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What Happens When the Exhaust Manifold Cracks?

We wish we could say that a cracked exhaust manifold is not a huge problem, but it is. When the manifold cracks, the engine’s exhaust leaks out of it and into the engine. Unfortunately, this creates problems with the engine and the combustion production. Let’s talk about a cracked exhaust manifold and the problems that it creates.

Rotten Performance

First and foremost, you’re going to notice a significant difference in your engine’s performance. Unfortunately, when exhaust fills the engine and the combustion chamber, it impedes the combustion production and reduces your engine’s performance. Consequently, you will have difficulties with the sputtering engine that lags when you try to accelerate.

Rotten Fuel Consumption

One would think that this would increase your fuel economy, but it does the exact opposite. Unfortunately, the engine will consume more fuel as it tries to produce power. This means you will end up heading to the gas station more often to fill the tank.

Hissing, Tapping, or Popping

The exhaust manifold will also make noises when the exhaust leaks out of it. The common noises are hissing, tapping, and popping. The best time to listen for these noises is when you first start your automobile. They are louder at this point because the exhaust manifold may seal the crack once it heats up.

Scorching Engine Odors

This does not mean, however, that you can ignore the crack in the exhaust manifold. Rather, it is important that you replace the manifold as soon as possible to prevent damage to the engine. The exhaust is extremely hot and it can melt engine parts as it leaks out of the manifold. Consequently, you will smell scorching odors coming from the engine.

Strong Exhaust Odors

Another reason why it is crucial that you do not ignore the crack in the exhaust manifold is that you may end up with a passenger cabin filled with engine exhaust. You don’t need us to tell you that this is extremely dangerous to your health and well-being. In fact, inhaling the exhaust could make you sick behind the wheel.

Check Engine Warning

Finally, as you have learned, a cracked exhaust manifold can create all kinds of problems under the hood. Consequently, the engine control unit may opt to turn on the check engine light to let you know you’ve got an issue. In this case, the issue is a cracked exhaust manifold.

As an aside, you will have the same problems if the exhaust manifold gasket cracks. Either way, call us today so we can help.

Photo by Fertnig from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

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