Engine Repair

Identifying a Cracked Cylinder Head on your Car



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Having a cracked cylinder head on your car can be diagnosed In three ways. I will explain these diagnoses in easy terms, so that you can identify the warning signs that could save the rest of your car's engine from harm. The cylinder heads contain all the moving parts of the fuel and exhaust valves, springs, and push rods that operate the fluctuation of fuel and exhaust through out your car. When the heads develop a crack due to wear and tear inside your engine, it allows oil to mix with the cooling system of your engine.

Things To Look For To Diagnose A Cracked Cylinder Head:

1} Remove your radiator cap and start your cars engine. Wait for the engine to warm up enough for the thermostat to open. The circulation of water will tell you if oil is in the water by simply dipping your finger into the fluid.

2} Remove your oil stick from the engine block. Closely inspect the dip stick for beaded water droplets on the surface.

3} Visualize the flow of the water being circulated through the engine as it runs. If you see bubbles floating in the coolant it could me that a crack has formed within the engine block. It will also make the engine run hot, so do not run the engine for a long period of time.

These three things can help you identify a cracked cylinder head on your car, but it is always best to take your car to a licenced professional to have your engine coolant tested for adequate pressures. Your car's performance will tell you when a cracked head appears out of no where. The car will idle sluggishly and the engine will run hotter than a normal temperature  during operation. The engine could also stall due to protective modules placed through out your cars system to prevent damage to the motor.

It is a good rule of thumb to have your car placed on a diagnostic machine that goes through your cars computer to identify problems that may have caused the crack to form. The repairs to cracked heads can be a costly problem, but if you identify the problem ahead of time, other problems can be prevented. Cracked heads can cause Valve guide wear, Piston rings to seat (Thus the loss of compression to engine), and the engine to run hot and possibly seize the engines cylinders. The mix of water and oil inside the engine block can cause the rod and rod caps to break and blow through your oil pan beneath the engine in some cases. The main culprit to cracked cylinder heads is poor cooling from your cars system. Improper fluid levels let the engine heat up and then cracks appear.

More about this author: Rex Coker

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