The exhaust manifold bolts to the cylinder head of the engine and pulls exhaust gases from the individual ports; combining them into one outlet to flow back into the remainder of the exhaust system. Exhaust fumes are sneaky, and without the support of the exhaust manifold, can leak back into the passenger area of the vehicle and cause individuals who are sitting or riding within the car or truck to suffer from inhaling the toxic gases.
Most vehicles have an exhaust manifold that was manufactured out of cast iron, although tubular and stainless steel are also prime ways that these parts are created. You might even find a catalytic converter that has been incorporated as a part of the exhaust manifold. Your exhaust system goes all the way back to the tailpipe, and one key place that leaks can develop where the cylinder head matches up to the exhaust manifold.
Leaks in these areas often go undetected for a period of time until the shear stress on the exhaust manifold gasket causes a significant failure – this happens a lot when small leaks expand and grow. Cracking is often a problem on the exhaust manifold due to thinner castings that were utilized in order to reduce overall weight.
How to make sure you’re getting a good quality exhaust manifold:
Look for a thicker casting: Thicker casting will help maintain the strength of the overall manifold housing and gasket through all the different stressors that are applied to the parts.
Careful with remanufactured parts: You want to be sure the “ball and socket” mating point between the head pipe and the manifold are all strong and secure and if you do consider remanufactured parts – that there is no obvious wear on the parts. Look for cracks or damage in the exhaust manifold overall, or where the manifold housing and the resonator and converter join together. Also check the hump in the exhaust pipe where it stretches to cover the rear axle.
Replacing your exhaust manifold can save you not only money, but it can also save you from some incredibly toxic fumes that you and your family could be in danger of inhaling.
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This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Exhaust Manifold and was authored by Valerie Johnston.