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.

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.

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