Having problems in your vehicle's exhaust system is never good news. Chances are, this glitch can cost you a lot of hassles and inconveniences while you're on the road. And when worse comes to worst, it can also cost you a lot of money when it's time to get the problem repaired. If you think your vehicle has a faulty exhaust manifold, here's a guide that will help you understand the component, including the things that you need to consider when finding a replacement.
The main function of your vehicle's exhaust manifold is to collect exhaust gases coming from the cylinders of the engine and deliver them to the exhaust pipe. Having a fully-functional manifold in your ride improves your vehicle's overall fuel efficiency.
- Cast iron - This is the most common type of material used for making exhaust manifolds. They're generally easy on the pocket but heavy on the vehicle as they tend to be heavier than other manifold materials.
- Stainless steel - Stainless steel is another common type of material used for exhaust manifolds. They're durable, rust-proof, and can last for a long time. They're also usually coated with ceramic-type or heat-resistant finish.
- Aluminized steel - If weight is a big factor, aluminized steel is the way to go. This lightweight manifold uses a layer of oxide to prevent rusting. However, the entire assembly may crumble when the layer is damaged.
When looking for an aftermarket exhaust manifold, you need to consider where you live as well. This is because some manifolds are not accepted in the state of California. So, if you live in the Golden State, make sure you get one that's 50-state legal.
To get a good replacement manifold from a reliable brand, you'd better prepare around $100 to $250.
Exhaust manifolds can be modified by insulating them to improve their performance. This will help reduce the heat in the engine bay and the intake manifold. Here are the three most common thermal insulation types applicable to exhaust manifolds:
- Ceramic paint - This process is done by spraying or brushing the manifold with ceramic paint before curing it inside an oven. This reduces the heat in the engine by using radiation.
- Ceramic mixture - For racing and performance cars, the manifold can be bonded with a ceramic mixture through thermal spraying.
- Exhaust wrap - Getting an exhaust wrap to cover the entire manifold is an inexpensive way to improve insulation. Beware, though, as this can speed up the degradation of your vehicle's manifold.
Exhaust Manifold Replacement Tips
- When removing the old gasket of the exhaust manifold, use a putty knife to scrape it off completely.
- After removing the old manifold, don't forget to clean the surface of the installation area. Use alcohol or brake fluid for hard-to-reach areas.
- When bolting the manifold, don't tighten it right away. Instead, bolt it first using your hands and use a torque wrench to secure it in place only when you're sure about its position.