Rebuilt Cylinder Head Tips and Tricks
Do you suspect a problem with your engine? There’s a chance your cylinder head might be the culprit.
The cylinder head is a key component of your car’s engine. So, it’s critical to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s in tip-top shape.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Cylinder Head
No matter how many miles you’re putting on your car, every engine is due for repairs at some point. One of the most important components of your engine is the cylinder head.
So, if your cylinder head is damaged, and doesn’t get the repairs it needs, it can result in severe damage. This could ultimately ruin your engine, which is a highly expensive part to replace.
So, what symptoms signal the need for cylinder head replacement or repair? Let’s find out below:
Weak engine:Cylinder heads play a key role in containing and directing the internal combustion of an engine’s cylinders. So, when a cylinder head isn’t working properly, the engine’s efficiency, power, and performance can take a hit.
Coolant leakage:A cracked cylinder head can cause the coolant to leak. So, if you notice spills coming from the head and cylinder block or the “check engine temperature” warning light switching on, this could signal a bad cylinder head.
Oil leakage:Just like it happens with the coolant, a crack in the cylinder head can cause oil to leak. Whether you notice oil leaking from underneath your car or the “check oil” icon lighting up, it could be a sign your cylinder head is bad.
Engine misfires:With a severe crack in your cylinder head, the mixture in the combustion chamber will cause a misfire, meaning the mixture won’t burn as it should. As a result, you might find yourself repeatedly starting your car back up.
White smoke:When exhaust leaks, this often causes the engine to smoke. Also, leaking oil can come in contact with hot engine components to produce this smoke. This is a rare occurrence.
Overheating:Cylinder head cracking is a common problem in engines, which can lead to other issues. For example, a cracked cylinder head could go through to your coolant passages. This allows compression gases from the combustion cycle to fill those coolant passages, which displaces the coolant. The result is overheating in certain parts of the cylinder head.
If your vehicle is showing any of these signs, be sure to take it to a mechanic to fix the problem right away. The type of cylinder head service you receive will depend on the severity of the damage to your cylinder head.
However, if the damage to your cylinder head is more severe (i.e., engine misfires, smoking engine, etc.), this often signals that your cylinder head needs replacement as soon as possible. In this case, you’ll have two choices—a rebuilt cylinder head or a remanufactured cylinder head.
What is a Rebuilt Cylinder Head?
Rebuilding a cylinder involves replacing only the broken or out-of-spec components. For example, a mechanic might replace only the guides, springs, valves, or injector sleeves within the damaged cylinder head.
However, if neither of these components is damaged or malfunctioning, the cylinder rebuilding process may take another form.
Imagine that your cylinder head is cracked. If this is the case, a repair technician may weld those cracks to fix the cylinder head. After this process, they’ll put everything back together and then test the part to see if it’s working properly. Because you’re only fixing components that are broken, rebuilding a cylinder head is a pretty cost-effective option.
Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured: What’s the Difference?
Remanufactured cylinder heads are ones that go through all the steps that they did when they were new at the factory. These steps might include:
- Pressure testing
- Installing new parts
Because remanufacturing cylinder heads involves all these steps, they’re usually more expensive than their rebuilt counterparts.
When it comes to choosing between a rebuilt or remanufactured cylinder head, we recommend consulting a professional cylinder head shop near me. The right decision will depend on the current mileage of your vehicle, the current status of your engine, your specific needs, and your budget. A trustworthy mechanic will work with you to help you decide.
Considerations for Rebuilding/Remanufacturing Cylinder Heads
After you’ve decided on the best cylinder head replacement for your engine—rebuilt vs. remanufactured—be sure to go to a shop that has a positive reputation.
Also, ask to see all the documentation for the new parts used in the rebuild (if you choose to go that route). And if you have a pretty old vehicle or one with a lot of miles, it may be feasible to go with rebuilt cylinder heads that might not outlast pricey new heads.
Other things to consider include:
Choosing compatible metal:Whether you’re getting a rebuilt or remanufactured cylinder head, choose the right material. They come in different metals like aluminum and cast iron. To help you choose, use whatever material your cylinder block is made of. Mismatched components can cause cracking because different metals contract and expand at different rates under heat and pressure.
Ensuring the bolts match:If cylinder head bolts don’t fit properly, they won’t hold the head firmly enough to protect your engine.
Looking for a warranty:It’s crucial to consider a warranty for a cylinder head replacement, even if it’s remanufactured. That way, you won’t have to pay for a repair or replacement if you take advantage of the warranty within a certain period of time.
Take Care of Your Engine with Proper Maintenance
To keep your car’s engine in optimal condition, maintaining various engine parts such as the cylinder head is necessary. This may seem obvious, but many people don’t realize their engine requires periodic attention.
As a result, they end up needing total cylinder head replacement or cylinder head exchange. Are you one of those people? If so, don’t go it alone. A cylinder head replacement is a tough job—a job that only an experienced mechanic should take care of.