What can cause a warped cylinder head?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Safety, Tips and Tricks on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 at 4:16 pm
An overheated car stranded on the road

Having a misshapen cylinder head can lead to some pretty big problems in your vehicle. Like, really big- it could damage your engine so much that the whole mechanism needs to be replaced. Instead of dealing with that, the best path to take is to prevent your cylinder head from ever getting harmed in the first place.

In order to prevent a cylinder head from warping, you need to know: what causes a warped cylinder head, and what should I do to prevent it?

Warped Cylinder Head Causes and Solutions

A man looking at an overheated can engine

Overheating is the most common cause of cylinder head warping and cracking. When an engine gets too hot, the cylinder head often bears the brunt of the pain. This causes the components to warp and pressure to leak.

How can I prevent overheating?

The good news is that overheating is generally pretty easy to prevent. The most important thing to do is keep your vehicle properly maintained. Keep up to date and on schedule with routine maintenance.

If part of your cooling system fails, corresponding parts of the engine can get extremely hot. Make sure you keep up to date on the status and functionality of your cooling system so that this doesn’t occur.

If you think cylinders are crazy, wait until you hear about the timing belt!

What should I do if my vehicle overheats?

If your vehicle does overheat, simply stop the car, turn off the engine, and allow it to cool off completely. Once it has cooled, you can add some water to further help.

However, do NOT pour cool water into the radiator before waiting for your vehicle to cool down. This is a common “solution” to the problem of overheating, but it is a misguided one. The rapid temperature change on the mechanics of your vehicle can cause damage, including leading the cylinder head to warp and crack.

How do I know if my cylinder head is warped?

If your car has overheated recently, it’s important to check the cylinder head and gasket to make sure none of the dreaded warping or cracking has occurred. If these two parts are no longer flush, work needs to be done quickly before they cause more damage to themselves.

Or, if you don’t want to bother getting it repaired, simply pick up a great pre-owned vehicle from Third Coast Auto Group!