Q: New exhaust gasket and manifold, still have exhaust leak.

asked by on December 20, 2016

I recently had to replace the exhaust manifold in my truck because it was cracked and when installing the new exhaust manifold and gasket the tech told me that the head was warped (I'm assuming cylinder head) and he couldn't get the new manifold to fit properly, so I still have a leak. He said that the head would have to be removed and machined (which I'm afraid will be too costly), and that if I didn't do this the new manifold would eventually crack as well. Are there any other potential problems that could arise if I don't machine the warped head and just drive with an exhaust leak? It seems like a fairly minor leak, but I don't wanna take any unnecessary risks. Thanks!

My car has 151000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Exhaust Manifold Gasket Replacement $93.95 - $1052.81 Get a Quote

The trouble with small exhaust leaks is that they always turn into large exhaust leaks. The hot gas leaking past the gasket will eventually burn up the gasket making the leak worse. If not corrected, it will also burn the surface of the exhaust manifold. It rarely goes so far as to burn the cylinder head, but that can happen in extreme cases. To make matters even more complicated. having an exhaust leak also allows air to enter the exhaust stream and messes with the oxygen sensor reading. Mixture too lean trouble codes will follow as the system shifts rich to try to correct. So, if you want to keep this truck, you need to get this fixed. I’m not sure I buy the line about the head being warped enough to prevent the manifold from fitting, maybe you should get a second opinion on this. You can have this done by contacting Your Mechanic. They will send a technician to your home or office to check out your exhaust leak and let you know what can be done about it.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

Dry grinding/starting noise when in gear

Hi there. Sounds as if the transmission is low on fluid or the transmission is worn and has roller bearings that are damaged. Check the transmission oil level and see if the fluid is low. The fluid should slightly run...

98 Ford Expedition, the Catalyst monitor and evap monitor is on before a smog test can be done. How to get 1 of these off?

The monitors may take up to 200 miles to get them to pass since it takes special conditions to get them to pass. You can have a mechanic run the monitor test before taking to inspection stations to get checked...

Transmission temperature sensor is acting up. Can it be changed?

Your vehicle should have an AODE / 4R70W transmission and the transmission temperature sensor is located on the Valve Body (brain) in the oil pan. Remove the transmission oil pan and drain out the oil. Remove the oil filter and...

How do I turn on the parking lights?

To turn on the parking lights, first locate the turn signal lever, which protrudes from the left side of the steering column. Then, turn the Light switch to the headlights position. This will turn on the parking lights, as well...

Loud noise when car’s running, probably the exhaust

Many of these cars have issues with rusted exhaust pipes. The pipes seem to start rusting at the weld seams and can rust through in a few years, especially if the car is located in a state that uses salt...

Whistling noise

It sounds like you may have an emergency brake that may be sticking resulting in the squeaking sound you describe. Emergency brakes tend to not get used as often as other components in the vehicle do and as a result,...

Hello, i had my head gasket repaired and after 8 months it has started making white smoke come from exhaust again and I can smell

Hello, thank you for writing in. With white smoke coming from the exhaust, the smell of coolant, and the (very likely although unmentioned) lowering of the coolant level, it is quite apparent that the coolant is making its way passed...

Car turns off but turns back on when pulling key out of ignition.

This is an electrical problem and is caused by either a short circuit, a fault in the key sense feature (module) or, if equipped, could be caused by faults in the remote starter circuit which operates wirelessly. If you have...

Car leaking antifreeze

It is possible that the leak is coming from a hose; depending on which hose or water outlet the hose is connected to, this could be a relatively simple repair. However, the cooling system should be pressure-tested to verify the...

Related articles

How to Replace an Exhaust Manifold
Exhaust manifolds remove exhaust gas during the exhaust stroke. Engine performance issues and engine noise are signs to replace the exhaust manifold.
How to Buy a Good Quality Gasket
There There are a wide variety of gasket types on a typical vehicle, from head gaskets which are installed between the cylinder head and the engine block to engine gaskets which seal out harmful elements and keep the engine safe...
2012 Kia Optima vs. 2012 Nissan Altima: Which One Should I Buy?
Mid-size sedans can be pretty basic, with four doors and simple and straightforward options, decent but not stellar gas mileage, and an uninspired interior. They can also have great design and fight off boredom through sporty suspension and exciting technology...