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Exhaust Manifold Gasket

There’s a leak in the exhaust manifold gasket on my VW Lupo. (a small version of the Golf) You can actually feel a breeze coming out from between the manifold and engine. Nothing’s cracked. Just the gasket. A mechanic gave me an estimate of $300-500 for this, depending on how rusted-on the bolts holding the manifold onto the engine are. The net effect of this is slow acceleration. Question: is there some treatment, Bars-Leak or some other quick fix that might improve the seal until I can get this done properly?

Bars Leaks is intended for cooling system leaks.
With a leaking exhaust manifold, I don’t think that any quick fix is likely to work.

When I had my POS Volvo, I had the same problem that you do with your VW, and despite all of the cheap/quick fixes that I tried, nothing worked until I had the manifold gasket replaced.


There’s nothing that can poured out of a bottle or squeezed out of a tube that can seal an exhaust manifold leak.

That’s why they use a gasket.


How could this exhaust system leak cause slow acceleration? There must be something else producing that effect. Look into that before addressing the ex man issue.

I agree there’s nothing to fix this except removing the ex man and replacing the gasket. There may be problems such as broken bolts and stripped threads in the engine block, so the job could be more involved than, say, removing a valve cover and replacing its gasket.

@shanonia, exhaust leaks before the first oxygen sensor throws off the readings and therefore affects the fuel mix.

Slow accelerations and a blown exhaust gasket leads me to suspect a restricted exhaust also.