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How Long Can You Drive on a Bad Intake Manifold Gasket?

by Frances Grover

Stop-Leak Fixes

There are two intake manifold gaskets. A vacuum gasket leak is an immediate concern. However, a coolant gasket leak can be patched. Manufacturers and retailers advertise stop-leak fluids as permanent seals. This saves hundreds of dollars in repairs and allows you to drive your car for an indefinite period of time.

Dealers' Advice

Gasket leaks can be external and internal. The overall opinion of car dealer reps is to forget the stop-leak fluids. They can fail, leaving you with a worse situation than before. If there is a leak, there is a problem. Take immediate steps to replace any worn-out gaskets.

Bottom Line

Glenn Knowlton, owner of Knowlton's Thunderheads & Racing Engines in Bethel, Minnesota, says a gasket leak is complicated. Stop-leak fluids can add a few months of drive time, but are messy. Overuse can plug the heater core and cause problems in cold winter months. Get an expert opinion first.

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