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  • Writer's pictureAleko Kavouras

Is My Car’s Exhaust Leaking?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Not all exhaust leaks are equal. While some can be seen, and others can definitely be heard, there are some leaks which you will not be able to see or hear at all. Regardless of the type of exhaust leak, it’s important you know all the ways to tell whether your car’s exhaust is leaking so you can get it fixed before it causes a larger issue.

Increased Noise

The first, and most obvious sign a car’s exhaust is leaking is the noise. An exhaust system, when properly functioning, typically isn’t extremely noisy. If all of a sudden you notice your exhaust is noisier than normal, then there’s possibly a hole in your exhaust somewhere. Regardless of the reason, if your vehicle suddenly sounds louder than normal, you should take it to a Maryland auto care center immediately.

Visible Rust

Even though the metals used in exhaust systems have come a long way since the first vehicle, they can still rust. This is actually more common in vehicles with short daily commutes as the exhaust doesn’t have enough time to really heat up and evaporate any water, causing the water to sit in or on the exhaust system, leading to rust. To check if your car’s exhaust system is rusted by looking underneath for visible rust on the exhaust system itself.

classis car exhaust

Vibrating Gas Pedal

If your gas pedal vibrates more than normal it can be a sign of uneven air flow exiting the vehicle. Small holes in the exhaust pipe cause vibrations as the air escapes at high speeds in the wrong spots. As the issue gets worse, the vibrations can be felt in other areas like the floorboards, steering wheel, and seats. If your vehicle ever experiences any vibrations during normal driving conditions it could be a sign of a more serious issue and needs to be looked at by your trusted Maryland car mechanic immediately.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

A car’s exhaust is quite large; reaching from the front of the vehicle to the rear. If the exhaust system is leaking near the front of the vehicle at the manifold it can cause your fuel efficiency to drop. One way to track fuel efficiency if you don’t have an automatic tracking system built-in to your vehicle is to use the trip feature on your odometer. Every time you fill up, reset the trip mileage counter and then do some quick math.

Exhaust Smell

If you notice a strong exhaust smell in your vehicle you probably have an exhaust leak; and you shouldn’t drive. Your exhaust system emits carbon monoxide, an extremely hazardous fume for humans. What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is, while you can smell other exhaust smells, carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. This is why an exhaust leak is not something you ever want to mess with and also why you shouldn’t depend on smell to diagnose an issue.

If you fear your exhaust system has sprung a leak, or notice your vehicle isn’t quite running like it normally does, bring it in to Hillmuth Auto Care. Hillmuth is a local, trusted, and experienced Maryland auto repair expert in Central Maryland. For more information on diagnosing your vehicle’s issues, or to schedule an appointment, contact Hillmuth Auto Care today!

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