Exhaust Gaskets: A thorough guide [2023]

Generally, gaskets are mechanical seals, used to bridge the gap between two surfaces or parts. They create high-pressure seals between these parts, thereby, reducing the possibility of leakage into other parts of the equipment, gadget, or machine. This article squares on exhaust gaskets and will give you the following information about exhaust gaskets:



Understanding the concept of Gaskets

As earlier mentioned, gaskets are mechanical seals used in between surfaces to create high-pressure seals thereby avoiding leakage of substances that pass through these surfaces.If you are not an automobile user, or you aren't familiar with engine parts, then you may find it a little challenging to understand what an exhaust gasket means.Therefore, to help you get a clearer picture of the focus of this article, we will digress a bit to more common terms.


Do you recognize this? I guess yes. It is a pipe common in water systems and other drainage systems. How about the ring-like device surrounding it? That’s a gasket. Imagine that ring-like device being absent in the plumbing system and you could flush a WC.

The pressure of the liquid from your sink or toilet could weaken the pipe and push it off. You can tell what a disaster that will be. However, with this gasket in place, the water pressure, no matter how fast, cannot push the pipe off or burst it open.

The gasket has therefore performed its simple function of creating enough pressured seal to keep the substance in place as it flushes away. We use gaskets with appliances, compressors, elevators, business appliances, pumps, valves, engines, and a host of other equipment in other to function safely and effectively.

What is an Exhaust Gasket?

Exhaust gaskets are gaskets that provide a seal on exhaust parts in vehicles.

This is to guarantee that when gas leaves the engine, it stays in the exhaust system until it is expelled into the atmosphere. In line with the general definition of gaskets, exhaust gaskets also ensure that there is no leakage of gas into any other part of an automobile. There are different types of exhaust gaskets. Each of them performs a peculiar function towards ensuring that there is indeed no form of gas leakage from the engine, into other parts of an automobile.


There are three main types of exhaust gaskets, which includes:

  • The exhaust manifold gasket
  • The exhaust flange gasket
  • The header gaskets

The Exhaust Manifold Gaskets

The exhaust manifold gaskets are normally a multi-layered gasket located between the engine and the exhaust manifold. The exhaust manifold, on the other hand, is mostly a cast-iron or stainless-steel unit, which helps in sealing the gap between the engine block and the exhaust pipe.

An exhaust manifold gasket is, therefore, designed to withstand the extreme pressure and high temperature from the engine through the exhaust manifold. To learn more about exhaust manifold gaskets, read this.

Exhaust manifold gasket in another shape:

exhaust manifold gasket

Multi-layered manifold gasket holding the manifold[/caption]The image clearly gives you a picture of what the exhaust manifold gasket is and how it works. Now you know enough about the exhaust manifold gasket, if you want to learn how to change it and when to replace it, then you really should read this article.

Watch this to see just how the replacement works.

The Exhaust Flange Gaskets

Flange gasket

Two-bolt exhaust flange gasket:


Three-bolt exhaust flange gasket[/caption]An exhaust flange gasket, also known as doughnut gaskets, is a gasket used to hold the exhaust flange pipe to the engine head. It is located between the exhaust flange header and the catalytic converter. To understand this definition better, the following concepts would be clearly defined:

  • The exhaust flange and exhaust flange header
  • Catalytic converter
  • The exhaust flange gasket

What are an exhaust flange and exhaust flange header?

The exhaust flange is a piece of metal that is attached to the engine of a vehicle. It allows custom headers to be fabricated. Exhaust flanges have to fit the vehicle it is attached to. Using the wrong exhaust flange can cause gas leakage.

flange pipe with header

Exhaust flange pipe with header[/caption]An exhaust flange header as the name implies and as seen in the image above, is the head of the exhaust flange. It holds the exhaust flange to the engine. The flange header is not separated from the exhaust flange.

They work together. However, while the exhaust flange is like a pipe, the header has the shape of a flange gasket but appears to be thicker. In some vehicles, we support the exhaust flange and flange header with a flange/doughnut gasket for a firm grip, while in some, we don't.

flange header

Catalytic converter

A catalytic converter is a motor part located at the bottom of the vehicle, which is responsible for the control of harmful emissions from the vehicle. A catalytic converter contains substances or compounds such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium that act as catalysts and converters. The compounds act as catalysts because they cause a chemical reaction to occur, but they don’t change their original form. Learn more about catalytic converters here.


