The complete cylinder head is an integral part of your car's engine and consists of the camshaft, coolant passages, intake and exhaust valves, intake and exhaust ports and valve springs.

The complete cylinder head is fixed on top of the cylinder block, forming the top of the combustion chamber. Sandwiched between the cylinder head and cylinder block, acting as a sealant, is the head gasket.

The job of the cylinder head is an important one. The cylinder head complete is comprised of a series of passages that carry the air and fuel combination needed for combustion to the cylinders; the liquid coolant, needed to keep the engine cool; and harmful fumes (produced in the engine in the process of combustion) from the exhaust valves to the exhaust manifold and away from the vehicle. In an air cooled engine, the cylinder head and cylinder block have fins on the outside that allows cool air, generated by a fan which is powered by the engine, to flow through the engine and keep it cool.

A leaking engine; dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe; a strong, bad, rubbery smell when travelling in the car; an engine that is overheating; and an engine that keeps cutting out, could all be signs of a faulty cylinder head and could mean you need to replace your complete cylinder head. When replacing the cylinder head, it is important that you replace it with a cylinder head that is compatible with the make and model of your car.