Your vehicle’s exhaust system is immensely important. When you have a leak in this system, you will usually be able to detect multiple symptoms. The typical components of the exhaust system include the exhaust manifold, oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, hangers, exhaust piping and joints, and a muffler. Use the following checklist to troubleshoot a potential problem with your vehicle’s exhaust system.

  • You are hearing a loud sound coming out from the exhaust system when you rev up the engine before the exhaust reaches the tailpipe. This is an indication that there is a leak or hole somewhere in the exhaust system, allowing sound to escape before it can reach the muffler. If the noise is a rumbling sound that comes directly from the tailpipe, there is probably a hole in the muffler itself. A damaged muffler can be dangerous since carbon monoxide might get inside the car.

  • Your car is experiencing a loss of power and acceleration. The exhaust system is designed to optimize the emissions performance and acceleration of the car. If there is a sudden decrease in your car’s acceleration power, this can indicate some type of exhaust system issue, like a clogged exhaust manifold.

  • A decrease in fuel efficiency. Engine performance issues are a possible indication of a problem with the exhaust tubes or pipes. The efficiency of your engine is measured by the amount of energy it gets out of the gasoline that is used for fuel. A pipe that is rusted through will cause the engine to have to work harder to get your car up to speed. The first indication of lower engine efficiency will be that your car is getting fewer miles per gallon.

  • Strong smell in the exhaust emissions. This can be an indication of a leak in the exhaust pipe, tailpipe, or muffler. If the smell is more like rotten eggs, there could be a problem with the catalytic converter in the exhaust system, which changes hydrogen sulfide into sulfur dioxide, which is odorless. Noxious fumes from a faulty exhaust system can also get inside your vehicle, which is very dangerous.

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