An exhaust manifold is a car part that combines the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders and thrusts them through one single pipe which leads to the tailpipe.
The word ‘manifold’ was actually derived from an Old English word – ‘manigfeald’. The word ‘manig’ means ‘many’, and the word ‘feald’ means ‘fold’. This is an appropriate name as the exhaust manifold works to fold or gather together many different emission streams.
Exhaust manifolds are a very important engine component in most modern vehicles and thus, need to be kept well-maintained. If the piece becomes cracked or gas starts to leak out of a corroded manifold gasket, bad things can happen to other parts of the car.
What’s the Price of an Exhaust Manifold?
The cost to replace exhaust manifold ranges from $18.99 to $532.89. The total amount of the part, however, depends on a few different factors such as the brand, location of purchase, and your type of vehicle.
Exhaust manifolds don’t generally have many variations besides the ones that are made for specific vehicle types. Here is a list of price ranges for different vehicle types to give you an idea of how much a replacement will cost including the labor fee:
|2008 Saturn Vue||$305|
|2010 Subaru Legacy||$890|
|2006 Nissan Sentra||$358|
|2007 BMW 750Li||$905|
|2014 Mercedes-Benz E350||$544|
|2010 BMW M6||$1,074|
Where to Replace an Exhaust Manifold?
You have two main options when it comes to getting an exhaust manifold replaced: independent automotive repair shops or dealerships. There are pros and cons to choosing either of these establishments to service your vehicle.
Dealerships such as Honda and Nissan tend to have higher prices for labor but are guaranteed to handle any issue with a vehicle as long as it belongs to their brand. A vehicle that’s still under warranty should be brought to a dealership so that the manufacturer will pay for the repair. Dealerships have plenty of shops distributed throughout most major cities.
As for independent auto repair shops, their mechanics have a similar level of skill and there are plenty of locations to choose from. The upside to these repair shops is that they typically tend to have lower prices for labor.
To help you have a clearer idea of how much a cracked exhaust manifold repair cost will be, we’ve gathered data from industry experts and the total amount for labor is usually around $114 to $444.
If you’d like to try replacing the exhaust manifold yourself, we’ve included a guide at the last section – but be warned, the job isn’t for beginners and can take quite a while.
What is an Exhaust Manifold Used For?
A car is able to crank up and begin pumping its pistons after combustion occurs within the engine’s cylinders. The combustion process results in each cylinder producing emissions – in the form of carbon monoxide, smoke, and other noxious gases.
The engine needs to find a way to get these emissions out of the car. So, with the help of an air pump, all the emissions from each cylinder are drawn through a section of metal called an exhaust manifold, which serves to combine the emissions and funnel them through a single pipe which leads to the catalytic converter.
The emissions then pass through the catalytic converter using the exhaust system all the way out the tailpipe at the rear of the vehicle. Exhaust manifolds are crucial in an engine’s operation given that a motor can generate more power if it has more oxygen.
They are linked directly to the cylinders in the engine. An exhaust manifold gasket connects the two parts and works to prevent the emissions from leaking out.
Some exhaust manifolds do more than just guide the emissions. They also work to ensure that as much fuel is burnt off after combustion as possible.
Unburnt fuel is called hydrocarbons and it’s bad for the environment if it escapes out the tailpipe. The catalytic converter works to remove as much as it can, but the exhaust manifold does help in its own way as well.
Exhaust manifolds are built primarily of iron and steel. They are pretty durable pieces of metal and don’t become damaged easily. However, being under a constant barrage of gushing hot smoke, it’s only a matter of time until the metal begins to corrode and crack. If and when this happens, your only option is to replace the manifold.
Symptoms of a Damaged Exhaust Manifold
A damaged exhaust manifold can be very dangerous for the driver and passengers. The reason is that if and when the part becomes damaged, small cracks can allow the exhaust fumes to slowly seep into the cabin of the vehicle.
Since the crack is so small, the fumes may not be detected right away and will poison whoever is riding in the vehicle. Therefore, it’s necessary to be conscious of the symptoms that might indicate a blown gasket or a crack in the manifold:
- Visible Cracking – During routine inspections, always visually inspect the exhaust manifold to check for any cracks or leaks.
- Excess or Unusual Noises – These noises are easily heard when starting up a car with a cold engine. The sound comes from the fumes being forced out through a tiny crack in the manifold.
- Exhaust Odors – If you are able to notice a foul-smelling odor in the cabin of the car, have the exhaust manifold checked out immediately. Bad smells can come from a variety of different sources, so if the culprit is not the manifold, inspect other portions of the car until you find out where they are coming from.
- Loss of Performance – A blown gasket or cracked manifold will cause a loss of pressure as the hot air blows through the inside piping. Due to this, the engine will lose some of its power and will not run as efficiently when accelerating.