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Q: My car has had to have the exhaust manifold replaced four times in 17 years due to cracks in the manifold itself.

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My car currently has a cracked exhaust manifold. This is the fifth time it has occurred in 17 years. Is this symptomatic of other issues or a regular problem with cast iron exhaust manifolds in heavy-duty work cars? This car has been used to haul heavy loads and tow for years.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, cracks on the passenger side OEM exhaust manifold is a common problem with heavy duty use of this engine: work trucks, motor homes, school buses, where the engine is run at high loads for extended periods. They tend to crack under the hot air riser sheet metal. Fortunately, the stock manifolds are relatively inexpensive and straightforward to replace. Headers are used by some, but they can have their own exhaust leak issues if they are poor quality.

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