How Often Do You Need a Cylinder Head Replacement

Did you know that a broken cylinder head not only causes coolant to leak, but it can also cause your engine to overheat, and in some cases, this can cause your engine to blow up?

This will almost certainly call for a cylinder head replacement. While a blown engine is a worst-case scenario, it can easily happen if a damaged cylinder head isn’t fixed sooner rather than later.

Something like this could mean a loss in work which also means a loss in money. Prolonged problems only worsen, and they can cause damage to other parts of your truck. To avoid this, there are maintenance timelines that can help keep the functionality of your engine up to par.

There are also tips you can use to help diagnose potential issues before they happen. We’re going to go over everything you need to know about cylinder head replacement, from when to expect it, how to prevent damage to it, and why it’s needed so, keep reading.

What Is a Cylinder Head?

So, what is a cylinder head? The cylinder head is at the top of your engine, and it’s responsible for the combustion of fuel and air. The upper part of your engine is the cylinder head, while the lower part is the actual engine block.

The lines that lead to your oil and coolant are housed in the cylinder head, along with other things such as spark plugs and the valve gear. This part can be expensive to replace when a replacement is avoidable so it’s important to know the signs to look for to ensure it’s in good shape.

Signs and Symptoms That You Need a Cylinder Head Replacement

There are a few common symptoms that will help you pinpoint when a diesel truck cylinder head needs to be replaced. A few of the top things to pay attention to are;

Seeing White Smoke

Seeing smoke coming from the exhaust isn’t a good sign and it often means you’ll need a cylinder head replacement. This could be connected to a coolant leak or it could mean that your cylinder head is failing.

If you are seeing a high amount of smoke coming from the exhaust, this is often an indicator of that. This can also be connected to overheating and will usually mean that your engine is burning your diesel’s coolant.

Your Diesel Is Overly Consuming Oil

If your cylinder head ruptures, more oil will be consumed than normal. Don’t forget to look for other issues associated with excessive oil consumption such as a defective piston ring or an issue with the seal between them.

Coolant Levels Are Dropping

Reduced coolant levels will often point to a leak. Leaks can be an indication of a broken truck cylinder head and the issue is, this can cause long-term damage if not fixed right away because this can lead to your truck overheating due to having less coolant.

Overheating of the Engine

Any temperatures that surpass the 190-220 degree range will cause issues for your truck and strain the engine. Also, other parts could be put at risk as high temperatures can cause auto parts to expand more than they should.

Leaking Oil

When your rig is leaking oil, one of the main reasons for this could be a cylinder head that’s cracked. To diagnose, all you need to do is inspect near the cylinder head to see if there is any oil around it. This also plays into coolant leaks as this could be a sign of a blown gasket.

Also, pay attention to the color of the oil in your truck. If there is a whitish tinge to the oil, this could also be a sign that you have a bad cylinder head. Keep in mind though, that this will not always mean you have a bad head gasket.

There is a common misconception that this is what milky oil primarily indicates and this can lead to a misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosing automotive issues will almost always lead to wasting money while fixing what may be thought of as broken and then the actual problem will still go unfixed until more signs are shown.

Keep this in mind and have your rig checked if you aren’t positive that the cylinder head is the problem.

The Timeline of Replacement

You can often get five years and sometimes more out of your truck’s cylinder head. What you want to know though, is whether this timeline will reflect proper maintenance being upheld for that specific part. You should also be performing preventive methods as needed.

This will involve routine inspections and not driving when you have a truck part that’s obviously damaged. In some engine types, the cylinder head will have multiple functions, from bringing gas from the cylinder to pushing air to it. This means that it’s connected to a variety of areas in your engine and can cause potential damage to other parts without proper maintenance.

Methods of Prevention: Cylinder Head Replacement

The best way overall to keep a faulty cylinder head from causing more damage to your engine is to perform regular maintenance on your truck’s engine. A few things that you will need to do are;

  • Observe the condition of your radiator
  • Keep your engine well-maintained beyond standard maintenance needs
  • Watch for potential leaks
  • Keep all parts updated and replaced as needed and on the same timeline

When you keep an eye on the mechanical condition of the engine, you will be able to identify the problems within the cylinder head and get it replaced at the earliest time that you can. 

Industry-Leading Diesel Services

Cylinder head replacement can be costly when it’s unplanned. There are a variety of factors to consider when you experience problems with your engine and avoiding a misdiagnosis can save you thousands in the long run. Working with Diesel Performance Specialist will ensure you have access to high-quality parts and services for your truck.

If you don’t want to chance having to get an unwanted replacement or maintenance bill, get ahold of us today.

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