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Exhaust manifold leak?

471 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wes Kootenay
Hi everyone, last year I purchased my 2009 CR-V in Massachusetts last May in preparation for a big move to Los Angeles. Car has been great so far and has given me no issues and has required nothing but minor work and maintenance.

For a couple of months now I've noticed a exhaust-like smell in the cabin after driving for a while and having the cabin air on.

Whenever I turn off the air or use the recirculate button the smell pretty much would disappear. I've been a bit worried about this being an exhaust leak and brought it to a shop to check.

The mechanic showed me the images below stating that the bolts connecting the exhaust manifold to this piping have rusted so much that they appear to have failed. Overall he mentioned he wasn't confident on being able to remove and replace the bolts as they have more rust than he has experienced in LA (gotta love snow and salty roads 馃榿). He felt that at worst he'd have to replace the exhaust manifold and was uncertain if he'd need to weld any piping for the exhaust portion of this connection. If piping did need to be replaced it would have to be at another shop as he didnt have the tools for this.

He quoted me $800 for a replacement exhaust manifold. Does that seem right? Im convinced that the price he was giving included labor but after asking to confirm if that was just for the part he said yes....I'm still confident there was a miscommunication as a quick google search seems to point to this being closer to $200-$300 for just the part. Going to call once more to confirm tomorrow.

I wanted to get anyone's opinion on the below images. What am I looking at here? Looks like the exhaust leak is coming from here and am looking to get more informed on what these are and what a repair might entail.

Thank you very much for any information!
Juan

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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I'd suggest getting a second opinion from another shop.

I don't see why those mounting studs couldn't be cut off (with a tool called a Dremel) and replaced. There is a gasket between the two pipes but once they are separated it could be replaced easily.

If the first shop said "I can fix it, but if I need to replace the manifold, its $800" that is fair...just letting you know a worst-case scenario.
 

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2009 CR-V EX-L (no NAVI)
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I'd suggest getting a second opinion from another shop.
I don't see why those mounting studs couldn't be cut off (with a tool called a Dremel) and replaced. There is a gasket between the two pipes but once they are separated it could be replaced easily.
I agree.
If the leak is from that flex joint, it's a fairly easy fix requiring two new bolts, nuts and gasket. The springs may have lost tension and should be replaced as well. A quick parts search shows the OEM gasket to be expensive, around $40.
Good luck with this.
 

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I also think you should take it to another shop. From what you say, it sounds like the first shop is not confident on how it will turn out. They are probably quoting you high so you will go someplace else or you they want some cushion "just in case"

Since you know it is an exhaust problem, you may want to go to an exhaust specialist. They are probably used to dealing with Rusty exhaust and bolts
 

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To fix that it is a huge job. How rusty are the bolts that go into the head? Those nuts just don't fall off and get replaced they will need to be cut off, since they are welded on. You may get away cutting or breaking the long bolts, but you will need to remove the manifold to cut those nuts off. Its not like there is a ton of space to work on that in the car. I like how everyone thinks things like this are so simple and easy. Nope.
I would not want to do that job for peanuts.
 

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2009 CR-V EX-L (no NAVI)
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303 Posts
@chidog
Maybe I've got the problem wrong? From the OP's pictures, I was presuming the leak is from a blown flex joint gasket, not the manifold gasket?
 

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@chidog
Maybe I've got the problem wrong? From the OP's pictures, I was presuming the leak is from a blown flex joint gasket, not the manifold gasket?
Yeah we are both talking the same thing. To fix the rusty mess the manifold needs to be removed. And then yes after the manifold has been removed then a new gasket and maybe bolts too. And hope none of the manifold bolts get broke in the process. If I was bidding on that job, the owner needs to know that could happen. Then the job turns into a head off job.
When dealing with rust, the job difficulty increases hugely.
 

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2001 CR-V EX 4WD Auto
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I would get a second quote. Take it to a muffler shop, they can work some serious magic for like $200.

Recently I developed an exhaust leak and it turned out to be two cracks in my downpipe. My mechanic repaired it with some welding and re-installed it for about $150, and performance-wise it's as good as new.

EDIT: I should also comment, my CR-V is also very very rusty. A competent mechanic shouldn't care too much. But dealing with rusty bolts does add more labor = higher price.
 
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