About Me

Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Hi, my name is Angela, and as the wife of a mechanic, I was constantly tripping over car parts and complaining about the rows of project cars lining our garden. However, after a few years, I quit complaining and actually found joy in the art of auto repair. Inspired by that classic book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I decided to start working on cars with my husband. This blog is the culmination of everything I have learned and more. I hope you enjoy reading it and that my tips and ideas guide you toward a healthier car and a happier, safer driving experience.


Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Some Commonly Asked Questions about a Car's Cylinder Heads and Their Repair

by Keith Simpson

A car's cylinder heads are very important; these are the openings of the engine block that allow in air so that the engine can create combustion for energy. When cylinder heads get cracked or otherwise damaged, this can be very dangerous for a car's engine as they can continue to crack and may, in turn, shut down your engine completely. Cracks or other damage can also mean your engine is not regulating the air intake and other processes needed to keep your engine running as it should. Note a few commonly asked questions you might have about your car's cylinder heads when they need repair.

1. Are remanufactured cylinder heads acceptable?

Cylinder heads are made of very durable steel and, in turn, they should last for years once they're properly repaired. Cylinder heads taken from another engine can also be used in a repair job and can be just as strong as new cylinder heads. If your mechanic recommends remanufactured cylinder heads, don't assume this is a poor choice for your car but consider if it's a more budget-friendly option.

2. Does blue smoke always mean cracked cylinder heads?

Blue smoke can often mean a poor mixture of oil and air or that oil has gotten into the gas mixture, or vice versa. This can happen when the cylinder heads are cracked as fluid can then escape the engine block and mix together with air. However, blue smoke can mean a number of problems in the engine; hoses can be cracked and connectors can be broken. You should have the cylinder heads checked if you notice blue smoke coming from under the hood or the exhaust, but if they're not cracked, check the hoses to and from the oil pan next.

3. Why do cylinder heads crack?

Cracked cylinder heads can be caused by a number of reasons; one is simply age. As cars get older, parts simply start to show wear and tear. Another common reason is a driver pouring cooler water into the radiator when it's overheated. This cooler water can cause the engine's cylinder heads to crack as they get brittle. Failure of the cooling system can cause hot spots in the engine, which can put undue wear and tear on the cylinder heads, causing them to crack. If your car has cracked cylinder heads, be sure your mechanic checks the cooling system along with making the needed repairs.