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Intake Manifold Leak: 7 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore!

Intake Manifold Leak: 7 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore!

Have you noticed that coolant has been pooling underneath your car in recent days when you’re done driving it? This can be caused by a number of different issues underneath your hood. But oftentimes, it’ll be an intake manifold leak in your engine that leads to coolant congregating under your car and causing problems for you.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


In the event that you’re ever forced to deal with an intake manifold leak, you should address it as quickly as you can so that you don’t have to worry about facing more serious engine troubles down the line. Today, we’re going to discuss what the intake manifold in your engine is, how it works, and what symptoms will let you know that you may very well have an intake manifold leak on your hands. Continue reading to find out more!

What Is an Intake Manifold and How Does It Work?

In just a few minutes, we’re going to get into talking at length about the different intake manifold leak symptoms. But before you jump into that, you really need to know what an intake manifold is and how it works. It’ll help to stress just how important it is to correct the issues that you’re having when you’re dealing with an intake manifold leak.


Your intake manifold is the part of your engine that’s in charge of taking air from outside your car and distributing it to the individual cylinders tucked away in your engine. That air is then able to mix with the fuel that is sent to your engine so that combustion can occur and power can be produced. It makes it one of the most essential parts within your car’s engine.


The intake manifold in your engine attaches directly to the cylinder head through the use of a gasket that is positioned in between them to form a tight deal. That gasket should stand up for a relatively long time, but if it ever fails on you, it’s what is going to cause an intake manifold leak in most cases. You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for any signs of an intake manifold leak so that it doesn’t result in additional damage being done to your engine.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of an Intake Manifold Leak?

Most people don’t spend a whole lot of time with the heads under the hoods of their cars inspecting their intake manifolds. As a result, they don’t always recognize when they have an intake manifold leak right away. But there are some surefire signs that will let you know that you have an intake manifold leak. Here are some of those signs.

1. Your Car Is Leaking Coolant

As we mentioned back at the beginning, coolant can begin to leak out of your car for a number of reasons. You might see coolant leaking out of your car if:

  • You have a hole in your car’s radiator
  • Your radiator cap has gone bad
  • You have a blown head gasket
  • Your water pump is faulty
  • Your expansion tank isn’t doing its job

But you should also have an intake manifold leak that causes coolant to leak from your car. The gasket for your intake manifold can go bad and that can lead to coolant streaming down the side of your engine and pooling under your car.


If you ever have coolant leaking from your car for any reason at all, you should always investigate the source of the problem by taking your vehicle to a mechanic right away. But you should be especially mindful of doing this when you suspect you may have an intake manifold leak on your hands.

2. Your Car’s Engine Idles Rough or Stalls Early and Often

Does your car’s engine idle rough a lot of the time? Worse, does it sometimes stall out on you without warning? While it can do these things for a bunch of different reasons, you could very well have an intake manifold leak when you notice it doing it.


When you have an intake manifold leak, it’s going to allow too much air to pass into your engine. This is going to confuse your engine and cause it to either idle rough when you’re sitting still or stall out, including when you’re driving at low speeds. You could even potentially put yourself into a situation where your car stalls out in the middle of a busy road.


You do not want to let this happen. We repeat: We do NOT want to let this happen. Rather than riding around with what could be an intake manifold leak in your car, you should have your car checked out to see if you need to have your intake manifold either repaired or possibly replaced.

3. Your Car’s Engine Makes Strange Sounds While You’re Idling

When you’re dealing with an intake manifold leak, you may notice that your car’s engine will do more than just idle rough and stall out. It might also speak to you and make strange sounds that’ll indicate that there is a problem with your intake manifold.


You should be very concerned about possibly having an intake manifold leak if you hear your car’s engine sounding like it’s:

  • Whistling
  • Gulping
  • Sucking
  • Hissing

When your engine makes these kinds of sounds, it typically does it because there is too much air getting into it. In addition to idling rough and stalling, it’ll also generate these types of sounds to let you know that you need to take a closer look at it to fix an intake manifold leak.

4. Your Car’s Engine Doesn’t Perform Up to Its Usual Standards

If you have an intake manifold leak in your car, it’s going to be difficult for your engine to perform up to the same standards that it usually does. In fact, it might feel like you’re driving a completely different car at times since your engine will seem like a total stranger to you.


When you’re experiencing an intake manifold leak, your engine is going to:

  • Lack the power that it usually has
  • Accelerate a lot rougher than normal
  • Misfire from time to time
  • Backfire if things get to be really bad

This is all, again, because your engine is getting too much air in it at one time. It throws the fuel-air mixture all off in your engine and results in nothing but problems. You’re going to have to fix your intake manifold leak to get your engine back to normal.

