How to Detect Car Cylinder Head Problems

Written by shelley smith
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Your cylinder is an important component in your car engine's operation and performance. Your head gasket seals the cylinder head; there is an opening in your cylinder that allows coolant to transfer through the head. Coolant cools the engine by flowing through the cylinder. If you are having problems with your car cylinder and/or head gasket, the detection and repair of these issues will keep your car cool and running properly. Since the car cylinder and the head gasket are different parts, the cost to repair each is different.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Determine if there is a strong coolant odour in your vehicle. Such an odour could indicate a leak in coolant and a potential car cylinder or head gasket problem.

  2. 2

    Identify if smoke is coming from your exhaust pipe. This could also indicate a car cylinder or head gasket issue. The smoke tells you that some component in your car is heating up more than it should and is actually smoking to alert you of the excess heat.

  3. 3

    Check for coolant under your car after if has been off for a few hours. This also indicates a potential coolant leak, which may be a crack in the head gasket or an issue with the car cylinder.

  4. 4

    Notice if you have to add coolant regularly or your check coolant light continually lights up, which may indicate a coolant leak.

  5. 5

    Hook your vehicle up to a mechanic's diagnostic computer to assess any cylinder or gasket problems. These machines automatically tell the mechanic if there are issues with the cylinder or gasket. Mechanics do charge for these diagnostic tests and they are usually quick and efficient.

Tips and warnings

  • If the coolant is leaking, it could also be a radiator issue, so check thoroughly to make the best decision.
  • Do not check your coolant, car cylinder or head gasket if the vehicle is hot or has just been driven. Wait until the engine cools before exploring or diagnosing.

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