The intake manifold is critical for a sustainable and functional engine. It directs an adequate air and fuel mixture to the cylinders, which powers the engine through combustion. This function earns the intake manifold gasket its nickname: the car lung.
Intake manifold gaskets are built with main compartments. These include the plenum, which serves as a reservoir for storing air in the cylinders pending transfer. The runner is responsible for carrying air from the plenum to each cylinder head. A coolant operates in the engine manifold to cool down these cylinders, preventing the engine from overheating.
Although relatively small compared to the manifold, the intake manifold gasket is an essential component in your Chevrolet. These gaskets work as a seal responsible for sealing the intake manifold against the cylinder heads. They help contain fluids inside the cylinder while also helping to maintain pressure and prevent dirt from entering the engines.
The importance of intake manifold gaskets in vehicles, including Chevrolet, can’t be overlooked. However, with this high level of relevance comes an even higher level of risk. This occurs because the intake manifold gasket by nature is susceptible to break under various conditions like heat and pressure.
When these cracks or breaks do happen, they may pose severe problems to the state of your engine. These problems may be by way of coolant leaks, poor performance, idle and stall engine, loss or difficulty in accelerating, and engine overheating in your Chevrolet.
Discussed below are some signs and symptoms to pay attention to determine your intake manifold gasket condition.
The most common sign of a weary intake manifold gasket is a coolant leak. When the intake manifold gasket gets damaged, coolant escapes and leaks underneath your car. This leakage will be different from the regular condensation seen while running an air conditioner. You can spot this leakage from the distinct smell and bright color of coolant.
In severe cases of excessive coolant leakage, coolant levels may drop to alarming levels. At this stage, you might notice an increase in puddles of coolant under your vehicle in your garage or driveway. Coolant leaks should be addressed promptly to prevent other complications that may emerge if the issue is left unchecked.
Since gaskets balance the ratio between air and fuel, a sign of an intake manifold gasket failure is the irregular mixture of air and fuel. This invariably results in massive engine underperformance. These underperformances are visible through reduction of power and even misfiring in some other cases.
An air leak in the manifold gasket often causes a disproportionate amount of air to enter the engine. When this happens, your car may experience a change in idle speed and even cause the engine to stall at lower speeds.
If coolant leakage becomes severe, a loss of acceleration is noticeable. You may notice a fluctuation in acceleration when you accelerate characterized by a quick stop followed by an acceleration surge. At this stage, it becomes dangerous to drive the vehicle as it may be susceptible to accidents.
Another sign of intake manifold gasket failure is noticeable when your engine fuel consumption rate increases. This causes the engine to use more fuel to achieve the same level of action. The underlying reason for this uphill fuel consumption is that when an air/vacuum leak occurs, the car computer increases the consumption of fuel to level the air to fuel ratio.
This is a case of one thing leading to another. An Intake manifold gasket failure leads to coolant leakage. Continuous leak then reduces the coolant levels causing the car to overheat. In some cases, where the manifold gasket failure has caused an internal coolant leakage, the engine may overheat without any noticeable external leaks. You can, however, detect this engine overheating through your dashboard. When your engine begins to overheat, these leaks should be addressed quickly to prevent the possibility of more severe engine damage.
A defective intake manifold gasket tends to make a hissing sound. You know your car well. If you suspect something is wrong or its making sounds that are unusual, trust your instincts and bring it in for inspection.
We are expert mechanics who are skilled in fixing all problems relating to intake manifold gaskets. St. Matthews imports in Louisville, KY are experts in automobile services and repairs. We have multiple locations to ease you of the burden of locating our services. Call our Hubbards Lane location for automotive service and repairs today.