Your car breathes, just like you do. If a car is like your body, then the intake manifold is its lungs. The intake manifold is a series of tubes that distributes the air coming into the engine evenly to each of the cylinders, so that the right amount of air can mix with the right amount of fuel. During the first stroke (called the intake stroke) air from the intake manifold is sucked into each cylinder through a valve or valves. These intake valves are then closed for the other strokes (compression, combustion and exhaust) and reopen when the cycle starts all over again. It’s the intake manifold that’s responsible for making sure that there’s enough air available when the valve opens for each intake stroke and that each cylinder gets the same amount of air as the others.