Exhaust Leaks Symptoms – Reasons – How to Fix it?

Your car’s exhaust system is in charge of lowering the amount of pollution it puts out. It does this by making toxic gases less dangerous before they leave your car and go into the environment. Your car can’t be driven safely without an exhaust system that works well.

If there is an exhaust leak, dangerous gases can get into the air before they are cleaned. This can lead to problems like smelly air inside the car and failing emissions inspections. Many of these dangerous gases don’t smell, so if they get into the passenger cabin, you won’t know it. If you and your passengers are exposed to these emissions for a long time, you could get sick.

If you live in a state that tests for emissions, an exhaust leak could cause you to fail the test. You would then have to fix the problem before you could legally drive your car. Learn to spot the signs of an exhaust leak so you can keep your car running well. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to call your service provider.

Here are the Exhaust Leaks Symptoms

So here are the signs which indicate Exhaust Leaking:

Engine Noise

Exhaust Leaks Symptoms

A common sign of an exhaust leak is that the engine is making more noise. Listen for a loud rumbling sound, especially when speeding up. While the engine is running, you may also hear popping or hissing sounds.

Loss of speed and power

Your engine may not run as well if there is a leak in the exhaust system. When you step on the gas pedal, you may notice that your car doesn’t move as quickly as usual. If you don’t fix the exhaust leak, your car’s power will keep going down.

Reduced Fuel Economy

Exhaust Leaks Symptoms

If you’re going to the gas station more often, it could be because of an exhaust leak. If your car has an exhaust leak, the balance of air to fuel could be thrown off. If the ratio of air to fuel is wrong, the engine won’t run as well, which will lower the engine’s overall efficiency.

Vibrating gas pedal

If your gas pedal is shaking, it could be because your exhaust is leaking. Get the engine checked out if you notice this.

Gas Smell

If you can smell gas inside your car, it may have an exhaust leak. If your exhaust pipe gets broken, gas fumes can leak into the car’s passenger compartment.

Check Engine Light

The leak may also cause the car sensors to trigger the check engine light, so keep an eye out for this helpful symbol that may tell you something is wrong with the exhaust manifold.

Potential Causes of an Exhaust Manifold Leak

How do i know if i have an exhaust leak? There are a few common signs why an exhaust manifold leaks. All of them have to do with how the engine heats up when the car is running and then cools down a lot when the car isn’t being driven.

Stress from heat

Exhaust manifolds take a lot of heat every time you drive because they are part of the engine’s exhaust system. Then, when the car isn’t running, they cool down a lot. All of this expanding and contracting can wear down the metal over time, causing it to crack and leak.

Leaking gaskets

Exhaust Leaks Symptoms

Gaskets help keep gases from leaking out of the space between the exhaust manifold and the engine block. The changes in temperature also wear out the gaskets over time. Eventually, they will break and need to be replaced.

Broken bolts and studs

When the car is running, the temperature changes quickly from hot to cold, which can make the bolts and studs break. If they break, a leak could happen.

How to Fix an Exhaust Leak

Depending on the size, type, and location of your exhaust leak(s), you may not need to take your car to a professional garage to fix them. If you want to try to fix your own leaking exhaust, you should:

Get your gear together

You’ll need gloves, sandpaper, a wire brush, a clamp for the exhaust band, and a muffler bandage made of putty and detergent water, and a wire brush.

Find the leak

Small exhaust leaks can be hard to find, but if you can get under your car and start the engine, you might be able to see or hear the leak.

Clean it up

Try to clean up any dirt, grease, or rust around the exhaust leak with your sandpaper, wire brush, and water.

Fix the damage

If you have a small leak, you should be able to fix it with putty or epoxy resin. Make sure to let it dry completely before you get back on the road.

For larger holes

Larger holes can be covered with exhaust tape by wrapping the tape around the whole exhaust pipe.

If that doesn’t work 

If you can’t fix the leak with common tools like putty or exhaust tape, you should take your car to a professional mechanic.

Note: Trying to fix an exhaust leak on your own can be very dangerous because your exhaust system gives off heat and toxic gases, so be very careful and take all reasonable precautions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know if your exhaust is leaking?

In addition to all the signs we’ve already listed, exhaust leaks often smell, sound, and make vibrations that can be felt all over the car in the worst cases. If you start to smell exhaust fumes, feel strange vibrations, or hear hissing or rattling, you may have a leak in your exhaust system and should get it checked out right away.

Less fuel efficiency is another less obvious sign of an exhaust leak that is often missed or put down to something else, like the age of your car. If your car is using a lot of gas or not running as well as it used to, check for leaks in the exhaust system.

What does it sound like when an exhaust leaks?

Most exhaust leaks make hissing or tapping noises, especially when the engine is cold or when the car is speeding up when the exhaust temperature or pressure changes. Most tapping sounds come from broken pipes hitting each other, while smaller leaks make hissing sounds as the exhaust gases escape.

How does a leak in your car’s exhaust affect your car?

Leaks in your exhaust system make your car less powerful, and slower, and use more gas because they reduce backpressure and mess up the way your engine burns fuel. In the worst cases, exhaust leaks can make the people inside the car sick and damage other parts of the engine by letting toxic gases and heat into the engine bay and the car itself.

But even small engine leaks can make your exhaust system less reliable because they let corrosion and exhaust deposits build up in the system.

Can you still drive if there’s a leak in the exhaust?

Even though it is possible to drive with an exhaust leak (because they don’t usually stop the car), it is dangerous and will make it more likely that something will go wrong with the car. Even small exhaust leaks can quickly become big problems, so you should get your car checked out and/or fixed as soon as you notice the signs of an exhaust leak.

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About The Author

Avatar for Ibrar Ayyub

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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