5. Your Car’s Engine Overheats All the Time

We touched on how an intake manifold leak can result in coolant leaking out of your car earlier. And outside of the fact that this can leave coolant pooling all over the place in your driveway, it can also leave your engine with a serious lack of coolant in it.


What will happen when your car doesn’t have enough coolant in it? It will, of course, start to overheat! And as anyone who knows even just a little bit about cars will tell you, a car that overheats is a car that’s on the verge of giving out on you completely.


If you see coolant pooling under your car at any point, you should make it a point to monitor your car’s temperature gauge at all times. If you see it climbing higher and higher, you should shut your car off as soon as you can and get it to a mechanic. You shouldn’t ever continue driving a car with a lack of coolant in it, regardless of whether it’s being caused by an intake manifold leak or something else.

6. Your Car Gets Terrible Gas Mileage

When your engine starts to get too much air delivered to it because of an intake manifold leak, it might result in your car trying to overcompensate for this by delivering more fuel to match it. This might correct the fuel-air mixture problem that you’re experiencing for a little while, but it’s going to cause a bigger problem before long.


As soon as your car starts doing this, it’s going to result in your fuel economy taking a huge tumble. You’re going to burn through way more gas than you should every time you drive your car, and that’s going to cost you a ton of money in the end. You should work to fix your intake manifold leak before it reaches this point.

7. Your Car’s Check Engine Light Turns On

There are about a million and one different things that can cause your car’s check engine light to come on. It can turn on because of:

  • A loose gas cap
  • A faulty oxygen sensor
  • A bad catalytic converter
  • Spark plug problems
  • Mass airflow sensor failure

And yes, it can also turn on because of an intake manifold leak! A bad intake manifold is going to lead to adverse conditions inside of your engine, and they’re eventually going to result in your check engine light turning on.


Now, we should point out that you’re probably going to spot at least one or two of the other signs of an intake manifold leak listed here before you see this one. But if you allow the problem to spiral out of control, it’ll only be a matter of time before this symptom sets in.

Is It Safe to Drive a Car With an Intake Manifold Leak?

Do you have the slightest inclination that you might have an intake manifold leak in your car? That should be reason enough to put your car into park and stop driving it until you get the situation fixed. Driving a car with an intake manifold leak is never a good idea.


If you drive around in a car with an intake manifold leak, you might:

  • Stall out in the middle of a busy street and put yourself and other drivers at risk
  • Struggle to get your car up to an acceptable speed on a highway because of a lack of performance from your engine
  • Burn through entirely too much gas

You might also do extensive damage to other aspects of your engine besides just your intake manifold. You could find yourself facing some ridiculously expensive repairs if you’re not careful!

How Do You Fix an Intake Manifold Leak?

There are a few different ways in which a mechanic might choose to go about fixing an intake manifold leak for you. It all depends on what type of intake manifold you have in your car—there are some that are metal and others that are plastic—and what exactly is wrong with your intake manifold.


If you have an intake manifold leak, a mechanic might:

  • Replace your intake manifold leak gasket to see if that stops the leak
  • Repair the intake manifold itself in an attempt to stop the leak
  • Replace the intake manifold leak altogether to put the leak in your rear-view mirror

It would be impossible for us to sit here and tell you exactly how a mechanic will choose to correct an intake manifold leak in your car since it depends on your specific situation. But generally speaking, they’re going to take one of these three approaches to get the job done.

How Much Will Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement Cost?

More often than not, a mechanic is going to start to try and fix an intake manifold leak by replacing the intake manifold gasket for you. The gasket itself isn’t going to cost you too much money as it should only run you somewhere between $50 and $125. But the labor associated with replacing the gasket will be a much different story.


It’s not particularly easy to get to the intake manifold to address an intake manifold leak, so you could be looking at paying anywhere from $250 to $500 in labor costs. That could bring the total cost for intake manifold gasket replacement up above the $600 mark.

Sell a Car With an Intake Manifold Leak to Cash Car Buyers Today!

If you have an intake manifold leak in your car and you plan on keeping it, you should pay to have it fixed right away. Or if you don’t plan on keeping it, you should attempt to sell your car to a company like Cash Cars Buyer for cash. We make it so easy to do.


To sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer, all you have to do is:

  • Give us some basic information about your car, including the make and model, the mileage, etc.
  • Receive an offer for your car from us
  • Accept our offer and allow us to come to your home or business to pick up your car from you

It’s that easy! Even if you have a car with an intake manifold leak, we’ll have no problem taking it off your hands. Contact us today to obtain an offer for your old vehicle.