5 Symptoms of a Bad Intake Manifold Gasket and Replacement Cost

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A gasket is basically a seal which goes in between various components of the engine. This seal can be made from metal, paper, rubber, or a combination of them. However, there is no gasket more important to the engine than the intake manifold gasket. This particular gasket goes in between the cylinder head and the intake manifold in order to provide a seal there. As you may know, the intake manifold is responsible for delivering the mixture of air and fuel to the cylinders. So, if there is a problem with the intake manifold gasket and it is unable to properly seal these two components, then you could have major problems.

Bad Intake Manifold Gasket Symptoms

Below are the top 5 symptoms of a bad intake manifold gasket.

1) Coolant Leaking – In some cars, there are intake manifold gaskets which also serve as a seal for the coolant of the engine. Naturally, if this seal were to be worn out or damaged, then coolant fluid will be able to seep through the seal and leak out. You will know when this is happening because the smell of coolant will be in the cabin and it is a very distinct smell. If it gets really bad, then you might even see steam and puddles of coolant from under the vehicle.

2) Engine Stalling – When the engine stops turning, then stalling will occur. This can happen when a faulty intake manifold gasket causes a vacuum leak, which messes up the ratio of air to fuel. Then you could be driving and all of a sudden experience a stalling engine. Of course, there could be many other reasons for a stalling engine, but a bad intake manifold gasket is surely one of them. Go to a mechanic and have them verify if it is this gasket or not.

Read also: 5 Symptoms of a Bad EGR Valve and Replacement Cost

3) Overheated Engine – An overheated engine is a continuation of the coolant leaking problem. If your bad intake manifold gasket has caused a coolant leak, then the coolant is going to get into the intake manifold. Once this happens, your engine will eventually overheat. You may not even see any visible leaks coming from your vehicle on the outside. But you will know if your engine is overheating because it will show on your dashboard.

4) Bad Fuel Economy – Since a faulty intake manifold gasket causes a disruption in the air to fuel ratio, then your engine is going to consume more fuel than normal. This means you will be spending more money on gas for doing the same amount of driving that you normally do. As a result, your fuel economy will decrease greatly.

5) Loss of Acceleration – Aside from an engine stalling, you may notice a simple loss of acceleration power after you step on the gas pedal. You may get a little bit of power at first, but then the acceleration will stop and start again as you keep your foot on the pedal. You obviously won’t be able to drive your vehicle when it is in this condition. If you are experiencing two or more of the other symptoms, then you definitely need to have your intake manifold gasket replaced promptly.

Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of an intake manifold gasket is anywhere from $190 to $540. The cost of the labor will be anywhere from $170 to $420. The cost of the parts will be from $20 to $120. On top of these costs, you will need to worry about the additional fees and taxes too. Overall, though, this is not an expensive replacement job and it should be affordable for most drivers to get done.

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7 comments

  1. Roy 25 January, 2019 at 20:08 Reply

    I’m confused, I was told by my mechanic that my Intake manifold gasket was going to need replaced. He noticed oil at the rear of the engine on my ’89 Chevy Silverado 2500. The truck was running fine. I decided to address it before it got bad. He replaced it and when I picked it up, he told me everything was great, rans strong (” runs like a raped ape”?) but the Idle is rough. He was right, Seems to run good while driving but at a stop light..very rough!
    Was does he think and act like this is normal. Or did he do something wrong and is trying to brush it off. In all I’ve read, I could have a problem down the road if something is off.

    Any thoughts? Thanks, Roy

    • Isaac 12 March, 2019 at 02:48 Reply

      I recently bought a 2001 Honda Civic and the person I bought it from had the wrong intake manifold gasket which completely blocked air flow. I got it replaced and it fixed my P0401 problem, but after I fixed it the idle was rough and my car would stop accelerating in the middle of the road. Turns out my engine light came on and now it said I had a P0420 which detects problems with the catalytic converter and the O2 sensor. This is all happening as I have an 1100 mile trip to Colorado. After I completed my trip and settled down for a day my engine light turned off randomly and my car is fine and runs good while idle. I’m guessing it took 1100 miles to get all the junk out of my car because the intake manifold was blocked off.

  2. John koco 13 February, 2019 at 08:55 Reply

    Sounds like the intake is leaking. Check to see if there’s any vacuum hoses that have fallen off and if you don’t see anything that’s obvious I would take it back to him give him a chance to fix whatever else is wrong and then if he doesn’t want to do that I would take it to another mechanic and get a second opinion it could be many reasons why it runs rough at idle.

  3. Nathan Witmer 5 March, 2019 at 20:45 Reply

    I have a 2000 ford escort 2.0 split port. Idles very tight then backs down and then shuts off when parked. Put it in drive and it coast about 30 on its own. Replaced idle air control valve , o2 sencors upstream and down ,can’t find a vacuum leak ,intake manifold didn’t leak mas airflow replaced. Could it be the main computer? No check engine light on

    • rich 18 March, 2019 at 20:57 Reply

      make sure if it has distribiture cap and wires are good and fuel filter,good cylinder compression, egr valve is clean,timing belt etc.

  4. jennifer 26 March, 2019 at 02:54 Reply

    Are sealants ok to fix leaking antifreeze? My van has high mileage and I don’t want to put $1400 to get it repaired. I was told the Lower Intake Gasket needs replaced. Thank you for your expert opinion.

  5. Bill 2 July, 2019 at 22:51 Reply

    I have a 2004 Chevy Tahoe 8 cylinder 3.5 l and my check engine lite is off and on occasionally. The guy at Midas said that the bolt is broken on both sides of the manifold and needs to be replaced. Their price for replacing this was $1,800.00 plus taxes. I suspected that this was to expensive. I looked on line and the price for the parts was about $183.00 for both manifolds parts at Autozone. I know the labor is expensive but I suspect that Midas is trying to get over. I am going to buy the parts and see if I can get someone to install them and just pay the labor. What do you think about my plan.

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