How to Remove Rust From an Engine Cylinder

by Shayrgo Barazi

When rebuilding an engine, you often find rust in the cylinders. Before installing your pistons and new piston rings, it is essential to remove the rust so that the piston rings ride smoothly against the cylinder wall. If you don't remove the rust, you can cause piston ring damage, which will make your engine rebuild a waste of time.

Purchase a honing tool from an auto parts store. A honing tool is a shaft with numerous sanding balls at the end. The honing tool is placed in a drill and used to make the cylinder smooth and remove rust.

Place the honing tool in your drill and place oil on the tool.

Insert the honing tool in the cylinder and start the drill.

Move the honing tool up and down in the cylinder making sure to remove all the rust. You must repeatedly put engine oil on the honing tool so that the tool doesn't wear prematurely. You can use any standard engine oil weight such as 5w-30.

Clean the cylinder thoroughly with a rag and remove any dirt and shavings. Then place a coating of engine oil on the cylinder wall to ensure it doesn't rust while you are rebuilding the engine.


  • check Take your time while you are honing the cylinder. Do not rush the up and down strokes. The best method is to take about 5 seconds per down or up stroke.


  • close Wear eye and skin protection when honing cylinders.

Items you will need

About the Author

Shayrgo Barazi is a college graduate with a degree in automotive engineering technology (B.S.c.) from Ferris State University. He is a successful writer and has taken a college level technical writing course. He currently works for Time Wave Media writing automotive DIY articles. He has an intuition for technology and has the capacity to write, too.

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