Keeping the Air Clean
Responsible for reducing the emissions your vehicle produces, your exhaust system makes these toxic gases less harmful before they leave your car and are released into the environment. A properly working exhaust system is essential for the safe operation of your vehicle.
An exhaust leak can cause dangerous gases to enter the atmosphere before being properly treated, which can cause problems like fumes in the cabin and failed emissions inspections. Many of these harmful gases are odorless, which means that you won’t realize they are leaking into the passenger cabin. Prolonged exposure to these emissions could make you and your passengers sick.
If you live in a state with emissions testing, an exhaust leak can result in failing the test, forcing you to resolve the issue before being able to legally operate your vehicle. Keep your vehicle running smoothly – learn to recognize the symptoms of an exhaust leak. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to make an appointment with your service provider.
Increased engine noise is a common sign of an exhaust leak. Listen for a loud rumble, especially while accelerating. You may also hear intermittent popping or hissing noises while the engine is running.
Loss of Acceleration and Power
An exhaust leak can affect the performance of your engine. You may notice that your vehicle doesn’t have its usual pick-up-and-go when you punch down the gas pedal. Your vehicle will continue to lose power if the exhaust leak isn’t fixed.
Reduced Fuel Economy
If you’re making more trips to the gas station, an exhaust leak could be the culprit. When your vehicle has an exhaust leak, your air-to-fuel ratio balance could be disrupted. Improper air-to-fuel ratio can cause the engine to run less efficiently, causing it to reduce overall engine efficiency.
Smelling gas fumes inside your vehicle can be a sign of an exhaust leak. If an exhaust pipe becomes damaged it can let gas fumes escape into the passenger cabin of your vehicle.
Causes and Preventative Measures
Driving on rough roads and exhaust system components with rust damage are the top causes of exhaust leaks. Driving on rough roads can cause your exhaust system to be subject to shaking and bumps that can cause holes and structural components to weaken, while rust and corrosion damage in exhaust system parts are perfect places for exhaust leaks to form.
In addition, if one of the hangers securing your exhaust system in place falls off or the rubber isolator section is excessively worn, other parts could weaken or become damaged as they bounce around and take on more vibration and impact during vehicle operation.
Your best defense against exhaust leaks and the problems they cause is to have your service provider inspect the exhaust system on a regular basis. Having your exhaust system examined will help you find and address any problems before they turn into a bigger issue.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.
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