4 Reasons You Shouldn't Keep Driving with a Leaky Exhaust Manifold

Your car's exhaust manifold is responsible for directing exhaust gases from your engine toward the rest of the exhaust system, so it's one of the vehicle's most important parts. Most exhaust manifolds will last for as long as the car itself, but the high thermal stress these parts are placed under can cause damage that allows exhaust gases to leak out.

While you can technically keep driving with a leaky exhaust manifold, you should really take your vehicle to a service centre as soon as possible to get the problem fixed. Here are just four important reasons why.

1. Exposure to Fumes

The most serious danger associated with a leaky exhaust manifold is that exhaust gases won't be directed through the vehicle and then safely out the back. Exhaust gases will usually stay in the engine bay if they are allowed to leak from the manifold, but it's possible that they will leak into the car's cabin itself. This can expose you to carbon monoxide and other harmful toxins, which could have lethal results.

2. Reduced Efficiency

You might be tempted to put off fixing or replacing a leaky exhaust manifold simply because you want to spare yourself the expense. However, you could still end up losing money in the long run since a leaky manifold will often result in a sharp drop in fuel efficiency. This occurs because your engine's oxygen sensors will no longer be able to take accurate readings, so more fuel than is needed will often be sent to the engine. As such, your vehicle will be burning more fuel than is actually required.

3. Engine Damage

Exhaust gases are extremely hot when they first leave your engine. When the exhaust manifold isn't drawing all that heat away, it can eventually damage the engine itself. Damage to valves and gaskets can end up causing serious internal issues, and the cost of fixing any internal engine damage will almost always be much higher than the cost of repairing a leaky exhaust manifold.

4. Catalytic Converter Damage

As mentioned above, oxygen sensors often send extra fuel into your engine when exhaust gases are allowed to leak from the exhaust manifold. That can create problems beyond a drop in efficiency — it can also seriously damage your vehicle's catalytic converter. Unburnt fuel will combust as it encounters the high temperatures in a catalytic converter, which causes damage over time and eventually leads to clogs. Since the catalytic converter is another expensive part of your vehicle, you really don't want to damage it. 

For more info about auto repair, contact a local company. 

About Me

Barbara's Big Blog of Auto Service Info, Tips and More

Welcome. I hope you stick around and learn something new. My name is Barbara, and ever since I was a little girl, I have been working on cars. I used to follow my papa around our farm, always ready to hand him a tool or help him work on our equipment. Now, I still love to work with cars but enjoy writing about it even more. I recently turned 50 and made a promise to try several new things -- one, being writing a blog. I am married with two fabulous children, both away at uni studying, and I love to spend time at the beach and in nature. This year, I plan to take my first surf lesson as well. Enjoy, and remember, as the kids say, YOLO (you only live once)!