Your car exhaust is an important part of your car and that is why in today’s piece, we shall be taking a look at common exhaust issues and how to spot them. You may already know that the emission from your exhaust is your car engine’s way of getting rid of noxious gases such as nitrogen and carbon monoxide. Should your car exhaust system fail, you stand the risk of fumes entering your car’s cabin which is not good for your health.
And did you know that if the Police find your car to be emitting too much of this dangerous gas, your car could be banned from being on the road? Now that you know how serious this issue, let’s do something about it before it happens.
How to detect a faulty exhaust
Most times, it is very easy to detect a faulty exhaust by just taking a deep look at it. You can even do it yourself. To check, examine the exhaust starting from the engine to the tailpipe. What you should be looking out for are holes or cracks. Check out the cylinder and manifold which is in the joints and seams of the exhaust to see if there are cracks or holes there as well.
If there is rust on the surface, don’t conclude that it needs repairing unless the rust goes through to the inside. To confirm this, use a screwdriver to poke through and if it makes it through, then you may have to start making plans for a replacement.
If you mostly use your cars for work or short trips, you may find that your exhaust easily builds up rust than those that use theirs for long distance trips, because it allows their vehicle to reach the required temperature so as to burn off the water that must have been accumulated.
It’s now time to check out common exhaust issues and how to spot them:
01. Loud Exhaust
Some exhausts are a little louder than many others, but when it becomes louder than it originally sounds, it is usually the first sign that you need to check it out. If your exhaust manifold gasket is faulty, you will notice a tapping or hissing sound from the exhaust leak. You will notice this mostly when you are accelerating or cold starting your car.
02. Increased gas usage
Another way to tell that your exhaust is faulty is when you start noticing high gas usage. Yes, a bad engine can cause high gas usage, but when the acceleration and power decrease, you will notice that your gas no longer lasts as long as it ought to.
This is because your car is trying to continue to function normally as it would have had the exhaust not been faulty. If you don’t want to keep using up more gas, then fix that exhaust.
03. Dragging or hanging pipe
You don’t need much clue to tell that your exhaust is bad if you see it dragging or hanging on the ground. It means that a part of the exhaust has been broken and you need to fix it to prevent it from falling off and posing as a threat to other drivers.
04. Reduced acceleration and power
Once your exhaust is bad, you will certainly notice that your engine isn’t performing optimally as it should. Accelerating quickly or getting the same level of power you use to when you accelerate will also reduce. If you don’t check out the exhaust leak and attend to it, your car will continue to experience the same challenge.
05. Gas smell
Normally, you are not supposed to smell gas when you are driving or when you are inside your car. But this may be the case when your exhaust goes bad as a result of leaky or damaged exhaust tubes or pipes. The fumes that escape from the exhaust may find their way to your car cabin.
Car vibration can be caused by other things in the car, but most often, it is usually as a result of a leaky exhaust pipe. If the vibration is coming from your gas pedal or steering wheel, or if the car is jerking, it’s time to take a look at your exhaust. Overlooking the vibration whether it is as a result of a leaky exhaust or other car issues is not a good idea since it can affect your ability to control the car.
07. Burning smell
You may notice a burning smell coming from your engine bay because the gasket is failing and is leaking and causing other plastics around it to burn. When this happens, it will seem as if the engine is burning. Don’t be surprised to see accompanying smoke with it, which is also another reason you should take your vehicle to a car mechanic to check things out for you.
However, most times, when your exhaust produces smoke, it is usually because the engine has an issue that needs attention. If the smoke is black it means that your car is burning gas too quickly. You can first check your fuel injector, air filter, and fuel pressure, regulator.
White smoke doesn’t necessarily call for concern except if it lingers for a long time which points to your engine burning coolant. And if that is the case, you have to check your head gasket for a crack or the cylinder head. How to tell if coolant is finding its way into your car engine oil is if the oil appears creamy or discolored.
How to tell a healthy exhaust
- Quiet running engine
- Noise control
- Optimum engine performance and
- Good gas efficiency
Now that we have gone through the 7 common exhaust issues and how to spot them, you should be able to easily detect any exhaust issues by just listening out for unusual sounds and the things your eyes can tell.
As always, if you are unsure of what you are seeing or hearing from your car, you can always get the services of a trained professional mechanic to check out your car to proffer solution to the issues you are having.