Many do it yourself mechanics can easily change their exhaust manifold gasket without a lot of worry. The gasket does wear out after several years so this is a common occurrence that car owners will face. Here is a quick guide to help you change your gasket easily.
Step 1: Let Engine Cool Off
Before you do anything to the exhaust manifold, let your engine cool down if you have just been driving. Wait for at least an hour.
Step 2: Remove Manifold Bolts
Spray down the manifold bolts with some penetrating oil. Because they are subjected to high heat, they will essentially weld themselves to the manifold. The oil will help you break that bond with your wrench. Use your socket wrench, with an extension if you need it, to take off the bolts. Be careful not to break off the bolts as you remove them.
Step 3: Scrape Old Gasket Off
You will notice that the old gasket will be sealed onto the metal parts of the manifold and the cover itself. A small putty knife will help you scrape off the old gasket. Make sure you get all of it as anything left behind will cause the manifold to leak.
Step 4: Set New Gasket
Place the new gasket in place on the manifold and replace the cover. Use a set of new bolts to tighten the manifold cover down. A torque wrench will keep you from overtightening the bolts and causing it to warp or crack.