What are the Main Symptoms of Cylinder Head Problems?

What are the Main Symptoms of Cylinder Head Problems?

A cylinder head is a very important part of any car engine. Prices for repairing or replacing a cracked or broken cylinder head will vary depending on your vehicle’s engine and where you choose to get it repaired. In this article we discuss cylinder head troubleshooting to make you aware of some of the most common symptoms of cylinder head problems and help you identify them straight away, hopefully saving you time and money long-term. 

What is the main job of the cylinder head?

A vehicle’s internal combustion engine contains many cylinders, with the top of them know as the cylinder head, housing various valves, springs, lifters and also the main combustion chamber. Controlling flow within the cylinders, the cylinder head allows air and fuel in and exhaust gases out. In addition, the cylinder head is a key component in keeping the engine components cool, by transporting coolant into the engine block. The cylinder head, alongside the head gasket, seals the cylinders in the vehicle and all the components that work with them. 

Most common symptoms of cylinder head problems:

1. Overheating

Overheating of the engine is the most common symptom of cylinder head issues occurring in a vehicle. As the cylinder is put under pressure by the heat, it causes the components inside the internal combustion engine to overheat, as they can’t pass coolant through and, therefore, they distort in shape. Make sure your radiator is full and in good condition to prevent this from happening and to avoid damage to the cylinder head.


2. Poor Engine Performance

This is a very clear indicator that there is a cylinder problem which will be instantly noticeable as the engine won’t be running the same and you’ll find you may have to restart the car more frequently. This is because the engine isn’t able to burn fuel efficiently, due to the cylinder head breaking or cracking.

3. Oil Leaks

If you find you have oil leaking from the vehicle, this may be a result of a cracked cylinder head. As the cylinder head contains oil, if it’s cracked it may cause oil to leak out. Even if you can’t see a leak yourself and the oil light appears on the dashboard, check the engine to see if there’s any evidence of oil around the cylinder head.  

4. Drop In Coolant Level

If there is a drop in the level of engine coolant it may cause a leak, which can be easily identified and be seen on the cylinder head. A leak could be caused due to a crack in the cylinder head and this could cause more long-term issues as the engine starts to heat up from the lack of coolant.


5. Smoke

Smoke coming from the exhaust is the clearest indicator that you could have a cracked cylinder head. The crack and damage is most likely to be a lot more severe in this instance. If this has occurred, you should try and get this problem fixed as quickly as possible by a professional, to ensure no further damage is caused to the engine.

If you need a new cylinder head due to damage, then it’s important to remember that all diesel engines are different and, as such, no ‘one size fits all’ solution exists for any one diesel engine problem, whether common or uncommon.

It must also be noted that it’s imperative to determine the cause of the problem and address this before simply replacing damaged parts and re-assembling the engine. Contact Foxwood Diesel today with your engine number, and exactly what difficulty you’ve experienced to help us determine what the root of the problem could be.

Foxwood Diesel is a specialist in the field of diesel engine reconditioning and engine rebuilds, with over 30 years’ experience as a company. We hold large quantities of diesel engine spares, many of which are available for same day dispatch, and are tailored to a range of car manufacturers, including Mercedes, Volvo, DAF and all other major diesel manufacturers. With our expert knowledge of diesel systems, we offer highly effective reconditioning and rebuilding solutions at our engine machining centre for worn-out engines requiring professional care. Get in touch so we can find the right solution for you!