6 Common Exhaust Problems

A car’s exhaust system works to tunnel engine fumes to the back of your vehicle, reduce the emissions of toxic fumes, and quiet the noise that is caused by the fuel combustion process. Should your vehicle’s exhaust system begin to have problems, you’ll be at risk for reduced gas mileage, poor performance, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. The six most common issues of a faulty exhaust are listed below.

1. RustRust is something that happens over time, so a car owner may not notice it right away. Rust is caused by rain, snow and the salt that is used on the roads during bad weather. Once the rust has eaten holes in the exhaust system, it is only a matter of time before something, like a pothole or a kicked up rock, knocks the exhaust loose.

Instead of waiting for the exhaust to get loose, keep an eye out for rust and have any affected components replaced as soon as possible.

2. Faulty Exhaust Manifold GasketThe job of the exhaust manifold gasket is to provide a seal between the exhaust manifold and the cylinder head in order to prevent any gasses from leaking into the system. This ensures the gasses safely make their exit through the car’s tailpipe.

When the gasket isn’t doing its job, you’ll hear a hissing or tapping noise in your engine. The noise will be especially noticeable while accelerating or when you start the vehicle.

3. Bad Oxygen Sensor Located within the exhaust system, oxygen sensors are responsible for balancing the air-fuel mixture. When they go bad, this tiny computer cannot do its job correctly. That means more gas than air can be emitted, which causes its own host of problems. The catalytic converter may become clogged, you won’t get as many miles per gallon as you normally would, and the car will no longer perform at its peak level.

4. Loose BracketsAnother problem you’ll want to keep an eye out for is loose brackets. The brackets are responsible for holding your exhaust system in place. When they come loose, usually from normal wear and tear, you’ll hear a rattling sound that is coming from underneath your car. If the brackets are really loose, or they fall off, your exhaust pipe may even reach the road.

Driving the car while dragging your exhaust pipe will cause damage to the pipe, so it is important to have the brackets properly fastened as soon as possible.

5. Exhaust LeakExhaust leaks can occur anywhere within the system and in addition to smelling gas and facing the dangers of carbon monoxide, car owners will also be at risk for rough vibrations. This shaking takes place in either the steering wheel or the gas pedal and makes it more difficult to control the car, which puts anyone in the car at risk for an accident.

If you notice any vibrations at all, have your vehicle checked for an exhaust leak immediately.

6. Blocked Catalytic Converter Catalytic converters are located next to the exhaust manifold and they work to transform harmful toxins into less dangerous exhaust fumes. When a catalytic converter becomes blocked, problems begin to arise within your exhaust system.

Your car will no longer be able to reach its normal power level, a rotten egg smell will begin to make its presence known inside the vehicle, and you may notice the floor of the car feels warm to the touch.

If you notice your car is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, contact Seeburg Muffler of MO, Inc. Our company has more than 30 years of experience and also specializes in mufflers, shocks, catalytic converters, and all other auto systems.