Engine exhaust manifolds are the metal parts that are responsible for collecting exhaust gases and passing them to the exhaust for expulsion from the tailpipe. They are often bolted to the engine cylinder head(s) and are sealed using a gasket known as the exhaust manifold gasket.

The Exhaust Manifold Gasket is often a multi-layered gasket that has metal and other materials that are formulated to provide the best seal possible. As the exhaust manifold gasket is the first in the exhaust system, it is a very vital seal that should be inspected if any issues arise. When it goes south or has any issues, it can cause all sorts of issues for the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing exhaust manifold gasket will show a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.


One of the first signs of a problem with an exhaust manifold gasket is an excessively noisy engine. A faulty exhaust manifold gasket will show an exhaust leak that will sound like a hissing or tapping sound emanating from the engine. The sound may be especially pronounced during a cold start  and or during acceleration.


Engine performance problems are another common sign of a problem with an exhaust manifold gasket. If the exhaust manifold gasket fails, the exhaust leak can lead to engine performance issues such as decreased power, acceleration and fuel efficiency. The performance decrease may be minor at first, but will worsen over time if not tackled.


Another sign of a potential problem with the exhaust manifold gasket is a burning smell from the engine bay. If the gasket fails and leaks close to any plastic components, or engine wiring, the heat from the exhaust gases may cause the components to burn up. This may lead to a burning smell coming from the engine bay as a result of the components being exposed to such high heat. The smell may sometimes be followed by faint smoke. Any sort of burning smells should be checked out as soon as possible to ensure that they are not a potential safety hazard.

Exhaust manifold gaskets are one of the most important gaskets of an engine, as they are the main gasket that seals and pressurizes the entire exhaust system. When the exhaust manifold gasket, or gaskets fail or have problems, it can cause problems with the performance and drivability of the vehicle. If you think that you may be having an issue with your exhaust manifold gaskets, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician to determine if your vehicle needs an exhaust manifold gasket replacement.