How to Clean Lower Intake Manifold

A lower intake manifold is a crucial part of a car’s engine as it keeps the engine running efficiently with a sufficient supply of air and fuel. An intake manifold jammed with dirt makes the engine just as good as dead. If you are driving with a dirty intake manifold, you are exposed to potential safety hazards.

However, cleaning a lower intake manifold is not that difficult. You can restore your manifold in tip-top condition with some easy tips and tricks. One of the tricks you can apply is to use a slightly wet clean cloth. Now rub the intake manifold with it a couple of times to get rid of the dirt.

Having an intake manifold full of dirt causes the engine to malfunction. Which severely increases the risk of being in an accident. Thus, having a clean manifold is essential. Learn how to clean it and protect yourself and others from danger by sticking to the end.

What Are the Symptoms of A Dirty Intake Manifold?

dirty intake manifold symptoms

An intake manifold is always attached to the engine inside the car. If it gets dirty, you cannot just tell by looking at your car. To detect a dirty manifold, you have to be aware of some symptoms that your car shows.

When the intake manifold is suffering from dirt, your car will be affected in a lot of ways, such as:

Car Stopping All of A Sudden While Driving

You’re driving on the road, and your car stops suddenly. At the same time, your engine is making strange sounds. In this case, your car shuts down frequently, and you have to keep starting it continuously.

If your car behaves like this, it could be the dirty intake manifold disrupting the engine. This makes it difficult for your car to run smoothly.

Smoke Coming Out from the Hood

When you start your car and go for a drive, you might notice black smoke coming from the hood. If that happens, your car needs immediate attention because your engine is overheating.

This occurs when dirt becomes lodged inside the intake manifold, causing the engine to malfunction. As a result, the engine doesn’t get a proper mixture of air and fuel.

The Engine Makes Weird Noises When the Car is Idle

You are stuck in traffic while your car is standing idle among all the other cars on the road. And your engine is making strange humming noises. Usually, when that happens, the car is often vibrating or shaking.

If you have felt such sensations sitting in your car, then it’s time to open the hood. Thus, most times, a dirty manifold is the root of the problem that makes the engine act faulty.

How to Clean Lower Intake Manifold?

A dirty manifold degrades the performance of your car, which is a very serious problem in the present era. If you ignore this problem for a long time, it can cause damage to several of your car’s parts. As a result, your chances of being in an accident increase.

To save your car, others, and yourself, learn how to clean your manifold by following these simple instructions:

Step 1: Scrub the Exterior of the Manifold with A Suitable Brush

Scrub the Exterior of the Manifold

Spray some of your preferred cleaning liquid on your brush. Now, scrub the external parts of the manifold aggressively. Scrub hard so that the stubborn stains come off the surface nicely. Once that’s done, you have successfully gotten rid of the dirt on the exterior.

Step 2: Use an Industrial Degreaser Liquid to Clean the Inside

Use an Industrial Degreaser Liquid to Clean the Inside of Intake Manifold

Mix the cleaning liquid with warm water in a bucket. Take a long flexible bore brush and dip it in the solution. Next, penetrate the holes of the manifold with it a couple of times. Penetrate hard to take out the stubborn dirt, stains, grime, etc., from the inside.

Step 3: Dip the Manifold in a Bucket of Room Temperature Water

Put your manifold in a bucket of room temperature water and let it stay there for some time. While the manifold is resting in the bucket of water, all the residual solvents from the inside and outside will come off the surface.

Step 4: Take the Manifold Out from the Water and Let It Rest to Dry

Take your intake manifold out from the bucket of water. And wipe it with a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Then let the manifold rest for an hour or two to dry. Once it has dried, your manifold is nice and clean. Alternatively, you can use an air blower to dry, but this method is a bit expensive.

How Do You Remove Carbon from Intake Manifold?

How Do You Remove Carbon from Intake Manifold

Over regular usage of your car, carbon build-up in the intake manifold is natural. Carbon build-up often blackens the entire manifold. Making it look disgusting and smelly. Carbon combined with dirt jams the manifold preventing fuel and air from passing through. To get rid of the Carbon, follow these easy steps below:

Step 1: Scrub the Manifold with A Carbon Cleaner of Your Choice

Pour some Carbon cleaning liquid and warm water into a bucket to make a solution. Then put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray the cleaning liquid on a brush. Now scrub the manifold both inside and outside. Scrub hard until you get rid of all the black Carbon and dirt.

Step 2: Use A Water Hose and Pour Water Inside Out of the Manifold

A water hose ejects water at high speed. With which pour water both on the outside and inside of the manifold. Room temperature water emitted at high speed will quickly get the residual solvent off the surface.

Keep spraying water until all remaining solvent is gone. After that’s done, drain all water on the inside.

Step 3: Now Dry Up the Intake Manifold with A Hairdryer

Turn on your hairdryer and blow the gentle warm air on the manifold surfaces. The warm air will help dry up the manifold faster. Keep blowing warm air from all angles until the manifold dries up. When the manifold has dried, your job is nicely done.

How Do You Clean An Intake Manifold Surface?

How Do You Clean An Intake Manifold Surface

An intake manifold is manufactured with several types of materials, such as plastic, metal, aluminum, etc. So, to clean the surface, pick an appropriate cleaning liquid depending on the material your manifold is made of. Mix the cleaning liquid with hot water. Soak your microfiber cloth in the mixture and rub the surface with it a few times.

Rubbing with the soaked cloth will help remove stains and smudges off the surface. Again wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove residual solvent. When the residual solvent is removed, your manifold should be shiny and fragrant.


Modern vehicles in today’s era highly depend on the lower intake manifold. Fuel and air are just as important to a car as oxygen and food are crucial for humans. Thus, a car can’t perform to its highest capacity if it doesn’t have a proper supply of a mixture of air and fuel.

Assuming you’re interested in how to clean your intake manifold runner control, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s all about the dirt and debris. If you can keep those little buggers from clogging up the interior of the manifold, your engine will run like a dream.

Always be aware of your car’s symptoms to detect the dirty manifold problem to ensure your car gets the treatment it needs. Although, we often have less time on our hands for cleaning. If that’s your case, feel free to go to your local auto repair shop, where your car will get treated professionally.

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