Cylinder Head : Bolted to the top of the engine cylinders, the cylinder head holds the spark plugs, intake valves and exhaust valves for the engine to run properly on a 4 cycle engine. Diesel engines also use the cylinder head in a similar fashion, however they do not use spark plugs, since they have glow plugs. The cylinder head also serves a purpose on water cooled engines to help circulate engine coolant completely through the engine by using water passages within the cylinder head. A cylinder head is a very critical part of the engine since it also has to be able to hold the high pressures of explosions of combusted fuels exploding inside the engine. Some cylinder heads also hold the camshaft(s) referred to as overhead cam engines. Overhead valve engines use rocker arms bolted to the cylinder head to open and close the valves by an internal camshaft inside the engine block.
Cylinder heads can go bad causing a vehicle to run poorly, overheat quickly or not run at all. A cylinder head may need to be removed and repaired or replaced when the intake and or exhaust valves are not seating. A cylinder head can be extremely damaged due to a failed timing belt or timing chain. Another cylinder head common failure can be caused by overheating the engine. Overheating an engine can warp or crack a cylinder head causing a blown cylinder head gasket problem or a blown engine. Other types of cylinder head problems may include broken bolts, worn out overhead camshaft journals, stripped out spark plug holes, and cylinder head gasket oil leaks.
When you have a cylinder head problem, some problems can be repaired on the engine and other repairs require removal of the cylinder head. If the cylinder head is removed, it is often recommended to have an automotive machine shop check the cylinder head for valve problems, cracks and straightness. Valves can be refashioned and valve guides can be replaced. Warped heads can be shaved or heat straightened. Bad cam journals or cracks in the cylinder head usually mean the cylinder head will have to be replaced. Catastrophic cylinder head problems such as broken intake or exhaust valves smashed into the cylinder head or broken camshafts that destroy the cylinder head metals also will require the cylinder head to be replaced. When you have a cylinder head problem, take your car to Guy’s Automotive for an expert engine mechanic to determine your best coarse of action and get your cylinder head problems resolved today.