What is an intake manifold gasket and what does it do?

An intake manifold gasket seals your vehicle’s cylinder engine heads to the intake manifold.
The intake manifold is a series of tubes that evenly pumps a combination of fuel and air into the engine cylinders. This fuel/air combo keeps the engine cool and stops it from overheating.
So, the intake manifold gasket is the small molded part that connects the openings of the manifold to the engine heads. That way, the fuel and air combo will flow directly into the cylinders—and not anywhere it shouldn’t.

How do I know if my intake manifold gasket needs replacing?

Intake manifold gaskets experience a lot of temperature expansion and contraction, so it’s not uncommon for them to bite the dust. Luckily, there are a few telltale signs of a busted intake manifold gasket:
  • Internal and/or external coolant leaks
  • External oil leaks
  • Engine overheating
  • A poorly running, sputtering engine
  • An illuminated Check Engine light

##How does a mechanic replace an intake manifold gasket?

If the intake manifold gasket requires replacement, a mechanic will typically do the following:
  • Allow the vehicle to cool
  • Remove the engine hood
  • Remove all engine parts that are in the way of the intake manifold. These can include the accelerator cable, cruise control cable, electrical connections, and vacuum lines.
  • Unbolt and remove the intake manifold from the engine
  • Replace the broken intake manifold gasket and secure a new one
  • Reposition the intake manifold in the engine
  • Re-install all removed components from earlier
Your vehicle will then be turned on to check for any leaks. After a test drive, you’ll be all set!

How important is it to replace a broken intake manifold gasket?

Without the airtight seal from the intake manifold gasket, the fuel and air from the intake manifold could end up leaking and damaging your vehicle’s engine.
The intake manifold gasket plays a crucial role in keeping the engine’s fuel-to-air ratio in check. A defunct gasket could wreak all kinds of havoc on your vehicle, like engine overheating, oil leaks, and long-term damage to the engine.
The earlier you can fix your intake manifold gasket, the better!

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