Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Manifold Gasket

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Engine exhaust manifolds are the metal components that are responsible for collecting exhaust gases and transporting them to the exhaust for expulsion from the tailpipe. They are bolted to the engine cylinder head(s) and are sealed using a gasket known as the exhaust manifold gasket.

The exhaust manifold gasket is usually a multi-layered gasket that contains metal and other materials that are designed to provide the best seal possible. As the exhaust manifold gasket is the first in the exhaust system, it is a very important seal that should be inspected if any problems arise. When it fails or has any issues, it can cause all sorts of problems for the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing exhaust manifold gasket will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Excessively noisy engine

One of the first symptoms of a problem with an exhaust manifold gasket is an excessively noisy engine. A faulty exhaust manifold gasket will produce an exhaust leak that will sound like a hissing or tapping sound coming from the engine. The sound may be especially pronounced during a cold start or during acceleration.

2. Decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency

Engine performance issues are another common symptom of a problem with an exhaust manifold gasket. If the exhaust manifold gasket fails, the exhaust leak can result in engine performance issues such as a decrease in power, acceleration, and even fuel efficiency. The performance decrease may be minor at first, but will worsen over time if not addressed.

3. Burning smell coming from the engine bay

Another symptom of a potential problem with the exhaust manifold gasket is a burning smell from the engine bay. If the gasket fails and leaks near any plastic components, or engine wiring, the heat from the exhaust gases may cause the components to burn up. This may result in a burning smell coming from the engine bay as a result of the components being exposed to such high heat. The smell may sometimes be accompanied by faint smoke. Any sort of burning smells should be checked out as soon as possible to make sure that they are not a potential safety hazard.

Exhaust manifold gaskets are one of the most important gaskets of an engine, as they are the main gasket that seals and pressurizes the entire exhaust system. When the exhaust manifold gasket, or gaskets fail or have an issue, it can cause problems with the performance and drivability of the vehicle. If you suspect that you may be having an issue with your exhaust manifold gaskets, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if your vehicle needs an exhaust manifold gasket replacement.


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Recent Exhaust System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Exhaust System Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

53

Rating Summary
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Ira

35 years of experience
259 reviews
Ira
35 years of experience
Ford Edge - Exhaust System Inspection - Brandon, Florida
Ira was prompt and was able to diagnose the issue quickly even though it had been misdiagnosed by a chain repair shop.
Chevrolet Blazer - Exhaust System Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Ira was amazing and honest. I scheduled for the wrong service. He explained what I needed and took care of the car appropriately. Your mechanic is a fantastic service with wonderful people. If you have the option for Ira, do not hesitate!

Kyle

11 years of experience
137 reviews
Kyle
11 years of experience
Honda Accord - Exhaust System Inspection - Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
Extremely helpful! He saved me money wherever he could, he was extremely patient and answered any question I had. I strongly recommend him.
Buick Century - Exhaust System Inspection - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Very perfessional and honest and those are rare traits for a mechanic. Dude save me money and a headache! I'm using him for any of my car needs or anyone I know!

Breck

19 years of experience
613 reviews
Breck
19 years of experience
Cadillac CTS - Exhaust System Inspection - Houston, Texas
Mr. Bishop was very professional, friendly and knowledgeable about the problem my car was having with the emissions system. He explained to me in layman’s terms how and why I may have incurred this problem, which was greatly appreciated.

Chet

40 years of experience
445 reviews
Chet
40 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Exhaust System Inspection - San Diego, California
Chet always does a fantastic job and I can trust him to let me know of things that I need to take care of right now and others that will probably come up in the future because of the age of the car and the mileage.

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