5 Causes and Symptoms of a Cracked Cylinder Head

5 Causes and Symptoms of a Cracked Cylinder Head

The "upper end" of an engine is a cylinder head. The combustion chamber, where the engine consumes fuel to produce power, is sealed off by it when it joins to the engine block.

The airflow control valves are also housed in cylinder heads. Exhaust valves allow the burnt air fuel combination to leave the combustion chamber after fresh air is drawn in by intake valves, which causes combustion. A fancy air pump is all that an internal combustion engine really is.

A cylinder head could physically crack under severe circumstances. Similar symptoms to those of a blown head gasket or a broken block may be caused by a cracked cylinder head, which is more difficult to repair. The most common fix is to purchase a new cylinder head. To have your automobile given a thorough health check and any broken parts repaired or replaced, choose a certified technician by searching online for car garages in Reading.

Causes Of A Damaged Cylinder Head

The causes of a damaged cylinder head are as follows:

1.     Overheating

Internal combustion engines quickly become overheated. They are intended to contain small, controlled explosions, as their name suggests. Instead of being transformed into kinetic energy to propel the vehicle, a large portion of the energy produced during combustion is instead wasted as heat energy. This is a consequence of their design that can be reduced but never completely eradicated. Overheating is the main reason why cylinder heads crack. When an engine overheats, its parts may experience stress well above the heat tolerance they were intended to withstand. Since most heads are constructed of aluminium, if the engine becomes hot enough, they may distort or break. A cooling system malfunction is the main cause of engine overheating in the majority of cases. The list below includes some potential causes.

2.     Air in the Cooling System

Hot spots, where one area of the engine is significantly hotter than another, may emerge when there is air in the cooling system. This occurs because a liquid can transport heat more efficiently than air. The coolant temperature sensor may not detect a hot spot if air is trapped in a single area away from it. Your vehicle may run hot before you realise it until there is already damage. This is why it's crucial to request the technician to perform a comprehensive health check on your car so that any issues can be identified when looking online for vehicle service near me garages for your scheduled maintenance. Furthermore, a cooling system air leak could result in a drop in cooling system pressure. At lower pressures, liquid coolant is more likely to boil.

3.     Failed Water Pump

The engine's coolant will not be able to circulate correctly if the water pump malfunctions. The coolant around the water jackets in the head and block will be extremely heated even if it may be nice and cold in the radiator. In the absence of a pump, coolant can only travel through natural convection, which moves much too slowly to remove extra heat before the engine overheats. If you do not know when the water pump in your vehicle was last replaced, search online for garages in Reading and schedule a water pump replacement appointment as soon as you can.

4.     Failed Thermostat

Combustion engines operate most effectively at the operating temperature for which they were built. Normal operating temperatures for engines are normally between 190- and 210-degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to scald you (85 to 99 degrees Celsius). Lowering the engine's operating temperature raises its fuel use, emissions, and wear. Go online and carry out a MOT history checker to confirm if a previous MOT test failed due to the excessive emissions. Until the engine coolant reaches the desired temperature, a thermostat prevents coolant from flowing from the radiator. When the desired temperature is attained, the thermostat opens, allowing coolant at room temperature to enter the engine and cool it until the thermostat becomes cold enough to close. During engine operation, the cycle continues. Your vehicle will likely run quite cold if the thermostat is stuck open. This is due to the fact that the radiator receives a constant flow of coolant from the entire system, never having a chance to fully warm up. Your engine will overheat rather quickly if the thermostat is stuck closed. There is nowhere for the hot coolant to go to cool off. Some engines let you temporarily use the heater as a small radiator. The size of the heater core and the routing of the cooling system both affect how effective this technology is.

5.     Coolant Leak

Over time, you won't have enough coolant to adequately cool the engine if too much of it leaks out. However, it's a good idea to frequently inspect the overflow reservoir and radiator to ensure you're filled off as you might lose a fair amount of coolant before overheating. Checking your radiator cap is a wonderful idea if you suspect a coolant leak. It's a cheap component that might have major consequences if it breaks. Do not forget that not all coolant leaks are obvious.

A little crack in the cylinder head sometimes go undetected for some time, but in more serious cases, the symptoms will be rather clear. 

Symptoms Of a Damaged Cylinder Head

In the event that this occurs, keep an eye out for the following five typical symptoms:

1.     Oil Leak

A cylinder head contains oil. You can anticipate oil leaking out of a damaged head. When this occurs, you should see the oil light on your dashboard turn on to indicate low oil pressure. Open your bonnet if you notice this light on and look to see if there is any engine oil close to the cylinder head. Internal oil leaks do occur occasionally. You won't see an oil puddle when this occurs, but you might see blue smoke coming from the exhaust.

2.     Coolant Leak

A cracked cylinder head is a symptom of a coolant leak, which can also cause one. In addition to oil leakage, a severely damaged cylinder head is likely to also be leaking coolant. Your car will alert you on the dashboard if your engine overheats as a result of this. Coolant leaks can occasionally be internal. Internal leaks may seep into the combustion chamber or the oil passageways. In either case, keep an eye on your coolant level and stop driving if you see a coolant leak or notice that it is rapidly depleting.

3.     Reduced Engine Performance

A significant drop in engine power may be your first sign of poor engine performance. Compressed air is escaping from the combustion chamber if the cylinder head is cracked. Once this occurs, you will notice that the engine is operating much more slowly or poorly.

4.     Smoke Coming from Engine

Large cylinder head cracks can allow coolant to flow into the combustion chamber and result in white smoke coming from the engine, however this is rare. Additionally, this smoke can be created when oil leaks into touch with heated engine parts. This is an obvious indication that a broken cylinder head might be to blame.

5.     Engine Misfire

This is connected to item three. The mixture in the combustion chamber will result in a misfire if the cylinder head crack is substantial. This implies that the mixture won't burn as it ought to. Either that, or your engine will suddenly stop while you're driving, requiring numerous restarts.

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