Can You Drive With a Damaged Cylinder Head?

Mechanic fixing cylinder head with two camshaft of car engine with socket wrench

Maintaining Your Vehicle for Use

Your vehicle is a high-maintenance, high-performance machine. It’s run by a combustion engine that is designed to work a specific way and only that way. When something is wrong with even one aspect of the engine, the whole system can suffer. You may notice this when you try to start or stop your car. One area that can experience a significant amount of damage in a short amount of time is the cylinders, specifically the cylinder heads. If you need cylinder head repair in Marietta and Atlanta, GA, dial (404) 920-4252 for the experts at American Engine Installations.

Signs of a Damaged Cylinder Head

Signs of a Damaged Cylinder Head

What is a cylinder head and how does it work exactly? The cylinder head sits at the top of a cylinder and closes it off to contain gases and air. In the cylinders, a spark is set off, thus producing a combustion that powers an engine. These heads are important for ensuring a timed and efficiently operating engine. However, over time and due to unforeseen circumstances, cylinder heads can become damaged. So how do you know if something is wrong? The need for brake service in Sugar Hill, GA can seem easier to spot than a damaged cylinder head, but there are a few signs to pay attention to.

  • Leaking Oil: Oil is necessary to provide lubrication for the cylinder head as well as helping to remove heat from the engine. A cracked or damaged cylinder head will likely start to leak that oil. You may notice this after your car has been parked for a while or your check engine light may come on.
  • Leaking Coolant: In almost every engine, coolant is deployed all around the area where the cylinders are. This helps to reduce the amount of heat within the block so your vehicle doesn’t overheat. Again, cracked or damaged heads will leak. You’ll see this possibly mixed with leaking oil or as a pool by itself.
  • Poor Performance: Because cylinders and cylinder heads are so important for a combustion engine to work, when something is wrong with them, the engine performance will fail. This is obvious if you are trying to drive up an incline or moving after being stopped for a period of time, like at a red light.
  • Misfiring: Based on how the cylinders work in an engine, when the head is cracked or damaged, it prevents the necessary build up of air and gases. This results in an engine that misfires. Rather than operate efficiently, your vehicle engine will be at a greater risk for damage and issue.
  • Smoke: And of course, the most obvious sign of engine trouble is smoke. A seriously damaged head will leak exhaust gases directly into the engine space, appearing to you as smoke. If this happens repairs or replacement services need to happen immediately.

Knowing what to look for the question you may be asking is why get cylinder repairs? You need to get repairs because, without them, your engine will suffer. Driving with a damaged or cracked cylinder head can result in serious problems and damages to your engine overall.

Cylinder Head Repair or Replace

If you are noticing signs of engine trouble, you may have the option between repairing or replacing the cylinder head. That will depend on the overall condition of your engine as well as the condition of the cylinder head itself. How much cylinder head repairs cost is actually about the same as a replacement service as well. So if you’re worried about the cost, there really shouldn’t be that big of a difference. Unlike a timing belt service, which can vary depending on where you go. Regardless, repairing or replacing a part of your engine depends on a number of things. Repairs are necessary if there is minimal damage to a cylinder head. If the head is severely damaged and releasing exhaust gases into the engine space, the cylinder head likely needs to be replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to repair a cylinder head?
    • The final costs for cylinder repairs will vary based on what is needed and where you go. Generally speaking, though, most repair services like this will start around $500 which usually include labor and parts costs.
  • What causes cylinder head damage?
    • The main cause for cylinder damage is due to overheating. In most cases, engines lose coolant or experience other trauma that can result in overheated engines. When that happens, you’ll experience serious problems.
  • What are the symptoms of a bad cylinder head?
    • There are several symptoms that indicate bad or damaged cylinder heads. The most important to look for is a misfiring or backfiring engine. When this happens, it’s important get this addressed as soon as possible.
  • Can you drive a car with a cracked cylinder head?
    • While you can drive with a cracked engine part, it’s important to note that doing so is just like driving with any other issue. It will get worse and worse over time if you continue to drive without dealing with the problem.
  • Can you repair a cracked cylinder head?
    • Yes, you can. That in mind, there is serious risk involved with repairing a cylinder in your engine. But when you take your car to an expert, they will be able to get it done efficiently and accurately.
Close-up of the cylinder block in the light blue scene.Automotive part,machine part .

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Dial (404) 920-4252 for American Engine Installations when you need cylinder head repair in Marietta and Atlanta, GA. We are here to help you!

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