all mechanics will do an honest job or maybe costly for their services.

A checklist to help you pick a reliable mechanic and machinist:

  • How much will it cost for the mechanic/ machinist’s time to do the cylinder head repair?
  • What are the rough estimates for the cost of cylinder head parts for your particular vehicle?
  • Does the mechanic/ machinist in question have good or excellent reviews?
  • How long will it take the mechanic/ machinist to do the repair from start to finish?
  • If you are requiring a remanufactured or new cylinder head, will it come with a warranty?
  • How many years of experience does the mechanic/ machinist have for fixing this particular issue?
  • Are they able to fix other types of cylinder heads?
  • Are they certified to fix diesel engines?

If you think your cylinders are in trouble or in dire need of repair, make sure you schedule an emergency trip to a reliable mechanic!

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