The cylinder head along with a gasket reside on top of the engine and create a vacuum so that air and fuel can be compressed and the combustion process can commence. Cylinder heads are often lightweight and can become susceptible to damage; however, cracks or leaks in your car’s cylinder head can cause catastrophic damage to your car’s engine resulting in costly engine repairs or replacements. A cylinder head that is cracked can cause the engine to perform poorly, overheat, or fail all together.
The process of magnaflux testing your cylinder head can reveal any cracks, dents, or leaks in the head and help you to avoid those dreaded engine repairs either before they occur or before they get worse. Magnafluxing involves using fluorescent iron oxide particles, and a strong magnetic field to locate cracks, seems, dents, or leaks on iron and iron-based alloy metals that would otherwise be impossible to see with the naked eye. The cast iron cylinder head is magnaflux tested by being coated with the iron oxide particles and subjected to a strong magnetic field. Any cracks or flaws in the cylinder head will cause a disturbance (or magnetic flux) in the magnetic field. The iron oxide will gather and react at the points of magnetic flux and become visible under a black light. If the head does not have any flaws, the particles will not gather and just lay on the surface of the part. The magnaflux process does not work on aluminum heads, but penetrating dyes are available to test aluminum parts in a similar way.
In order to keep your car’s engine working powerfully and efficiently, make sure your cylinder head is magnaflux tested before purchasing. If you notice your engine performing poorly, overheating, or misfiring, or excessive steam in your exhaust or a loss of coolant, have your head tested immediately to check for any cracks or leaks. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Clearwater Cylinder Head would be happy to help you with any of cylinder head needs. All of our heads are magnafluxed and/or pressure tested ensuring you get the best quality.