Catalytic converter with flange doughnut gasket

Catalytic converter, gaskets and nuts

Exhaust flange gasket, doughnut gaskets with catalytic converter and bolts

Where does the exhaust flange gasket come in?

In some automobiles, the exhaust flange requires an exhaust gasket between the exhaust flange header and the exhaust manifold or catalytic converter. Without this gasket, the exhaust header cannot create a tight seal against the leakage of gas. Thereby, causing the manifold would release pressured gases from the engine right into the air causing a lot of noise, pollution, and other possible damages.

Exhaust flange gaskets are, therefore, located between the exhaust manifolds (a pipe that collects exhaust from cylinders and moves it into the exhaust pipe from which gases are finally released), and the exhaust pipe (the pipe that releases gases into the air).

These flange/doughnut gaskets help seal any gaps so the exhaust gases can flow through those areas without leaking and eventually exit through the tailpipe/exhaust pipe. It is commonly held with a spring bolt. The exhaust flange gaskets, just like other gaskets withstand high temperature and extreme pressure. This is why it is made of steel.

The exhaust flange gasket creates a pressure that supports the exhaust flange header to create a firm seal for the passage of gas through the exhaust flange pipe. As earlier mentioned, the exhaust flange gaskets are also called doughnut gaskets. This is because some of them are round in shape like a doughnut while others maintain the oval shape.


Flange doughnut gasket


Watch both of the following videos to get a clear picture of how to replace the exhaust gaskets:

Watch oval-shaped flange gasket use/replacement below:

The exhaust header gasket

The exhaust header Gasket performs the same function as the manifold gas however, they are often made from high-fiber materials with a steel filler built for heat and pressure-resistance. Because these header gaskets are thicker, most automobile users prefer using them to manifold gaskets.

Thick header gasket

Why are exhaust gaskets important?

Exhaust leaks make vehicles sound abnormal. In addition to this, these leaks could get dangerous if gases like carbon monoxide leak inside the vehicle or into the wrong side of the vehicle.

Exhaust Gaskets are, therefore, important in emission systems (especially in a multiple cylinder engine) because they break down the pressure in the release of exhaust gas, by giving each cylinder its own exhaust pipe.

This way, each of the cylinders releases gases in equal measure into the collector pipe, from which the gases are passed out into the atmosphere.

Advantages of exhaust gaskets

  • Efficiency.
  • Effectiveness.
  • It ensures safety.
  • It is easy to change
  • Availability and easy to purchase.
  • It has high durability.

How do I know when the exhaust gasket needs to be replaced?

With an understanding of the importance of exhaust gaskets, it necessary to ensure that one's gasket is always intact. replace a faulty gasket when necessary. but the question is: how do I know when to replace a gasket?

You replace a gasket when it is faulty and for you to know when a gasket is faulty, you first need to learn how to identify a faulty exhaust system. This way one can identify if this problem requires a gasket replacement or some other mechanical attention. Here are some symptoms that tell if an exhaust system is faulty:

  • Overheating of the engine
  • Very noisy engine
  • A decrease in power and acceleration
  • Loss of fuel efficiency
  • Burning fuel in the engine bay
  • Hanging exhaust pipe
  • Gas smell caused by leaking gases

Manufacturers and suppliers of exhaust gaskets

  • Premier seals manufacturing (Akron, OH/ 877-771-6766)
  • Gardico (Seattle, WA/ 800-537-9663)
  • REDCO Rubber Engineering & Development Company (Carson City, NV/800-733-2646)
  • National Rubber Corp. (Canonsburg, PA/ 866-672-8100)
  • Britech Industries (Stuart, FL/ 772-286-9278)
  • Arizona Sealing Devices, Inc. (Chandier, AZ/ 480-892-7325)
  • Kent Rubber Supply Co. (Grand Rapids, MI/ 616-538-4970)
  • Spira Manufacturing Corporation (San Fernando, CA/ 818-764-8222)
  • Appleton Packing and Gasket, Inc. (Appleton, WI/ 920-731-4487)
  • Custom Fabricating & Supply (Frankling, WI/ 800-556-7188)

To discover more manufacturing and supply companies for Exhaust Gaskets, click here.

Key takeaways!

  • Exhaust gaskets come in different shapes and sizes
  • Not all exhaust manifolds work with gaskets
  • Header gaskets and manifold gaskets differ in quality but perform the same function.
  • Flange and doughnut gaskets work with spring bolts
  • All types of exhaust gaskets have the joint purpose of getting the gases from the engine through the exhaust system and into the atmosphere and are die-cut to fit the specific needs of each part.

Latest posts