When it comes to exhaust systems in vehicles, many of us only think about two or three things. The first thing we think about is the noise. Either the exhaust is muffled, or it sounds like small explosives going off as the car or truck flies past us. The second thing we consider is the smell. Certain vehicles leave a lingering smell of burnt oil in the air behind them. Sometimes we then consider the third aspect of this exhaust system, which has to do with air pollution – regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. These are all aspects determined by a fully-functioning exhaust system.


The exhaust manifold gasket is an essential piece of the exhaust system, but it has only a small effect on noise and smell issues related to exhaust, and just a slightly more significant claim to influence on air pollution. The primary role of the exhaust manifold gasket is actually in engine performance.

The function of the exhaust system is to expel combusted gases out of the engine so that the combustion process is able to propel the engine smoothly. Those excess gasses act as distractions and take up space in the engine, messing with the pressure required for clean operations. In some cases, they can remain combustible and could catch fire in the engine. For those, and other reasons, it is simply best to remove them. The exhaust system serves that purpose.

The exhaust manifold is a series of pipes that carries them safely out of the engine and out the opposite end of the vehicle through the tailpipe. The exhaust manifold gasket is a part of this system. It is a gasket that seals the surface space between the cylinder head in the engine and the beginning of the exhaust manifold so that those gasses cannot accidentally escape back into the engine. This small seal makes a big difference in the exhaust system. A sealed system is like a vacuum tube or vacuum cleaner that can quickly and efficiently eliminate any waste. Without the gasket, the exhaust system functions more like a leaf-blower, blasting at a general area and hoping most of the clutter will blow away. If you do not have an efficient exhaust system from your engine, your engine power and performance will be affected negatively.


Several symptoms will alert you to a broken or damaged exhaust manifold gasket.

First, you may hear loud noises from the engine. The exhaust manifold gasket does not just seal in gasses, it seals in sound as well. If sound is escaping, you can bet gasses are escaping too, and they may be causing extra noise inside the engine.

Second, your engine performance will drop. If you only use your Jaguar to drive around town, you are missing out on what a Jaguar was made to do, and you may not notice the drop in engine power. However, if you get out on the highway, you will notice that it takes longer to build up speed.

In most cases, cars have sensors to detect combusted gas leaks. These sensors will signal your check engine light to come on, letting you know that there is a problem. If gasses and sound are escaping the exhaust system, you will likely notice burning smells as well. The exhaust system transfers a great deal of heat out of the engine, and if that is all leaking throughout your vehicle, you may smell plastic pieces melting or burning.


Get to a professional Jaguar mechanic quickly. There are several places the exhaust system can break down on you, and the exhaust manifold gasket is just one of them. Mounting bolts can break and cause similar leaks in the system as well. Once you get to the mechanic, they will inspect the entire exhaust system for leaks and determine whether you are dealing with a flange gasket leak or a manifold gasket leak. They will replace the broken gasket and put anti-seize on the threads of the bolts. Finally, they will install a new manifold gasket. They will end by starting the car and doing one last check for exhaust leaks.


For over 40 years, Autobahn Automotive has served the San Antonio and Longhorn, TX area with quality European auto service. Our trained professional European auto technicians are able to diagnose and repair all your Jaguar’s problems. With the intense heat generated by engine exhaust, it is only a matter of time before every vehicle will need their exhaust serviced. If you notice any of the exhaust manifold gasket damage symptoms call Autobahn Automotive and make an appointment today for service 35% lower than the dealers.

* Jaguar XE image credit goes to:trangiap.

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