Clean Your Vehicle’s Cylinder Head, Remove Signs Of Corrosion, And Protect The Metal Surface

A cylinder head is a covering that protects a cylinder's internal components as a piston is compressed inside of a motor. If this vital part has rust on its metal surface, your car's motor may not run as smoothly as normal. The following steps can be completed to clean your vehicle's cylinder head, remove signs of corrosion, and protect the metal surface from rusting again. 


  • gloves
  • face mask
  • duster
  • can of compressed air
  • shop vacuum cleaner
  • naval jelly
  • foam sponge or brush
  • scouring pad
  • detergent
  • water
  • cleaning cloths
  • plastic sheeting
  • wide tape
  • rust preventive spray

Remove Loose Debris From The Cylinder Head

Park your car inside of a garage or on a flat surface outdoors. After turning your vehicle's ignition off, open the hood. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and secure a cloth mask over your mouth to protect yourself from strong fumes as you are eliminating rust. Locate the vehicle's motor and the rusted metal covering that is attached to the engine.

Move a cloth or feather duster across the cylinder head's surface to eliminate loose dirt particles. A can of compressed air can also be used to eliminate dirt particles. If dirt has built up between small crevices that are located near or on the cylinder head, suck them up with a shop vacuum cleaner's hose.

Administer Naval Gel And Apply A Preventive Spray

Use a foam sponge or brush to apply naval gel over metal surfaces that are corroded. A thick, even coating of gel will work best to eliminate rust. Wait for rust to loosen before scrubbing treated surfaces with a clean sponge or scouring pad. Move a sponge or pad rapidly back and forth across rust spots. Thick sections of rust may require a second treatment of naval gel to successfully remove all signs of rust.

Use a damp soapy cloth to wipe off the cylinder head's surface. The soapy water that is applied to the cloth will remove traces of gel that remain on the metal. Use a clean, soft cloth to dry the cylinder head. Use plastic sheeting and strips of wide tape to cover portions of your car's engine that you do not want exposed to a rust preventive spray.

Hold a bottle of rust preventative spray several feet over the cylinder head. Emit an even amount of spray across the metal. If spray drips down the sides of the cylinder head, use a soft cloth or sponge to eliminate the overspray. After the rust preventive spray dries, close your vehicle's hood.