Intake manifold gasket: symptoms, replacement cost

What is an Intake manifold gasket?

Among the many gaskets found in a car, the intake manifold gaskets are important. The intake manifold gasket's major function is to distribute to multiple cylinders the air that comes in from the throttle plate. It is common with most engines for the fuel injection to take place in the intake manifold gasket and mix with the air before migrating to the cylinders.

Generally, gaskets function as seals; they can be made from rubber, metal, and paper. You can also combine all three to form one. The manifold gasket is sealed to the cylinder head with the help of the intake manifold gaskets. Asides from sealing the engine vacuum, some gasket designs can also seal the engine coolant.

Furthermore, this gasket is often susceptible to wear caused by high temperature, contamination from oil, and coolant. All these will cause the gasket to wear and create leaks between the cylinder head and the manifold. The adverse effect of this wear will lead to poor engine performance.

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How serious is a faulty intake manifold gasket?

intake manifold gasket

A faulty intake manifold gasket is every drivers' nightmare. The effect is critical and can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. You would need a tow truck to get you out of this situation as your car may be unable to move further. However, if your car can move under such negative circumstances of a faulty gasket, drive it carefully to a mechanic shop.

On arrival, have it worked on immediately to avoid further damage. The repair may linger for a day or two. Do not let this bother you because it could have been worse.

Symptoms of a faulty intake manifold gasket

faulty intake manifold gasket
  • Overheating engine.
  • Check engine light indicator.
  • Leaking coolant (visible underneath the car or on the engines' bay).
  • Misfiring of the engine.
  • Rough idling.

Let's take a look at some of these symptoms in detail.

Overheating engine

An overheating engine is a major symptom of a faulty intake manifold gasket. The leaking of the coolant often gives birth to an overheating engine. Nonetheless, we have seen certain scenarios where overheating can occur without any visible leakage from the coolant.

However, the engine can overheat if the gasket leaks coolant into the manifold gasket. This leakage is often not visible from the outside. Notwithstanding, all leakages from the coolant should be adhered to with immediate effect or risk of further severe damage.

Kindly note that overheating of the engine can also occur due to a faulty torque converter, or damaged car radiator fan.

Finally, we know that there are situations whereby a faulty intake gasket may not show symptoms of any leaks present. However, if you suspect your intake manifold gasket is faulty, kindly visit a mechanic to ascertain whether your gasket needs a replacement.

Misfiring of the engine

This symptom is commonly associated with a faulty intake manifold gasket. The engine's misfiring goes hand-in-hand with a decrease in the engines' power, acceleration, and fuel consumption.

Nonetheless, as the vehicle gains mileage, the intake manifold gasket may wear and leak in the process of time. When this happens, it alters the intake manifold gasket's function to seal engine vacuum and pressure. When a leak occurs, for example, a vacuum leak, the engine's air-fuel ratio is altered. This change will inadvertently give birth to a misfire, poor fuel economy, and decreased engine performance and power.

Leaking coolant


This symptom is predominant in vehicles with an intake gasket functioning as a seal for the engines' coolant. If this intake manifold gasket functioning as the seal for the coolant wears out, it will lead to a coolant leak. This leak's visible signs include a smell emanating from the coolant, steam, and drops of coolant underneath the vehicles' engine. In closing, you should fix a leaking coolant immediately as ignoring it will stem up a more severe issue.

Some of these faults here can also be seen in the article we wrote on exhaust manifold gasket. You can read it to understand some of these concepts better.

How to repair a leaky intake manifold gasket

We advise that you ignore the voice that tells you to repair your leaky intake manifold gasket. Instead of repairing it, replace it with a new one, paying attention to the damaged one's size and type.

The process of replacing your gasket may be tedious for you, especially if you are not good with the necessary tools. However, for someone who knows his way around the relevant tools, replacing your leaky gasket should only take a couple of hours.

How much does it cost to replace an intake manifold gasket?

Estimated part(s) cost is $50- $100.The estimated labor cost is $300- $500.Estimated Total Cost should be $350- $600.The purchase price of a new gasket and the mounting hardware is dependent on the type and model of the car. The cost for the parts ranges between $50 and $100. This price is relatively low. Check out the brands in the table below.

On the other hand, labor cost makes the numbers go up. This rise is because most cars have their manifold buried under several layers that must be taken off before the mechanic can access the intake manifold gasket. With the stress it exerts in mind, the labor cost is often between $300 and $500.With this in mind, you understand that the repair cost does not have a fixed price.

The price floats around the figure given above depending on your vehicle's model and type. In case you are still confused about where to get the best prices and save your time, you can visit Openbay. Book an appointment with the closest service area to you.

Key takeaways!

  • An intake manifold gasket is an essential component of your vehicle's engine. It helps to distribute air coming from the throttle plate to multiple cylinders.
  • Furthermore, the intake manifold gasket is often susceptible to wear. The wear is a result of high temperature, contamination from oil, and coolant. All these will cause the gasket to wear and create leaks between the cylinder head and the manifold.
  • A faulty Intake Manifold Gasket's symptoms include Overheating the engine, Check engine light indicator, Leaky coolant, Misfiring of the engine, Rough idling, etc.
  • We recommend that instead of repairing a faulty intake manifold gasket, you should implement an outright replacement.
  • Estimated part(s) cost is $50- $100, Estimated labor cost is $300- $500. The Estimated Total Cost should be $350- $600.

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