What does an exhaust manifold do?
An exhaust manifold is an essential component of an internal combustion engine that helps to channel exhaust gases from the engine cylinders to the exhaust system. It is usually made of cast iron or stainless steel and is mounted on the cylinder head of the engine.
The primary function of the exhaust manifold is to collect and direct the hot exhaust gases produced by the engine cylinders away from the engine and into the exhaust system. The manifold typically has a series of pipes or runners that collect exhaust gases from each engine cylinder and channel them into a single pipe or collector.
Exhaust manifold crack and repair
An exhaust manifold crack is a common problem in older vehicles, and it can cause several issues such as poor engine performance, loud exhaust noise, and even damage to the engine itself. Several signs for you to check and determine whether your exhaust gasket is leaking:
- Hissing or popping noises: If you hear unusual noises coming from your engine or exhaust system, it could be a sign of a leaking exhaust manifold.
- Reduced engine performance: A leaking exhaust manifold can cause a decrease in engine performance, particularly when accelerating or climbing hills.
- Increased fuel consumption: If your vehicle is burning more fuel than usual, it could be a sign of an exhaust manifold leak.
- Smelling exhaust fumes: If you can smell exhaust fumes inside your vehicle, it's a sign of a severe exhaust manifold leak. This can be dangerous, as exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide.
- Check engine light: If your vehicle's check engine light turns on, it could be a sign of an exhaust manifold leak. The engine management system may store a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) indicating the specific problem.
Difference between the exhaust manifold and headers
Exhaust manifolds and headers are both parts of the exhaust system in a vehicle's engine, but one may find it easy to mistake exhaust headers for exhaust manifolds. There are some significant differences between the two:
- Exhaust manifolds are typically made of cast iron, while headers are made of thinner steel tubing. This difference in materials can affect the weight, durability, and performance of the part.
- An exhaust manifold is a single piece that attaches to the engine's cylinder head and routes all of the exhaust gases into a single pipe, while headers have separate tubes that collect exhaust gases from each cylinder and merge them into a single collector.
- Headers are designed to improve the flow of exhaust gases, which can improve engine performance and efficiency. They can do this by reducing backpressure and increasing scavenging. Exhaust manifolds, on the other hand, are designed more for cost-effectiveness and ease of manufacturing.
- Headers may produce a louder and more aggressive exhaust note than exhaust manifolds, which some drivers prefer.