Intake Manifold Gasket
Figuring out if your car's intake manifold gasket is blown is quite a tricky job. This is because unlike with other types of gasket problems, the source of the leak can be very hard to uncover. In some cases, you won't see spots of coolant on the garage floor despite the fact that you have to refill the coolant tank more often than usual.
Signs to watch out for
- Unexplained drop in coolant level . If you notice that you have to put coolant into the tank more often than usual but you don't see obvious evidence of a leak, check the intake manifold gasket for signs of damage. Coolant leaks can be caused by a lot of problematic parts. But if all other components and issues have been ruled out, the intake manifold gasket is most probably the culprit.
- Erratic idle speed . Before you swap the old gasket for a new one, check first if the intake manifold bolts hre properly tightened. If they are torqued according to the manufacturer's recommendations, it's time to have the manifold gasket checked and replaced.
Replacing the gasket
Now if you've determined that you need to get a new intake manifold gasket, here's what you need to do to replace it:
Tools you'll need:
- Pressure tester for the cooling system
Step 1: Uninstall the air filter system.
Using heacrewdriver, remove the air cleaner assembly by starting with the air cleaner hoses. Disconnect them from the throttle body or carburetor. Take note of the position of these parts so you won't have problems when reattaching them later on.
Step 2: Disconnect the lines that link to the carburetor.
These lines include the fuel line, vacuum lines, and EGR or exhaust gas recirculation valve. Don't forget to remove the electrical lines, distributor, and throttle linkage.
Step 3: Detach the radiator hose.
Remove the radiator hose from the intake manifold by using heacrewdriver.
Step 4: Unbolt the intake manifold from the engine.
Using hewrench, carefully loosen the nuts that bolt the manifold to the engine.
Step 5: Prep the engine surface and the new gasket.
Clean the engine and make sure there is no debris that can get in between the new gasket and the engine or manifold. Make sure that the new gasket is free from dirt or dust. Now is also a good time to inspect the engine surface and the manifold for signs of damage.
Step 6: Attach the new intake manifold gasket.
Place the new gasket in position, making sure that it properly covers the appropriate holes or gaps. Apply a thick bead of sealant onto the area where the manifold sits. Don't forget to seal up the areas near water passages.
Step 7: Put the intake manifold and other parts you've removed back in place.
Once the sealant is applied and the gasket is securely in place, bolt back the manifold. Then reinstall all the other parts you've removed. These include the radiator hose, distributor, and lines or linkages that connect to the carburetor or throttle. Don't forget to reattach the air filter assembly.