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Things About Great Cylinder Head

The cylinder head is one of the least noticed parts of a vehicle but among the most vital. In this cylinder head definition and function article, we will define a cylinder head, look at what it does, and its location in automobiles. We also included cylinder head definition images to help you recognize the component.

You may have heard about it. Most likely, you do not know what it is or even what role it plays in your car. So, what is a cylinder head, and what does it do? Here is the cylinder head definition and uses.


As its name implies, a cylinder head is the cast metal part that covers the top part of a cylinder. Here, we are talking about internal combustion engines. These are engines that use cylinders as chambers within which to burn fuel. As you can guess, electric cars do not have cylinder heads. They do not burn fuel unless they are the hybrid type.


  • A cylinder head is usually located on the top of the engine block. It serves as a housing for components such as the intake and exhaust valves, springs and lifters and the combustion chamber. This page covers the main function and various designs of cylinder heads, and their causes and symptoms of failure.


The passages in the cylinder head allow air and fuel to flow inside the cylinder while permitting the exhaust gases to flow out of it. The passages are otherwise called ports or tracts. The cylinder head also channels the coolant into the engine block, thereby cooling down the engine components. The cylinder head uses a gasket that aids in preventing water or oil from leaking into the combustion chambers.


The cylinder head mounts on the cylinder block or engine housing. Together with the piston and cylinder, it forms a part of the combustion chamber. Underneath the cylinder head lies the cylinder head gasket. The gasket seals the head to the cylinder block, preventing leaks. Here is a cylinder head diagram showing where the head and head gasket are positioned. Note also the engine block.


Cylinder Head
Cylinder Head



  • cylinder head

To help you understand these parts better, here is the definition of a cylinder block, head gasket, cylinder, and piston. Also, the combustion chamber definition and the parts that make the component.


Cylinder block– it is the part that forms the support structure for the engine cylinders and related components. Some people call it the engine block, although a technical difference exists between the two. Main cylinder block materials include cast iron and aluminum.



Cylinder head gasket– mounted between the cylinder head and engine block, the head gasket forms the seal between the two parts. Cylinder head gasket functions include containing coolant in the relevant passageways, preventing air and combustion gases from leaking, and maintaining compression of the engine cylinders.



Cylinder-thispart that forms the space for piston travel. The cylinder is where fuel burns to produce power. The number of cylinders varies depending on the type of engine. Generally, the higher number, the more the power.



Piston– a piston transmits the force of expanding combustion gases to the crankshaft. It is housed in the engine cylinder and usually made from an aluminum alloy. A connecting rod allows the piston to rotate the crankshaft.



Combustion chamber– it is the recess in the bottom part of the cylinder head. It forms the space where fuel burns to produce the force to move a vehicle. The cylinder is made up of cylinder walls, cylinder head at the top, and a piston at the bottom.



A cylinder head is found in the internal combustion engines of cars, trucks, locomotives, tractors, motorcycles, and sea vessels such as boats and ships. The heads vary in design. A cylinder head in motorcycle engines may be different from the type found tractors, for example.


In most cases, the engine cylinders and cylinder heads of bikes are one-piece structures. Large vehicles usually cylinder heads as separate pieces that mount on the engine block by means of bolts or studs.


  • Repair or restoration of the cylinder head?

Many defects can require a repair of the cylinder head, which can be very expensive. Since the cylinder head is installed in the engine, extensive work on this engine component is associated with a repair or a restoration.

In most cases, the cylinder head must first be removed and then ground flat after a repair, as this is the only way to ensure that it closes the lower part of the engine correctly.

An exchange of the cylinder head is only due in rare cases. Mostly, cylinder head defects relate to easily replaceable parts, such as the valves.

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