I was changing the oil on my 2004 Ford Taurus and I noticed this fairly aggressive leak. Can someone please help me identify this component and identify this leak? Any suggestions on correction?
The left descending pipe is (or comes from) the exhaust manifold, and ends in a two-bolt flange. The flange bolts to a matching flange on the front end of the exhaust pipe, which runs aft from the flanged connection towards the rear of the car, undoubtedly through a muffler (or two).
Gaskets in such high-heat environments are often made of metal; this one appears to be so. Because one can see a strip of gasket outside the flange faces, we can judge that the gasket is failing.
The repair is to remove the two bolts (and, perhaps, whatever mounts are aft of the flanged connection, so that the exhaust pipe can be moved slightly), open the flanged joint, remove whatever portion of the original gasket remains and make sure the flange surfaces are clean and dry, replace the old gasket with a new one, and reassemble the joint. You may want to apply some anti-sieze paste on the bolt threads before reassembly.