Your car’s exhaust system has a lot of components. The purpose of some of them is fairly common knowledge. But other parts need to work harder on their PR! And exhaust gaskets fall into the second category. They are an integral part of a car’s safe performance. But not everyone knows why. So, What is an exhaust gasket, how does it work, and is it necessary?

Exhaust Gaskets: What Do You Need to Know?

What is an exhaust gasket?

Gaskets are mechanical seals, created to join the gap between two surfaces. In the exhaust system, gaskets are used to secure connection points. And in most vehicles, exhaust gaskets will typically be made of multiple sections. The number of exhaust gaskets your car requires depends upon its engine type. On V6 and V8 engines, two gaskets are present. Others just require one.

Is an exhaust gasket necessary?

The role of the exhaust gasket is to prevent leakages. In a car, it is there to ensure that exhaust fumes do not leak into any other part of the vehicle, particularly the passenger cabin. For your car to be considered roadworthy, the gasket also has to ensure that exhaust fumes don’t pass out into the environment before being fed into your catalytic converter.

Do I need to maintain my car’s exhaust gasket?

It’s always a good idea to keep all parts of your car maintained. In the case of the gasket, this will usually be covered by your annual service. But if you suspect that there is a problem with your gasket, then it’s really important that you contact a mechanic as soon as possible.

How do you know if there’s something wrong with your exhaust gasket?

There are three main signs that you may have a problem with your exhaust gasket.

  1. Your engine is really noisy. Engine noise can be caused by many things. But if your engine suddenly seems to be making hissing or tapping sounds, it’s probably an issue with your exhaust manifold gasket.
  2. A burning smell coming from the engine. If your engine smells like it’s burning, then you don’t need us to tell you that it needs attention. It could be caused by a range of issues, most of them serious. If the exhaust manifold gasket leaks near any plastic components, they have the potential to melt, or even catch fire. If this happens to your car, you need to replace your exhaust gasket – and any other affected areas – as soon as possible.  
  3. A lack of power. Any problem with your exhaust system can result in a reduction of power. If an exhaust gasket fails or forms a leak, you will likely notice a decrease in power which becomes more noticeable over time. This may also impact acceleration and fuel efficiency.  

As far as car parts go, the exhaust gasket is something of a wallflower. Few people would be able to pick one out from a crowd. Or even tell you what it is for. But without fully functioning exhaust gaskets, your car would not be safe to drive. So, give them a little thought from time to time. And as a rule of thumb, consider investing in a new gasket each time you replace any other part of your exhaust system. That way, you can be confident that you’re always covered.

If you are looking for a replacement exhaust gasket or other low-cost, high-quality car parts, get in touch with Online Automotive.