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Cracked Exhaust Manifold Repair – What You Need To Know!

Cracked Exhaust Manifold Repair

Your exhaust manifold in your car is the first section of the vehicle’s exhaust system. It collects the exhaust gases from multiple cylinders into one pipe and is generally cast in iron or stainless steel units that collect exhaust gas and deliver it to the exhaust pipe. With such an important part within your vehicle’s gas system in your vehicle, a crack appearing or coming up over time in the exhaust manifold can lead to a costly repair. 

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The number for an exhaust manifold repair cost is an average of between $570- $900, with the labor taking up the majority of this price at between $400 and $550 of that, and the ports running you between $130 and $340 for the total cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 


Let’s dive a little deeper and figure out what an exhaust manifold is and what the exhaust manifold does in your car. It is also important to know the process of fixing a cracked exhaust manifold repair entails, and what the cracked exhaust manifold repair cost is depending on if you bring your car to a dealership or a local automotive shop. 

Exhaust Manifold Mechanism


A vehicle’s exhaust manifold plays a huge role within the car or truck’s exhaust system, ensuring that your car stays in good condition and does not overheat. If you have a cracked exhaust manifold, then you will need a repair and need to determine the exhaust manifold repair cost, especially since this key part plays a part in connecting the exhaust port to the engine’s cylinder head and funnels the hot exhaust into the exhaust pipe.


With the exhaust manifold gaskets’ levels, the manifold helps prevent unwanted fumes or toxic exhaust from getting into your car and harming yourself and the passengers. To keep you and your passengers safe, it is pretty imperative to the health of your vehicle and your passengers to have an exhaust manifold in good working order and keep it without a crack in it. 


The typical engine you will find in almost every car is V-shaped and has two exhaust manifolds attached to it. One of these exhaust manifolds is for a cylinder bank, and the other is for cylinder bank two. 

Components of the Exhaust System

  • Exhaust Manifold 

This mechanism in your car is in charge of collecting the exhaust from your car's cylinders and siphoning the gases into one pipe for easy transport. If this part is not working correctly, you will have to pay more for your exhaust pipe repair.

  • Oxygen Sensor 

Located directly on top of the exhaust manifold, the o2 sensor in your vehicle is in charge of measuring how much oxygen is currently in the exhaust. Based on its readings, it has to add more or less oxygen based on the measurement, improving the fuel economy and the miles per gallon the car can earn.

Oxygen Sensor Function

The air and fuel mixture results within the engine are sent to the engine control unit of the car’s computer. This part will then change the air and fuel mixture as needed, either making the mixture more or less rich. If the oxygen sensor is broken and not measuring the o2 level accurately and quickly, the engine control unit will not be able to change the air and fuel mixture to the right levels.


The engine control unit changes the amount of fuel entering the system. If the o2 sensor is not working, the engine control unit will allow too much or too little fuel in the system, causing the pollutants and harmful gases in your car’s engine to increase. Learning how to test your o2 sensor can prevent damage to your car’s transmission, engine, or catalytic converter. 

  • Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a key mechanism that converts the dangerous gases from your engine into water vapor and carbon dioxide. Without this converter working correctly, it can harm your exhaust pipe and cause an expensive cracked exhaust manifold repair. 

  • Car Muffler 

The muffler is the piece in charge of quieting or dampening the exhaust sounds as it travels out of your car. It is very easy to see a car with an improper muffler, since it will make a lot of noise, causing you to look into a muffler and cracked exhaust manifold repair as soon as possible. 

Exhaust System Function

  • Control Noise 

Once the exhaust system does its job of removing the harmful gases from inside of your car, those gases then make their way through the car’s muffler. This muffler is in charge of lessening the sound of the gases leaving your car. If you hear loud noises while this is happening, it is a clear sign of a much-needed exhaust pipe repair.

  • Distribute Gases 

The exhaust gases collect into one spot – the exhaust manifold. This holding system is in charge of keeping the gases until they are eventually distributed out of the car and into the air. The exhaust manifold is a holding tank and a funnel, catching gases from various cylinders and then siphoning them through one singular pipe. If the exhaust manifold is not able to distribute the gases correctly, then the exhaust pipe repair might be more expensive than usual.

  • Improve Engine Performance 

If the gases take a long time to leave your car, it can harm your exhaust system’s longevity and efficiency. The longer it takes for the gases to be distributed out of your vehicle, the longer it will take to intake oxygen and generate more power for your vehicle to work at the optimal level. 


Having an exhaust system that is not in good condition and needs an exhaust pipe repair means that your vehicle will not be able to breathe as well as usual – resulting in a detriment to the engine performance.

