Symptoms of Bad or Failing Intake Manifold Gaskets

Intake manifold gasket

The intake manifold gaskets are some of the most important gaskets found on an engine. Gaskets are the seals that are placed between engine components before they are assembled in order to provide a reliable seal. They can be made of paper, rubber, metal, and sometimes a combination of the three.

The intake manifold gaskets are the gaskets that are responsible for sealing the intake manifold to the cylinder head, or heads. Apart from sealing engine vacuum, certain designs will also seal engine coolant. When the intake manifold gaskets have an issue, they can cause drivability problems and even engine overheating. Usually a faulty intake manifold gasket will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Engine misfires and decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel economy

One of the most common symptoms of an issue with the intake manifold gaskets is engine performance issues. As the vehicle acquires mileage, the intake manifold gaskets may wear out and eventually leak. This can cause major performance issues, as the intake manifold gaskets seal engine vacuum and pressure. A vacuum leak caused by a bad intake manifold gasket can throw off the engine’s air fuel ratio and cause engine performance issues such as misfires, a decrease in power and acceleration, a reduction in fuel efficiency, and even stalling.

2. Coolant leaks

Another symptom of a faulty intake manifold gasket is coolant leaks. Some intake manifold gaskets also seal engine coolant. If the gasket wears out it may lead to a coolant leak. This may produce a distinct coolant smell, along with steam, and drips or puddles of coolant underneath the vehicle. Coolant leaks should be addressed as soon as possible, in order to prevent them from becoming a greater issue.

3. Engine overheating

Engine overheating is another symptom of a possible issue with the intake manifold gaskets. A coolant leak will eventually lead to engine overheating when the coolant level drops too low, however there are instances where overheating can occur without any visible leaks. If the intake manifold gaskets leak coolant into the intake manifold the engine may overheat as a result, without any visible external leaks. Any coolant leaks should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent the possibility of serious engine damage occurring due to a bad intake manifold gasket.

Usually a faulty intake manifold gasket will produce symptoms that will quickly alert the driver of an issue, however there can be instances where the leak may be difficult to detect. If you suspect that your intake manifold gasket or gaskets may be having an issue, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the gasket should be replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...

Related questions

Q: I am having trouble finding an oil pan gasket for this vehicle.

The lower oil pan on your Pontiac Sunfire does not use a gasket but a 2mm bead of silicone sealer all the way around. Do not over apply sealer or you will cause sealer to get caught in oil pick...

Q: Brown sludge and losing coolant constantly - 1995 Toyota Celica

Brown sludge in your radiator is most likely an indication of a blown had gasket since this is the only way oil would be able to make its way into the coolant. The fans not working suggests that the cooing...

Q: Reservoir keeps being empty no visible leaks and oil looks good color

The reservoir is going empty due to a blown head gasket most likely. You will need to have the system pressure tested first to make sure the radiator and coolant reservoir is not leaking under pressure. I suggest having a...