In this paper distortion of surface topography measurement results by improper selection of the reference plane is taken into consideration. The following types of surfaces from cylindrical elements were analyzed: cylinder liners after plateau honing, cylinder liners with additionally burnished oil pockets and turned piston skirts. Surface topographies of these elements after a low wear process were also studied. In order to obtain areal surface topography parameters, the form was eliminated using cylinders and polynomials of the following degrees: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. Parameters of surfaces after form removal were compared. After analysis of results the reference elements for each kind of surface were recommended. A special procedure was proposed in order to select the degree of a polynomial. This method is based on surface topography changes with increase of polynomial degree. The effect of improper form elimination on measuring uncertainty was studied.