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  • Writer's pictureAleko Kavouras

Here’s Why Your Car’s Exhaust is Rattling

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

The muffler on your vehicle has two main functions: to help direct exhaust gasses out of the engine and to reduce the noise made by your vehicle’s exhaust system that is directed from the exhaust ports to the exhaust pipes. Many common issues with your car’s exhaust can be diagnosed simply by listening for new and unfamiliar noises.

Common Exhaust Noises

Here are the most common noises your exhaust will make that indicate a problem:


A loud bang or firecracker noise occurs when your engine backfires. The noise can come from either the fuel system or the exhaust system. It’s not always clear why your engine is backfiring, but a common reason is if there is water that has been allowed into the combustion system.


A hissing noise from your exhaust pipe indicates a leaking gasket or a crack in the exhaust pipe or exhaust manifold. Steam or vapor escaping from a pressurized source causes the hissing noise. You may also hear a hissing sound when the engine is overheating.


A load roaring noise can be an indication that the exhaust’s silencer isn’t functioning properly. The silencer is a part of the exhaust that usually stays cold in temperature, which allows exhaust gasses passing through to condense and pool. This leads to corrosion due to acidic moisture, and a roaring noise can be heard.


A rattling noise usually means that some part of the exhaust system is misaligned. A metallic vibration indicates that something is touching the exhaust pipe itself, or that the exhaust’s mounting or support bracket is loose. These pieces that hold your exhaust in place can become rusted or corroded, causing them to weaken and detach.

Other Signs Your Exhaust Has a Problem

If you notice any of the following, take your vehicle to your auto mechanic in Maryland to get the problem looked at and repaired:

  1. Cracks or holes anywhere in the exhaust, muffler, or tailpipe

  2. Excessive rust buildup

  3. Raw gasoline smell from exhaust

  4. A sudden decrease in acceleration, vehicle power, or fuel efficiency

  5. Dragging or hanging exhaust pipe

Looking for a reliable Maryland auto mechanic near you?

Hillmuth Auto Care has convenient locations in Columbia, Clarksville, Glenwood and Gaithersburg. Our team of professional mechanics will perform a detailed inspection of your vehicle to determine the cause of your exhaust’s noise and repair the issue in no time at an affordable cost. Contact us to set up regular vehicle maintenance or diagnostic testing today.

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