Manifold leak

I have a 2003 Saturn VUE which I had the spark plugs replaced some months ago. I left the dealership and got home about 30 minutes later with everything seeming fine. I later that evening went out to leave to discover it sounding different and the “Service Engine Soon” light on. The light stayed on and no one I took it to could find out why. All along the noise keep getting louder but would quieten as it warmed up. Again no one could tell me what the problem was until yesterday. I took it to a mechanic that works on another vehicle that I have. He listened to it and said it was the manifold leaking. He also noticed that the piece going across the top of the engine was disconnected which was the reason for the engine light being on. He showed me where the spark plugs were and I asked if by some chance the manifold could have been cracked when the plugs were changed. He would not comment. I was just wondering if there is a chance that it could have been done then? Thank you for any reply regarding this.

Which manifold is leaking, the intake or the exhaust?

I think the exhaust. I will have to ask the mechanic but sure he said the exhaust in the back of the engine.

This is like a child that doesn’t like the answer that Dad gives so he goes and asks Mom. You had a mechanic looking directly at the car and he would not say that the manifold was cracked when the plugs were changed,why should someones viewpoint from across the Web carry more weight?

Well EXCUSE ME! I was just wondering if it was possible that the manifold could have been cracked while changing the plugs. They did’nt even finish the job they started so why would they tell if there was a crack in the exhaust manifold? There was a long list of things that they said was wrong with it but I knew better because I had several of those fixed before having the plugs replaced. Just ask for some opinions and you get wise crack answers. Sorry for the post MOM!

Calm down a bit. Oldschool is not a vindictive poster here and has been around a while. He’s simply bringing up a valid point about the mechanic not stating an opinion.

If the exhaust manifold is cracked, then no way should a spark plug change have done this unless they were changed with a jackhammer.

No doubt you’ll be mad at me but clear some of this story up. The plugs were replaced “some months ago”. The following sentences lead me to believe this problem continued for a quite a while.
So why didn’t you go back to the spark plug installer?
And was the engine running well during this time, other than the noise and CEL?

What I’m getting at here is that a vauum line could have been inadvertently dislodged or left loose. This in turn could have caused the engine to run lean and possibly cracked the exhaust manifold.

However, if it was running that lean the engine should have exhibited symptoms such as a possible rough idle (depending on vac. leak source), or surging, or cutting out. Was it doing any of that?

The poster said the “mechanic would not comment” which is different than the mechanic saying it didn’t (or couldn’t happen). I assume if the mechanic thought it was impossible that this could have been caused by the spark plugs, they would have said so. I don’t think it is even remotely being “like a child” to ask a question about the car that you own and pay for on the internet. If asking questions of people who aren’t looking at a car is silly, why is anybody posting on this discussion board at all. In fact, why is there even a Car Talk show?

What it is not for is to pass judgement and place blame when we can’t look over the evidence objectively. All we have to go on is a biased report of the situation and I am not going to run some hard working man down based on this.

Comming for car advice is one thing but passing judgement without the facts is just as bad as selling someone repairs they don’t need or doing your work poorly and not making it right.

I don’t feel Car Talk is the place to come to to bash automechanics but that is just what many people come here looking for, people to join in on running someone down.

Oldschool is right again. The problem with one mechanic saying anything, and I mean darned near anything, is that whoever they are saying this in front of will quite likely take a benign comment from the mechanic and run for the hills with it.
That poster would likely run back to the mechanic who did the spark plugs screaming that “so and so said you done did it, so pay up”.

Oldschool also quite likely knows that in 99% of the stories one hears about a car problem those annoying little things called “details” are often omitted; and those details can swing a story 180 degrees in the other direction.
Matter of fact, a number of us tread on pretty thin ice by even dishing out advice on this forum.
I’ve often wondered how many responses to complaints are culled through by someone who will pick and choose what they want to hear and then go back complaining to the shop.

The trouble with asking a mechanic if something is possible, is that s/he can think of a DOZEN ways that something is possible, and a three dozen ways that it’s not likely. These possibilities go quite a ways further than the usual non-mechanic may envision. Your question may be, “Are mechanics different from non-mechanics?” What do you think?