Q: Brakes are not working, engine is rough.

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I recently took the intake manifold off to replace the thermostat in my engine and after re assembling my car the engine idled rough, and the brake pedal is tight and the brakes do not engage is it possible this could be caused by needing a intake manifold gasket?

My car has 205000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Yes, you should start by replacing the intake manifold gasket.

Each time you take off the intake manifold, you should replace the gasket. A used gasket rarely goes back into place in such a way that it will seal completely. Leaks from the gaps where the manifold should sit cause a lack of pressure for the engine, which in turn causes a lack of vacuum for the brakes.

It works in the other direction as well. If the brake booster is robbing the engine of vacuum, the engine will not function as it should. If the issues persist after you replace the intake gasket, you should inspect the brake booster next.

With the age of your vehicle, several components will start to need replacing and tuning. General tune-ups that cover spark, fuel, and air can make a huge difference in the available power for your vehicle.

If you need assistance, get a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to replace the intake manifold gasket for you.

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