It isn’t really that difficult to stop your car from losing performance from a faulty exhaust, but the really difficult part is detecting that there is a problem in the first place. Nevertheless, experienced car owners and mechanics know that there are certain telltale signs which help to spot a problematic car exhaust and we are going to discuss them now.
A faulty exhaust may lead to a significant loss of fuel-efficiency and power. This is one of the most obvious signs, but by the time it’s apparent, the damage is usually pretty serious and that’s why it might be a good idea to keep a regular tab on your car’s performance to detect any otherwise unnoticeable decrease in power and acceleration or fuel consumption.
Excessively Loud Engine
If you have a Ford GT or a Corvette Z06, chances are that your neighbors are already pretty annoyed with the loud noise the car makes, but even then, a malfunctioning exhaust system will make that noise louder. Listen intently while giving your car a cold start or while accelerating to check whether the car is making more noise than what you are used to hearing. If it is, then there’s likely a problem with your exhaust.
Hissing or Tapping
Aside from the aforementioned louder engine noise, also listen carefully for a hissing or even a knocking/tapping sound. If you can hear something like that, you have an exhaust manifold gasket that’s not working right.
Hanging Exhaust Pipe
Most people usually know that it’s time to fix a pipe if it’s dragging on the road, but what they sometimes neglect is the need to address a hanging exhaust pipe. Even when the pipe is intact but hanging only slightly, it’s necessary that you repair it as soon as possible to avoid accidents on the road, should that pipe break off in the middle of a drive.
The Smell of Gasoline
The engine and the internal systems are supposed to smell like gas because that’s what the engine runs on, but when your car’s interiors start to smell like gasoline, you definitely have a problem unless gasoline was brought inside the car for some reason. The smell should intensify while you drive and this is a sure shot indication that the exhaust tubes are leaking and the fumes are making their way inside the car.
An unexpected burning smell is never a good sign anywhere and this is no exception. If you can smell something burning near the engine bay, it is very likely that your gasket has failed and the heat of the exhaust fumes are burning up the plastic wiring in the engine. While smoke isn’t uncommon either, the smell alone should be a warning sign strong enough for you to get your exhaust checked as soon as possible.
Now that you know all the signs with which to spot a faulty exhaust, this at least should not pose any problem to you, provided you don’t end up ignoring them anyway of course!