Q: Exhaust Manifold Hot/Exhaust Leak

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I have a 2006 Saturn Vue (2.2L 4cyl Standard) and it smells like exhaust is leaking into my car. I brought it to get looked at and the guy at the repair shop said that I need a new flex hose gasket.

He also said that my manifold seems like it's getting really hot. (My car is not loud and not overheating, no other noticeable problems other than the exhaust leak) He calls back and says that he THINKS it might be the catalytic converter and it's going to cost almost $1000 to fix.

Am I ok just replacing the gasket? My only concern is the exhaust smell in my car, which he said is from the gasket leaking... are they just trying to get my money since I am a girl and know next to nothing about cars? Thanks for your time.

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hello. To say that they catalytic converter is good or bad is impossible without having the car here. If the manifold is heating up, and the catalytic convert has failed, you will see bigger signs of failure in the near future. If you do not feel the need to replace the cat right now, and feel you can wait, then you should. A failed cat will result in bad gas mileage, misfires, and even audible clanking noises with certain failures. Have him replace the bad gasket, which can absolutely be the cause of the smell, and proceed from there. You do want to consider what caused the gasket to fail. Being 10 years old its not unheard of for a gasket to go bad, but if the manifold is truly heating up, it will expedite that process. But trust your gut, and if you honestly think the car is running fine, then hold off on replacing the catalytic converter. Get a second opinion on it was well.

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