Cracked Exhaust Manifold Repair Causes


As we know, a cracked exhaust manifold repair cost is exactly what we are trying to avoid. A cracked or broken exhaust manifold is most commonly due to a couple of things, making it easier to diagnose and fix the issue quickly without having more problems arise over time. 

  • Excessive Heat or Aging 

The first cause of a cracked exhaust manifold and a high cracked exhaust manifold repair cost is heat cycles or aging over time. Over a long period of use and over time, the manifolds can not take the high heat and the temperatures anymore, meaning that cracks begin to form in each manifold. The cracks that form then turn into small holes.

  • Broken Exhaust System Hangers 

The second common reason for a cracked exhaust manifold and a need for repair is because of broken exhaust system hangers. The entire exhaust system in your car is usually held together with a bunch of hangers, so if one of these hangers break off, then the weight becomes the sole responsibility of the exhaust manifold, putting too much stress on the exhaust manifold. 

Cracked Exhaust Manifold Repair Steps


Replacing a cracked exhaust manifold can help you to understand the process better, fix the issue, and potentially give you the information to do the process on your own and save money on the overall cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 

  • Remove Any Rust 

First, you need to spray the bolts with rust penetrating fluid in advance to remove them without any issues and keep them from sticking during the process.

  • Remove the Oxygen Sensor 

Next, make sure you remove the oxygen sensor within the exhaust manifold before you take out the cracked exhaust manifold from the engine. If you decide to waste, it will be much more difficult to remove the cracked exhaust manifold afterward.

  • Keep Gloves On While Removing the O2 Sensor 

Third, remove the o2 sensor when the manifold is hot, but be careful since this could burn yourself and your hands during this step. Make sure that you keep gloves on or prevent yourself from touching the material so you can safely remove the oxygen sensor from the cracked exhaust manifold.

  • Replace Any Old Bolts 

In addition, if you see any of the bolts that you need to replace are questionable or look like they need to be replaced or are rusting over time, then you should replace them at the same time as the exhaust manifold so that you can save on labor and save on time.

  • Replace Exhaust Manifold Gaskets 

Furthermore, always replace the exhaust manifold gaskets when you decide to replace a manifold. You don’t want to do all of this work and have the new exhaust manifold leak worse than the old one or enhance the cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 

  • Use Anti-Seize Bolts 

Lastly, when putting back together with the parts, use anti-seize on the bolts that attach the exhaust manifold to the rest of the exhaust system. The process is easier for the next person, and the overall cracked exhaust manifold repair cost is faster and slower. 

Average Cracked exhaust manifold repair cost


Suppose you want to save money and do the job yourself to save costs on repairs of the exhaust manifold repair. In that case, you should only try this step and process if you have caught the problem easily if you are confident in your skills, and you have done the right amount of research about the steps needed to take. 

  • Tools To Use 

As we have stated, replacing a gasket that is causing an exhaust manifold leak that has resulted in a cracked exhaust manifold repair process is a pretty simple step by step process. You will need a couple of wrenches or sockets to remove the manifold if you are doing it yourself. You will also need a tool that can remove the traces of the old gasket. 

  • Labor Costs

Suppose you decide not to do this process yourself. In that case, most shops will use what is commonly known in the automotive world as parts and labor guide to figure out how much labor is required for any given repair, thereby determining the total charge. 


Usually, this kind of cracked exhaust manifold repair will charge at around $80-$90 per hour, so with the total running at around $160-$270 for the cracked exhaust manifold repair cost in total. If you decide to go with a dealership instead of an independent shop, then a labor rate of approximately $100-$110 per hour will run you at about $220-$330 for the total cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 

  • Parts Cost

The replacement gasket cost can depend on the make, model, and year of your car and how many cylinders are in your vehicle’s engine. It can be between just $18-$30 at your local retailer for the gasket for certain cars but can increase to double as much if you go to a local dealership. 

Sample Cracked exhaust manifold repair costs 


Certain types of cars have brought about specific exhaust manifold repair costs on the market today. For example, the first one is a Ford F-Series, with the labor coming in at $270-$344, while the parts run at around $204-$343, with the total cracked exhaust manifold repair cost running at around $474-$687 total. 


The lowest cracked exhaust manifold repair cost is for the Honda Accord. The labor is around $90-$115, the parts running at around $259-$472, and the total cracked exhaust manifold repair cost totaling around $349-$587.


One of the highest cars regarding the exhaust manifold repair costs on the market today is the Honda Civic, with the parts coming in at a whopping $583-$851 and the labor running at around $270-$344. This is difficult for a mechanic to do correctly, costing about $853for the total cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 


Depending on the kind of car you have and whether you take your vehicle to a dealership or to your local independent mechanic, it will affect the total price of your cracked exhaust manifold repair cost. 

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