The exhaust manifold is a component of the exhaust system of a vehicle that connects to the cylinder head of the engine and collects gases and combines them from individual exhaust ports through to the rest of the exhaust system.
The gasket is an incredibly important part of this system as it ensures the safety of the vehicle’s passengers by preventing toxic exhaust fumes from leaking back into the car or truck and causing harm to those who are riding in it.
Exhaust manifold gaskets can often crack with age and because of the frequent cycles of heat and cold that it is exposed to. Metal in general expands and contracts as the temperature changes; manifolds and gaskets are no different in that and over time this change in size and shape affects even the casting of the metal and the manifold or the gasket may begin to crack.
Things to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting a good quality exhaust manifold gasket:
Material: Many exhaust manifolds are created out of cast iron, although a few are made of tubular steel or stainless steel. You might also find that a catalytic converter is a part of the overall exhaust manifold system.
Size: There are a wide range of sizes of exhaust manifold gaskets that fit each particular vehicle and also the year that the vehicle was manufactured makes a difference in which part you will need.
Note: Exhaust manifold gaskets are often sold as part of the exhaust manifold itself, and are in fact considered part of the mounting hardware.
Caution: Do not purchase used exhaust manifold gaskets. As these are the least durable part of the manifold system, used gaskets are unlikely to last a long time.
The entire exhaust manifold and gasket system is required in order to keep your passengers safe and your car within emissions-testing standards. Keep them in top shape by replacing the gasket and manifold when needed.
YourMechanic supplies top-quality exhaust manifold gaskets to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install an exhaust manifold gasket that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on exhaust manifold gasket replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Exhaust Manifold Gasket and was authored by Valerie Johnston.