How to Fix an Exhaust Manifold Gasket Leak

There are so many complex elements of a vehicle’s engine. To an untrained eye, the engine of an average-sized car or a massive truck can be overwhelming. Yet, every driver must know the basics of an engine so they can make repairs if problems arise. One component that every driver should be familiar with is an exhaust manifold gasket. An exhaust manifold collects all the engine’s gases and carries them to the exhaust where they exit through the tailpipe. An exhaust manifold gasket seals in these gases until they’re ready for expulsion. That’s why a gasket must always be secure as a leak could be detrimental to the engine as a whole. This article will overview the symptoms of an exhaust manifold gasket leak and then detail the steps of how to fix it.

Symptoms of a Faulty Exhaust Manifold Gasket

There are a few signs of a bad exhaust manifold gasket that you should watch out for. For starters, a damaged exhaust manifold gasket will make a funny noise when you go to start your car or while you’re driving your automobile. When it’s faulty, the part will make a hissing-like sound. A bad exhaust manifold gasket leak can also affect how well your car runs. If you notice a decrease in power or you find that it’s more difficult to start your vehicle, you should pop the hood immediately. Finally, a leak in the exhaust manifold gasket can give off a bad smell in your ride. This smell is noticeable when the gases that the gasket was supposed to keep sealed leak over to other parts of the engine. If you’re having any of these issues with your engine, you’ll likely need to replace the gasket. The remainder of this article will detail the steps in the repair process.

Steps on How to Repair a Leaky Exhaust Manifold Gasket

As car repairs go, a leak in the exhaust manifold gasket is relatively easy to repair. The first thing you should do if you suspect you have a faulty exhaust manifold gasket is to pop the hood of your car. If you notice an oily liquid covering your engine, then a gasket leak is most likely the issue. After you’ve identified the problem, you should disconnect the negative wire of your engine’s battery and wait for it to cool down. Then, once it’s cooled off, you should put the parking brake on your vehicle and use a jack stand to raise the positioning of your car. While it’s not necessary to raise your vehicle, it’ll make your life so much easier because most exhaust manifold gaskets are only accessible for underneath an automobile. Once you’re confident that your car is secure, you can begin your repairs.

Exhaust manifold gaskets are securely bolted to an engine’s cylinder head. Normally, they’re tightly screwed on there, so you’ll need some tools to get them loose. Make sure you have a ratchet, sockets, a wrench, a hammer, penetrating oil, and gloves with you before you begin the task. Once you’re underneath the car, use these tools to disconnect any coverings or shields that block your view to the exhaust manifold gasket. Then, when you’re sure that you can see the exhaust manifold gasket, spray it with penetrating oil. You should also spray the bolts that connect the exhaust manifold to the exhaust pipe flange. After you spray, let the oil sit for a few minutes before you do anything else.

After the parts have had some time to soak in the penetrating oil, use a wrench to loosen the exhaust manifold bolts. Be careful not to apply too much pressure. The bolts should move fairly easily. Applying too much pressure could cause them to crack or break. Yet, if you’re having some trouble, you can use a hammer to help speed up the process. Once the bolts are loose enough, slowly remove the exhaust manifold. Place the manifold in a safe location and remove the faulty gasket. Throw the old gasket in the trash, and spray the exhaust manifold with brake-cleaner. This substance will help get rid of any carbon buildup or rust that has formed over the years. While this piece is drying, spray the area where the new gasket will go, as well. Spraying this spot will make it easier for you to slide the new gasket into place. Inspect the exhaust manifold for any damage before you place the new gasket on it, too. If everything looks fine, place the new gasket onto the exhaust manifold. From there, you can put the exhaust manifold back into your car. Just make sure that every bolt is going in the right spot. It’d be a wise idea to keep track of where every bolt goes as you’re taking them out. Every bolt must be put in the exact right location so that your engine runs properly. It would be awful to think that the project was complete, only to find an issue with the repair when you went to start your automobile.

An exhaust manifold gasket leak can do some serious damage to a ride’s engine. If the wrong gases leak out of the exhaust manifold, they could leak onto other parts of your engine. This can cause your engine to run poorly or create a terrible smell. Luckily, repairing this gasket leak is something you can easily do by yourself. As long as you have the right tools, you can successfully fix this problem. Yet, should you ever find yourself facing engine problems that you can’t address on your own, you should know that ATL Diesel always has your back. We have so many engine parts for sale that will help your diesel engine run like its brand new once again. Truck drivers, especially, know how problematic engine problems can be while on the road. We have tons of Cummins engine parts for sale for any truckers that need assistance getting their rigs back in shape. Remember, just because there are some mechanical fixes you can do by yourself, that doesn’t mean you’re in the process alone. ATL Diesel will help you with whatever needs you have along the way.


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