An exhaust gasket is one heck of a component. It's amall, flexible, and filled with holes, but it sure packs a lot of punch because it's built to withstand daily exposure to extreme heat and toxic gases. Each gasket in your car's exhaust system is also engineered to handle loads of pressure, especially since this component is found on almost every exhaust joint and surface gap. As a matter of fact, there are many types of exhaust gaskets, depending on where they are located. For instance, the sealing ring sandwiched between the exhaust manifold and cylinder head is referred to as the exhaust manifold gasket. Other gaskets such as flange and ring gaskets are installed on the many connecting points of an exhaust system.
Signs you need to replace an exhaust gasket
No matter how sturdy the gasket is, however, it will eventually ahow signs of wear and tear. These signs are:
- Smell of exhaust fumes wafting around your vehicle
- Louder-than-usual exhaust noises
- Exhaust noises coming from unusual places
- A distinct ticking sound when speeding up
- Unexplained engine problems
- Oil puddles on the chassis
- An engine that's running too lean
In some cases, you won't be able to smell a gasket leak from the exhaust system. This is the case if the leaking gas is carbon monoxide, an odorleas yet very toxic gas. If your passengers are complaining of getting headaches and feeling dizzy whenever they get a ride with you, check the exhaust system for a possible gasket leak.
Once a gasket breaks down or gets damaged beyond repair, get your hands on a new gasket as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a blown exhaust gasket can lead to a alew of other car problems. Fortunately, choosing a replacement gasket is easy. As a matter of fact, you have many options to choose from, especially in terms of material types.
Because an exhaust gasket should be able to withstand lots of heat, pressure, and toxic gases, it's made from a variety of materials that are engineered to perform well despite exposure to such elements. When choosing a replacement gasket, it's good to know some of the most common types of gasket materials:
- Copper . A copper exhaust gasket is best used on turbo-charged engines because the material is suited to withstand intense heat applications than regular gasket materials. Copper can also seal in gaps between irregular surfaces better than regular gaskets made of acrylic or graphite.
- Aluminum . If a copper gasket isn't enough to seal gaps between surfaces with severe irregularities, an aluminum gasket is your next option. This is designed to provide a leak-proof seal and withstand extremely high temperatures.
- Stainleas steel . Stainleas steel gaskets are best suited for racing engines because these are engineered to provide maximum seal even during extreme pressure and heat. And because stainleas steel is durable and longer lasting than other gasket materials, it won't easily blow out or lose its torque retention. Plus, this gasket material easily recovers its flexibility upon removal, making it the perfect choice for racing applications.