When Good Exhausts Go Bad

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When Good Exhausts Go Bad

Content: If your vehicle sounds like it’s buzzing, hissing, popping, or similar noises, or suddenly sounds so much louder than usual, you may have a leak in your exhaust system. This is problematic as it means that the toxic gasses created by your car are not being properly filtered before they exit your vehicle. Worse, since they are odorless, fumes can enter the vehicle’s interior and make passengers ill.

But how did you get a leak, and more importantly, how can you find it?

Causes of Exhaust Leaks

For a system that spends its life looking at the ground, it is definitely not immune from its share of problems. Stainless steel is durable, but years of routine wear and tear take their toll. From corrosion from weather and road conditions to physical damage like potholes, failing gaskets, or poor repairs, holes can start as small as pinholes and grow into larger holes and cracks.

Depending on the leak’s location, it could worsen your fuel efficiency and the overall driveability of your vehicle.

Finding the Leak

While it can be painfully obvious where a leak occurred if the damage is large enough for the naked eye, some leaks are almost invisible. In order to find these, you can:

Do a Hands-On Inspection

With a completely cooled car, start the engine. Run your hands along the system without touching it to see if you can feel where the air is leaking out. If you can have another person occasionally rev the engine while you’re underneath, it may be able to help find it.

Block the Exhaust

Still can’t find it? Try blocking the tailpipe to force the exhaust to push air out of the other available exit.

Soapy Water

One of the best ways to find leaks without any specialized equipment is by adding water and dish soap to a spray bottle can help you out. Turn off the car, spray the exhaust system, and turn the car on again. Look for bubbles along the lines to find the leak.

Still No Luck? Time for a Pro!

There are short-term fixes for issues, like sealants, tapes, and putties, or replacing bolted-on parts or gaskets. However, given the temporary nature of these solutions, it’s time to schedule a visit to a trusted mechanic shop, like Yeoman Service Center.

Not only can the friendly, family-owned shop find any and all exhaust leaks, but they can also repair them quickly and efficiently to get you safely back on the road again.

Written by Donny Yeoman