The exhaust in your car plays a vital role in removing harmful emissions away from you and your passengers. It makes them less toxic as they exit through the tailpipe. If you do not have a properly functioning exhaust system, then these poisonous gases can leak before they safely pass away; when this happens they can make their way into your passenger’s cabin where you can breathe them in. Let’s not take this lightly, you don’t want to be breathing in a load of toxic exhaust chemicals – in the worst cases it can lead to death.


Could you have an exhaust leak?

Typically most people might notice exhaust problems when they can hear it rattling loose, or even dragging on the ground. After-all it’s right at the back of your vehicle, you can’t see it, how do you know when it’s got a problem?

There are a few telltale signs you can look out for:


1. Engine Becomes Excessively Noisy

You might notice a rumbling noise coming from your engine. These noises are not uncommon and usually they are dampened by a leak can increase the volume so you start to notice it. A faulty manifold exhaust gasket will cause an exhaust leak. This will produce a hissing or tapping sound. The gasket lies between the piping of the exhaust manifold and the engine block. It gets heated and continuously cooled, just like the piping.

If you know what you’re looking at, then you can check the piping for a crack or leak. If not, then check the gasket if there is a flaw. Otherwise bring the vehicle to a trusted local mechanic such as Fred’s Auto Center.


2. Decreased Fuel Efficiency

A leaky exhaust will make your car use up more gas than normal. Leaks make it hard for your engine to perform; hence you cannot tell how much oxygen is coming or going out. This will lead the engine to burn more fuel and compensate for this. Having your exhaust fixed will save you the extra cost for gas you’ll otherwise continue to pay.


3. Unusual Noise When Accelerating

It is normal to hear sounds when accelerating; however, pay attention to any noises that do not seem normal for your car. Sounds of air leaking out or even whistling mean you have exhaust fumes leaking. Most people cannot tell the difference between engine sounds, vacuum hose leaks, or even exhaust leaks. You should be able to tell the difference between your engines and exhaust noises however.

A common noise to hear when you have an exhaust leak is a rattling metal sound or clanking. You may also notice backfiring and a deeper sound coming from your engine in combination.

Here’s a helpful guide to both engine and exhaust noises.


4. Gas Pedal Vibrations

Depending on the size of the leak from an exhaust, your car may or may not experience vibrations which can be felt in the gas pedal. This sensation is because the exhaust fumes are rapidly exiting through a small hole. This will keep causing the vibrations. A lousy leak will cause the steering wheel, floorboards, and even the entire cabin or whole car to shake.


5. Unusual Odor

When the gasket fails and starts to leak near any parts of the engine made from plastic. It will cause the heat from the exhaust to burn these plastic parts. This will cause a strange burning smell in your car. It may also release a bit of smoke, and do no wait for it to get to this point. If you start smelling any burning smell that your concerned about you should have your vehicle checked to avoid danger for you and your passengers.  Find out about exhaust / muffler repair at Fred’s Auto Center in West Haven.


Exhaust leak signs are tough to spot. But though the exhaust may sometimes seem insignificant, it can have a knock-on affect in a number of ways, and when there are problems, you need to have it fixed. Not least because it can also impact on your ability to pass any state emissions tests.

Don’t hesitate to schedule a diagnostic to your car if you think you have an exhaust leak.

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