The global auto parts manufacturing market reached a value of $380 billion in 2020.

Replacing car parts can be expensive, but can often be avoided by taking care of your car with routine maintenance. Understanding how to clean cylinder heads will help you to keep them in good condition, improving engine performance and extending their lifespan.

For some car cylinder head cleaning tips, keep reading.

Steps on How to Clean Cylinder Heads

There are some materials you will need before you are ready for cleaning cylinder heads. This includes:

  • Brake/parts cleaner
  • Compressed air
  • A tub or bucket
  • Plastic scraper tool
  • Socket set
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Compressed air
  • Chemical resistant gloves
  • Safety goggles/glasses

1. Preparation

Make sure you have your gloves and eye protection on first of all. Use your socket set to remove the valve assembly and air cleaner from the engine block. You can then unbolt and remove the cylinder head.

Place the cylinder head into the tub or bucket. This is where you will work on it to avoid making too much mess.

2. Remove Old Head Gasket Material

Some material from the old head gasket will probably be stuck to the cylinder head. You can remove this using your plastic scraper tool.

Make sure that you use a tool that won’t scratch the mating surface. When engine heads become damaged, they can result in leaks. These damages may make the head gasket fail later on.

3. Clean the Cylinder Head

Spray your rag with the brake cleaner or parts cleaner. use this to clean the cylinder head as best you can. It should remove oil and grime quite easily, so keep it in the tub the whole time.

Make sure you clean through all passages and around parts that you can access. Some parts will be too difficult to reach, so you’ll need to leave these.

4. Soak the Cylinder Head

Once you’ve finished cleaning with a rag, leave the cylinder head to soak in warm water. This will help with removing dirt that you were unable to reach by hand such as in small gaps and within oil and coolant passages.

Remove it from the tub and use clean water to rinse it off again. After this you can wipe it down with a dry rag or towel, removing excess water.

5. Clear Passages

You can clear any remaining water from passaged using the compressed air, then you just need to leave the cylinder head to sit somewhere for a while and completely dry off.

Once it is fully dried off you can add the new head gasket, then begin reassembling and installing it.

It can be a strenuous job overall but should be done to remove the dirt that builds up over the years as this will affect the engine performance.

Replacing Cylinder Head Parts

All parts of an engine experience wear and tear with years of use. Even if you have plenty of experience cleaning a car engine, that sometimes won’t be enough, and parts will need replacing.