My cars engine (1991 Honda Civic 1.5 liter) had a bad gasket leak and was running without oil for a week causing scoring on the inside of the cylinders. If I resurface the cylinders, is it possible to keep the old cylinder heads and resurface those or would I need to replace them entirely?

  • Do the heads have cam shafts with bearings that ran without oil ? Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 1:03

2 Answers 2


You should have the heads rebuilt as it highly likely that the lack of oil also caused damage there as well. While resurfacing may not be needed, the valve guides, cam followers, and camshafts may be damaged and need to be replaced.


Confusing? You ask if you should resurface the engine block, then cylinders, then head faces…

Cylinders: if scored, they can be machined and honed or just honed if scoring is light.

Heads will only need resurfacing if they are warped, so you need to measure with a straight edge. The valve guides and any bearings need checking / replacing as necessary.

Block: same as heads, measure to be sure, but some engines have cylinder liners that can be replaced - and stick just proud of the block face.

If the cylinders were badly scored then the pistons may need replacing or machining.

Can all be done, but check and measure first.

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