Maintenance & Repair

3 Signs of a Cracked Cylinder Head


A cracked cylinder head can spell trouble for your engine and may even prevent your entire vehicle from operating correctly if the crack is large enough. However, a cracked cylinder head may also be hard to spot at times and can give you continuous issues if you are unable to initially find the problem. If your engine is not operating properly and you think that a cracked cylinder head may be the culprit, here are three signs that you should be on the lookout for.

  1. Oil/Coolant Leakages

The most subtle hints of damage in cylinder heads include leaks involving oil and coolant. When a cylinder head is cracked, the oil that is contained within the head will begin to leak out during use. Luckily enough, the oil light on your dashboard should come on to alert you of this issue if a cylinder head is damaged. To spot this type of damage, simply look for the light as well as oil leakage around your cylinder heads.

If a cylinder head has a much larger crack, the head may begin to leak its oil as well as coolant. When this occurs, your engine will begin to overheat during use. Similar to the previous point, you car should alert you about this problem on your dashboard, as well.

  1. A Decrease in Engine Performance

Another sign of cylinder head damage that could be subtle or severe is a decrease in engine performance. When a cylinder head becomes cracked, the compressed air that is contained within the engine begins to escape. This lack of pressure will begin to affect the overall engine performance and make it run slower. If a crack in the cylinder head is large enough, the engine could fail repeatedly or altogether after a while of use.

If the cylinder head damage is minimal but still affecting your engine’s performance, listen for the sounds of the engine to determine if the problem is a cracked cylinder head. For example, an engine that is failing due to cylinder head damage may sound slower or inconsistent due to the damage, or you may not be able to even hear the engine at all if enough pressure has escaped. You will definitely be able to tell if you have cylinder issues if you hear these sounds or lack thereof.

  1. Smoking

Obviously not a subtle sign of a damaged cylinder head, smoke coming from your engine is a result of a cylinder head cracked so badly that exhaust gases have begun to come out from inside of the engine. If you see smoke coming from your engine, do not continue to drive! This could cause serious damage to your engine and potentially put you in danger, as well. Seek help immediately so that you can get it taken care of. For example, if you drive a truck, search locally to see if you can find a truck repair service in Springfield, MA.

Now that you know what to look for in the event of a cracked cylinder head, you will be better equipped to deal with it in the event that it happens to your automobile. Keep in mind, however, that some of these issues may be due to other problems with your car. If you think that you may be dealing with a cracked cylinder head, keep an eye out for these three main issues and make sure to repair your cylinder head as soon as possible to keep your engine running smoothly!

Joe Lee
Hi, My name is Joe Lee and I am the founder of My purpose of creating this blog is to spread the knowledge of auto with others.

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