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All About Intake Manifold Gaskets

Vital for engine performance


The intake manifold gasket is vital to your vehicle. Placed between the intake manifold and the engine, your car relies on the intake manifold to keep it running smoothly down the road. Read on more to learn about the inner workings of the intake manifold gasket.

What is an intake manifold?


In order to better understand the function and form of the intake manifold gasket, let’s first examine the job of the intake manifold. Found on any vehicle with an internal combustion engine, the intake manifold sits on top of the engine and plays a key role in the combustion process.

Designed to run on three timed components, air mixed fuel, spark, and combustion; the internal combustion engine relies upon the intake manifold to help it breathe. Featuring a series of tubes, the intake manifold ensures that the air coming into the engine is evenly distributed to all the cylinders. This air is used during the first stroke of the combustion process.

The intake manifold also helps cool down the cylinders to prevent the engine from overheating. Coolant runs through the manifold to the cylinder heads where the coolant absorbs the heat and reduces engine temperature.

Intake manifold – How it Works


Air from the outside travels past the air filter and through an ECM-assisted throttle body that controls air flow speed.


Air exits the throttle body and enters the intake manifold plenum, or main body, connected to the throttle body housing. 


Air is drawn from the plenum into a set of passageways called runners through the vacuum created by the downward stroke of the engine’s pistons, located in the cylinder chambers of the engine block.


Manifold is bolted flush and firmly to the engine’s cylinder head with the runners located above the intake valve or valves.


As the air exits the manifold, it’s mixed with fuel from fuel injectors and swept into the cylinder below.

About the intake manifold gasket

This brings us to the intake manifold gasket. Typically made from aluminized steel coated in a carbon-based rubber compound, the intake manifold gasket seals the intake manifold to the engine. High-quality intake manifold gaskets, such as Fel-Pro®, are constructed as one-piece with reinforced edges and linings around each port or runner opening. They must be resistant to decay caused by oils and coolants. The performance of your engine depends upon the quality of the intake manifold gasket.

Symptoms of bad intake manifold gasket

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign that your intake manifold gasket is wearing out. Consult your professional mechanic for a definitive diagnosis and repair.

  • Coolant leaking from vehicle
  • Engine overheating
  • Green, red or yellow leaks under the car
  • Check engine light comes on
  • Engine starts to run rough

Learn more about Fel-Pro quality gaskets that are designed specifically for the repair environment, find your car part, or find where to buy your auto part today.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

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