Definition Of Cylinder Head Scoring And The Causes

Last Updated on January 21, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

If the surface of a cylinder head is damaged then it is considered cylinder head scoring. You will find the cylinder head in the internal combustion engine. Cylinder scuffing can result from overheating that damages the metal, or poor clearances around the scuffed cylinder.

Key Takeaways

  • If you don’t lubricate the engine properly then it could cause the cylinder head scoring problem
  • If foreign material is lodged in the engine then it can cause the cylinder head scoring problem
  • High temperatures can cause the cylinder head to warp or crack which will be resulting the cylinder head scoring
  • If you don’t maintain the engine properly then you will have to face this type of problem

Main Causes Of Cylinder Head Scoring

Insufficient LubricationAn insufficient amount of lubricant fails to prevent excessive friction of moving parts, resulting in cylinder head scoring.
Contaminated LubricantSome components can contaminate the lubricant, resulting in cylinder head scoring.
Improper CombustionAn inadequate air/fuel mixture can cause this type of problem.
Excessive Workload
Excessive speed or excessive workload for the engine can deteriorate various parts such as the cylinder head.
Damaged Parts Or ComponentsSome engine parts may be damaged or there may be leaks, which can damage the cylinder head and other components.

Main Causes Of Cylinder Scuffing

As with any type of machine, the cylinder can wear until we are not counting on a scored cylinder. That is why it is really necessary to implement certain maintenance to avoid excessive wear of these parts. There are several reasons why a cylinder may wear out earlier than expected.

Some of the following reasons may be:

1. Sticking Or Scraping

2. Abrasion

3. Corrosion

4. Friction

Each of these situations produces a certain defect. 

1. Adhesion Or Scuffing

Between the surface of the coating, there may be some problems between the different particles of the piston rings. Some kind of local welding must have been implemented after a repair. Abrasive material can be produced after the produced weld is broken. 

This happens through a process where the piston moves within the liner itself. On most occasions, poor lubrication or insufficient lubrication is usually the general problem. Here, the pressure is too much in consideration of the amount of lubrication.

Excessive heat causes the deformation of any type of metal. Thus, insufficient lubrication fails to prevent excessive heat build-up in these situations. In the same vein, the oil in the cylinder is not efficiently bonded to avoid these problems. This can lead to small particles scratching the cylinder surface.

2. Abrasion

During the combustion process, some components can be generated that affect the cylinder itself. In particular, it is the creation of hard particles that are generated after combustion. Abrasive wear can be produced by particles accumulated inside the oil. 

An oil that is too contaminated with various particles provides inadequate lubrication. Some of these particles can be dust, metal shavings, or ashes formed after combustion. Thus, this contaminated oil will carry to various parts of the engine and cylinder components that affect the metal surface.

Even engine oil or lubricant with an inadequate service life loses effectiveness dramatically. However, this problem can be easily avoided by regular and proper maintenance. In any case, it is not a very difficult situation to avoid.

3. Corrosion

Some types of corrosion can occur when the catalytic converter is not working properly. The catalytic converter is the component of a vehicle in charge of dealing with the most dangerous gases. These dangerous gases are produced exactly after the combustion necessary to achieve power in the vehicle.

So, these hazardous gases may contain certain particles that are not only dangerous for the environment. Some of these particles are also totally unsuitable for the internal parts of the engine, including the cylinder. When there is some kind of internal leakage, these hazardous gases can even scrape the cylinder.

On the other hand, some kind of corrosion can occur when the mixture for combustion is not balanced. This could happen due to the inlet valve or the outlet valve and a malfunction. Of course, the operation of the vehicle tries to compensate for the imbalance of the fuel-air mixture. However, this imbalance can create some problems.

4. Friction

Friction is another classic problem that any vehicle must face. A car and any other vehicle have many different moving metal parts.

Many of these moving parts can rub against each other resulting in generalized wear and tear. So the cylinder can deteriorate when the friction is too high with other parts. In this case, some factors can influence this problem. 

1. Combustion Efficiency: The combustion efficiency depends on the fuel-air mixture. However, this level of efficiency can also depend on the type of fuel used. Some low octane fuels can produce damage inside the vehicle.

2. Lubrication: Lubrication is always necessary to prevent moving parts from deteriorating too quickly. At the same time, lubrication has a certain service life and must be replaced from time to time. When the useful life of a lubricant has been exceeded then the level of lubrication decreases noticeably. 

3. Maintenance: On some occasions, certain parts of the engine need to be replaced for overall performance. When any component is functioning improperly, the engine may face high pressure, excessive workload, or improper temperature, among other problems. 

4. Speed: The speed in the movement of the different moving parts of a vehicle is also another factor to consider. Some of these moving parts are not designed to withstand a high speed of movement. So, this could result in cylinder head scoring, among several other problems.

How To Avoid Cylinder Head Scoring 

1. Replace the lubricating fluids and engine oil considering the correct amount of time or the useful life of the products

2. Replace the oil filter together with the engine oil

3. Use the right lubricant for each type of vehicle

4. Use the most appropriate fuel for each vehicle

5. Replace defective components or parts of the vehicle

6. Achieve an excellent balance between air and fuel for combustion

7. Applying general maintenance at the most appropriate time

8. Incorporate some additives in the fuel or lubricant to improve engine performance

9. Avoid excessive running or excessive workload on the engine

All these steps are very easy to apply and can prevent cylinder head scoring and deterioration of other parts of the vehicle. Besides, noticing cylinder head scoring allows you to discover some situations that should be fixed inside the vehicle.