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Intake Manifold Maintenance Techniques

Marlene Alphonse
An intake manifold is a part of the car's engine which evenly distributes fuel and air in the cylinders. For the proper functioning of this engine part, it is advisable to service your automobile on a regular basis.
Every engine is made of various parts that function together for the complete operation of the vehicle. One such crucial part of the engine, which supplies energy required by other components of the car to function properly is the intake manifold, which is also known as the inlet manifold. This engine part consists of elongated, large aluminum or steel hollow ways that transport fuel and air to the carburetors for combustion.
The main function of the inlet manifold is the equal distribution of the air fuel mixture (or the combustion mixture) to the cylinders in order to improve the efficiency of the engine. The car engine sometimes gives problems due to clogged cables and pipes, which can be a result of the formation of debris in the engine parts which may require cleaning.

Removing Process

It is not necessary to remove an intake manifold very often, but if the engine experiences any leakage problems, then it is essential to remove it, to get to the root cause of the problem.
  • With the help of a socket wrench, unplug the negative cable from the battery terminal. For this, you will have to loosen the nut that is holding the cable in an anticlockwise direction to slide the end of the cable out of the socket.
  • Remove the engine cover, by taking out the screws with the help of a crosspoint screwdriver. The number and placement of the screws in the engine vary according to the type of the vehicle.
  • To unplug the mass airflow sensor harness, disconnect the tab which is at the end of the plug to detach the connection.
  • Unscrew the hose clamp with a socket wrench or a screwdriver, by turning the bolt in anticlockwise direction.
  • Detach all the wiring and to pull the plug connection, press the tab down.
  • Remove all the nuts and bolts that attach the inlet manifold to the main engine and tilt it to the left and right to remove it from the engine bay without any problems.

Cleaning Process

With time, the performance of the intake manifold can decrease due to the buildup of residue in the engine. If you find your car's engine is not running or idling correctly, then you'll have to clean your vehicle and the inlet manifold. After removing the engine component, it's time to clean the carbon deposits or any buildup from this engine component.
  • Park the car in a well-lighted area, preferably outside the garage. Use a good quality engine cleaner.
  • Unplug all the cables connected to the car's battery and empty the coolant from the system. Disconnect all the hoses that are attached to the intake manifold to avoid any hassles while cleaning the component.
  • Detach the fuel line from the engine to avoid spillage of the fuel in the engine bay.
  • Unscrew the bolts of the manifold to detach it completely from the engine compartment. Scrape the ports clean with the help of a scrapping knife but make sure that the debris do not fall into the ports. Clean the ports with a solvent and place it over the gasket for re-installation.

Installation Process

Once you are done with the removal and cleaning of the manifold, you have to reinstall it in the car. Install this engine part carefully to avoid any further problems related to car repair.
  • Clean all the surfaces of the engine with proper cleaning fluid to remove any residue or dirt from the surface. Never use any surface cleaner that has silicone RTV, since it has a tendency to block proper flow of the combustion mixture in the intake ports.
  • Apply silicone with your finger on the water ports of the cylinder head. After this, apply a coat of sealer around the port. Once you are done, follow this same method for the manifold gasket and apply another coat of the sealer.
  • Lift the manifold and place it carefully on the gasket, ensuring that the nuts and bolts are properly placed.
  • With the help of a screwdriver or torque wrench, tighten the screws, nuts, and bolts securely. The sealer takes approximately 6 to 7 hours to set completely. Recheck the torque to ensure it is working properly.
An intake manifold is a very important component of the engine which contributes to the smooth functioning of the vehicle. Proper maintenance and routine servicing of the car will increase the longevity and improve the efficiency and performance of the engine.