3 Intake Manifold Leak Symptoms

What is an Intake Manifold Gasket?

The intake manifold gasket(s) sits between the cylinder head and the intake manifold. Its main purpose is to prevent coolant, oil, or air leaks.

Because of constant expansion and contraction from temperature changes, coolant and oil contamination, and the constant flow of intake air, the intake manifold gaskets can slowly break down and eventually get to the point where it deteriorates enough to cause a leak.
If a leak occurs, the gasket should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid potential engine damage or possibly getting stranded.

Top 3 Symptoms of Intake Manifold Gasket Leak

  • Engine Coolant Leak

Engine coolant is sealed by an intake manifold gasket in the engine. If damage were to come to the seal, all the pressurized coolant it is holding back may seep through it.
Often times, the coolant will have debris and dirt inside of it which will create even more problems. If the debris is thick enough, it will cause more wear on the surfaces. Not only that, but leaky coolant will also cause air from the outside to get into the engine through the seal.
Anytime oxygen is present, it will drastically increase the amount of corrosion that forms. This will cause even more damage to the surface.

  • Overheated Engine

When coolant continues to leak, it will eventually cause the engine to overheat. But in some circumstances, the engine can still overheat even if the coolant does not appear to be leaking. Sometimes coolant will leak out of the intake manifold gasket and go right into the intake manifold, causing the engine to overheat.
On the outside, you would not see any signs of this leak. The only way you will know is when the engine starts to overheat and the temperature gauge in your dash rises to a high level. Then you can investigate and determine if this is the problem. If so, then get it fixed at an auto shop right away.

  • Air Fuel Mixture Ratio Will Be Affected

Air and fuel need to be mixed precisely as it goes into the intake manifold. This allows for proper combustion in the engine. But if there were to be a change in the level of air or fuel in this mixture, it would have a negative impact on the performance of the engine.
Therefore, if you were to have a leak from a damaged intake manifold gasket, then more air may get into the intake manifold and cause an imbalanced air/fuel ratio. Once that happens, the symptoms will typically be rough idling and numerous misfires.
If you experience these symptoms, it may not tell you exactly where the problem is in the intake manifold, but you will at least know that you need to have it checked out.

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