The national cost for an intake manifold replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $54 and $1331 with an average of $399.

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What is an intake manifold and how does it work?

The intake manifold on an engine is a large housing, a series of passageways, that distributes and directs air (and sometimes fuel) into the cylinders inside the engine. An intake manifold gasket seals between the manifold and the engine’s cylinder head.

Attached to one end of the intake manifold on a modern engine is the throttle body that opens and closes to control the amount of air pulled into the engine on its intake stroke. At the other end of the manifold at the place where it bolts to the engine is the cylinder head. When your engine is running, air is drawn through the throttle body by a vacuum (produced by the engine), through the intake manifold tubes or “runners”, and into the intake ports of the cylinder head so that it can mix with the fuel entering the combustion chamber.


How is a an Intake Manifold Replacement done?

Intake manifold replacement procedures will vary depending on the vehicle make and model, its age and the configuration of the engine. For example, the steps to replace the intake manifold on a four cylinder engine will differ from those on an eight cylinder engine. In general, however, a technician will take the following steps to replace an intake manifold:

  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal
  • Drain the vehicle's engine cooling system (only if needed)
  • Remove any shields, guards, covers, or ducts to gain access to the intake manifold
  • Remove the tubing, vacuum lines, and other components connected to the intake manifold
  • In some cases, disconnect the coolant lines from the manifold
  • Unfasten and remove the throttle body assembly
  • Unbolt the intake manifold from the cylinder head on the engine
  • Remove the intake manifold
  • Clean and prep the gasket surface on the cylinder head
  • Install the new intake manifold with a fresh gasket and torque the fasteners
  • Reconnect the tubing, vacuum lines, coolant lines, wiring, and other components
  • Reinstall any shields, guards, covers, or ducts that were removed
  • Refill the vehicle with engine coolant (if needed) and bleed the cooling system of air
  • Reconnect the battery terminal
  • Start the vehicle and verify the repair by checking manifold pressure with a scan tool

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National average cost of a an Intake Manifold Replacement
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How do I know if my vehicle needs the intake manifold replaced?

Intake manifolds come with an array of vehicle-specific designs. Their main purpose is to carry air from the throttle body to the cylinder head and combustion chambers. But the manner in which it does its job can differ. For instance, on some vehicles, the air will be vacuumed through the manifold. On others, the air is pressurized. Some engines even cool the air with engine coolant that passes through chambers inside the intake manifold.

If your intake manifold is cracked or leaking, not only will the air to fuel ratio be upset, but coolant and oil could also leak. If the manifold is compromised, you might notice one or more of the following signs:

Your engine knocks or “pings” under a load due to a lean fuel mixture

You see white smoke coming from the tailpipe

Your engine lacks power, sputters, or stalls

The engine will not start at all

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Other questions customers ask

What happens when an intake manifold fails?
Any number of problems can occur when an intake manifold fails, but the number one issue is a poor air-to-fuel ratio that impairs engine performance. You might notice a reduction in engine power and fuel economy, or the engine might run roughly. You might see the check engine light come on. Fluid leaks are even possible on some vehicles. Reasons that the component might need to be replaced stem from damage from an impact or cracking from age and heat.
When should I change my intake manifold?
Intake manifolds are designed to last for the life of a vehicle. They do not generally need to be replaced under normal circumstances. If your intake manifold does become cracked or damaged, then it should be replaced without delay to avoid inevitable engine problems.
Can you drive with a faulty intake manifold?
Driving with a faulty intake manifold is not advised. That is because a leaking intake manifold can lead to a lean air to fuel mixture that causes engine damage. At the least, your engine performance will suffer along with reduced fuel economy. Your vehicle might even fail an emissions test. More than that, on some vehicles, your engine could lose a significant amount of oil or coolant as a result of a bad intake manifold.

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