What Causes an Exhaust Manifold to Crack or Leak?

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Your car has two manifolds – an intake manifold and an exhaust manifold. Both serve essential purposes, but the one most likely to experience problems over the long term is the exhaust manifold. Depending on your make and model, your manifold might be a single piece of cast iron with channels/ports built into it, or it could be a collection of pipes tied together. The basic job of the exhaust manifold is to take the gases from each cylinder and send them to the exhaust pipe.

Why manifolds crack and leak

As you can imagine, exhaust manifolds are subject to intense heat. They’re also subjected to considerable expansion and contraction as they heat up and cool back down. Over time, this leads to metal fatigue (both cast iron and other types of exhaust manifolds are subject to this). As the fatigue becomes worse, it’s possible for the manifold to develop cracks.

Another potential problem lies with the exhaust manifold gasket. The gasket sits between the manifold and the engine block, and is designed to seal the small gap that exists between these two components. Like the manifold itself, the gasket is subjected to significant heat, as well as expansion and contraction. It will eventually fail (this is normal, and cause by nothing more than general wear and tear). When it fails, it will begin to leak.

Problems associated with manifold cracks and leaks

There are several problems created with exhaust manifold cracks and leaks. First, hot exhaust gases are now being vented under the hood, rather than being sent downstream through the exhaust pipe. This can damage plastic components in the engine bay. It can also become a health hazard, as the exhaust fumes can enter the car’s cabin.

There’s also the possibility that it will affect engine performance. If your exhaust manifold is cracked or leaking, the back pressure in the exhaust system will be incorrect, which can reduce engine power, cause sputtering and other problems. Of course, you won’t pass emissions testing, either.


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Recent Exhaust Manifold Repair reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Exhaust Manifold Repair Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

121

Rating Summary
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Jason

21 years of experience
190 reviews
Jason
21 years of experience
Chevrolet Malibu - Exhaust Manifold - Nashville, Tennessee
Jason was nothing but professional and courteous throughout the process. I would absolutely recommend his service!
Chevrolet Malibu - Exhaust Manifold - Nashville, Tennessee
Jason did fantastic job!!!! Jason arrived 30 mins ahead of time. Fix my exhaust manifold very quickly. Very knowledgeable about fixing the problem. You can tell he is great at what he does. I will give him 10/10. Will be asking for more his services again very soon. Just Awesome very pleased with the job.

James

28 years of experience
587 reviews
James
28 years of experience
Toyota Yaris - Exhaust Manifold - Windermere, Florida
James was great. Some rust issues slowed down the job and made things a little more expensive. As soon as he knew there was an issue, James made sure I was aware of the problem and was OK with the added time and expense before he continued. He managed to replace my exhaust manifold in half the cost and half the time the dealership quoted me, gave me twice as much detail as the dealership would have ever given me, and was much friendlier and more respectful than any mechanic I've dealt with in the past.
Chevrolet Malibu - Exhaust Manifold - Orlando, Florida
James did a great job and he arrived at just around the appointment time. He's friendly and seems very knowledgeable. Overall I'm satisfied with the work. Thanks.

Brian

22 years of experience
99 reviews
Brian
22 years of experience
Saturn Vue - Exhaust Manifold - Frederick, Maryland
Finding Your Mechanic and especially Brian was exactly what I needed. Brian is very friendly and knowledgeable. With my busy schedule, this service is super convenient with Sunday hours. I just don't have time to spend in a shop or dealership. Brian's work is top notch and less expensive than taking my car to a dealership.
Saturn Aura - Exhaust Manifold - Keymar, Maryland
I had a great experience. The mechanic was early. He went right to work. When finished, he showed me the damaged parts, explained what was done, and answered all of my questions. He even gave me a reference to another mechanic that does welding that he doesn't do. Price was great and I wasn't charged until the work was complete

Adrian

12 years of experience
9 reviews
Adrian
12 years of experience
Dodge Caliber - Exhaust Manifold - Stone Mountain, Georgia
Showed up before on time. Worked even in the rain to complete the service. I would recommend him anytime

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