Cylinder Head Problems on a Caterpillar C15 ACERT


Caterpillar c15 acert | Highway & Heavy Parts


Caterpillar C15 ACERT. You've probably heard of it. It's a very popular engine, and we get a lot of questions on it from our customers. 

We've noticed, though, that there are a few questions that a lot of people have regarding the health and performance of their C15 ACERT cylinder head. We're going to take you through these common issues and symptoms, so you can have a better understanding of why it's happening and what solutions we have for you.

You can also watch our video for more information:



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Not running an ACERT? Check out our post on C15 cylinder head problems and solutions


What are Some Symptoms of Cylinder Head Issues on My C15 ACERT?


Caterpillar c15 acert cylinder head problems | Highway & Heavy Parts


The first thing you'll probably want to know is: "How can I tell if I'm having a problem with the cylinder head on my C15 ACERT diesel engine?"

Well, there are a few symptoms that you can watch out for that might indicate an issue with your cylinder head. These include:

  • Losing Coolant
  • Compression in the Coolant
  • Fluid in the Exhaust
  • Compression Leak or "Chirp" Under Load
  • White Smoke from Pipes
  • Overheating

It's important to note that these symptoms don't always indicate an issue with your cylinder head. For instance, if you're noticing noise from your engine under load, you might also have gasket issues, or there might be a problem with the lubricating abilities of your oil. Check out our blog for more information on diesel engine noise under load.

So, you know the symptoms. But as long as the engine hasn't failed, you can ignore them, right?

That's probably not the best idea. We'll take you through what's actually happening with your C15 ACERT cylinder head.



How are These Symptoms Related to the Caterpillar C15 ACERT Cylinder Head?

We know that the cylinder head is vital to the normal operation in your diesel engine. It's what allows for the compression to happen that makes your engine run. So, if it's not working right, your whole engine will suffer. 

Want to know more about cylinder heads? Read our post explaining the function of diesel engine cylinder heads

For instance, you might be having troubles with the cooling system. If the engine loses coolant, you might notice that it's having a hard time maintaining a safe operating temperature. This can cause excessive heat, which leads to other issues in your engine.

Notably, this heat can cause cracking in your diesel engine cylinder head. These cracks can cause coolant or oil to leak in your C15 ACERT.

Something else that can cause overheating in your diesel engine is compression in the cooling system. This issue doesn't allow for proper water circulation in the head, which allows for that excessive heat.

You might also have your damaged cylinder head venting exhaust gases directly into the engine. This can be the cause of the smoke you see coming from your pipes. If the crack in the cylinder head is large, you might even have it leaking out the top of the cylinder head. 


What Can You Do About Caterpillar C15 Cylinder Head Issues?

Depending on the severity of the problem with your cylinder head, it might be time to install a new one on your Caterpillar C15 ACERT. We have a wide selection of cylinder heads to fit your needs, and an expert staff who can ensure that you're getting the right diesel engine replacement parts. 

Check out for all our available Caterpillar C15 ACERT cylinder head options. We now offer C15 ACERT Cylinder Heads with an option of inconel valves for engines with higher temperatures and higher cylinder pressures. Having your engine serial number handy can ensure you get the right parts the first time, as well as speed up the process.


So, do you have any of these symptoms with your Caterpillar C15 ACERT diesel engine? Let Highway & Heavy Parts help you find the right solution to your problem!


HHP has a great selection of cylinder heads and other diesel engine replacement parts. Call our ASE Certified Technicians at 844-304-7688, or request a quote online!