I have an 06 250 gas job that has an exhaust leak, I could hear it but couldnt find it so I took it up to midas today and figured they could show me which gasket it was and I would fix it. The mechanic said he cant find it either but my right side manifold looks pretty rough and its most likely leaking from there. I dont have time to pull the manifold off right know and I want to know if I am doing any damage if I drive the truck like this for a while. I was planning on taking it to Maine (about a two hour trip) this weekend. Any help would be great.
People on the forums report running with broken exhaust bolts for years with no damage. On the other hand, its been said that loose spark plugs ready to blow also sound like a leaking exhaust, and a popped plug can definitely be a problem.....
The only way that it can cause damage is if the truck sucks in enough cold air (air temp is below 80 degrees and the leak is large enough) that it warps the valve train. This can easily be done with open headers, but just a header leak it is doubtful. It can also cause the engine to overcorrect the condition by running rich, but again not enough that it will cause an immediate problem.
my 08 f350 5.4 just had its right side manifold replaced under warranty, had been leaking without causing any problems for a few months. the right side one on the boss' 150 had broken as well, but he just got a new truck instead...
It may not be an exhaust leak. There are other things on the 3V 5.4L engine that will tick when cold but fade when the engine warms up, like the cam phasers, loose spark plugs, or cam followers with an inadequate oil supply . You need to have the noise source pinpointed before you can determine if it will be a bad thing to ignore it.
An exhaust leak could be bad for you.
I don't mean to insult anyone who might work at Midas but most of the time taking your truck to a local Midas dealer and taking your truck to a mechanic are two different things.