Five Tell-Tale Signs of a Dysfunctional Ford Exhaust Manifold
Your Ford exhaust manifold is an integral part of your vehicle's exhaust system. It seals a connection with the engine's cylinder head, making it the first component where exhaust gasses pass through on their way out of the exhaust system. Unlike regular car parts, the exhaust manifold is more prone to natural wear and external damage. Since it is often exposed to extreme heat, the porous metal that it is made of is more likely to expand and contract. As a result, the exhaust manifold develops cracks and other heat-induced damages. A dysfunctional exhaust manifold is undoubtedly a problem that you should address as soon as possible. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that you should look out for to prevent exhaust manifold problems from worsening.
Sharp and popping noises
Usually, when your car makes uncommon noises, something is wrong. Better check your exhaust manifold for some damages because it can sometimes be the cause of that slight hiss followed by a popping noise. When the gasket of your Ford exhaust manifold is blown, the exhaust gas will escape through the seal close to the cylinder head, causing disturbing sounds every time the cylinder fires. When you hear a deeper noise, you should really have your engine checked, since deeper sounds mean larger holes.
Visible cracks and fissures
You will not see this symptom unless you check your exhaust manifold explicitly. Examine the exhaust manifold's surface for cracks and gaps. Usually, it is fairly easy to spot the location of the damage when the cracks are large enough for the eyes to see. However, when the cracks are as thin as hair, they are more challenging to identify. In this case, you would have to take out the engine manifold from the engine bay and inspect it up close.
Gaseous and steamy smells
The smell of exhaust gas emanating from the engine bay is often an accurate indicator that your engine manifold is really in trouble. Depending on the severity of the gas leak, you may or may not notice the gassy smell from the vehicle's interior. Nonetheless, this is still a grave concern not only for your car but also for the car's passengers. Since the exhaust gases that are escaping through the cracks of your exhaust manifold are harmful to human health, it is best if you have your exhaust manifold checked and replaced as soon as this symptom manifests.
This symptom is more difficult to identify than the others since it requires a pressure test. Have a professional check the pressure of your engine. If the backpressure increases noticeably, then something is definitely wrong with the exhaust. However, if you're up to doing this task yourself, what you can do is monitor the exhaust and the tailpipe. Excessive backpressure usually causes the exhaust to be muted and strained when the engine is accelerated. Also, unwarranted backpressure will cause the exhaust to hesitate when the throttle is floored.
Decline in overall performance
A more general sign that your Ford exhaust manifold is faulty is when your entire engine system is working poorly. Since the engine manifold is an essential part in transferring exhaust gasses from the cylinders to the exhaust pipe, any damage to this car part essentially means a damage to the exhaust system. If the exhaust manifold is broken, none of the other exhaust components can function properly.