Of all your car’s numerous and complex components, the exhaust system is probably the most important. It’s crucial for filtering toxic exhaust fumes and ensuring that your vehicle isn’t overly polluting.
However, exhaust systems are often the first thing to break when your car starts wearing out. Cracks and holes can occur, which can cause the release of toxic gases to the surrounding environment.
This is a natural symptom of an overworked system, but it should be addressed by the driver as soon as possible. Exhaust leaks can cause the engine to work even harder, reducing fuel efficiency. Even worse, such leaks can cause inhalation of toxic fumes for anyone in the car. This can lead to serious health and safety issues for you and your passengers, not to mention the impacts on the planet.
The following signs indicate that it could be time to take your car to a mechanic for exhaust system repairs.
There’s a Decrease in Fuel Efficiency
An exhaust leak often means that fumes which are supposed to be expelled from the engine instead are left floating around inside. This will lead to the engine operating at temperatures hotter than normal and will reduce fuel efficiency.
More practically for drivers, less fuel from an exhaust system leak will mean more trips to the fuel station and more unnecessary dollars spent. If you notice a significant drop in your kilometers per liter, it can be a telling sign that your exhaust system is failing.
Once again, burning fuel unnecessarily is pointless, and it will result in significantly higher than normal greenhouse gas emissions from your vehicle. If you’re even slightly environmentally conscious, you need to get a broken exhaust fixed ASAP.
There Are Odd Vibrations
If you notice some odd vibrations coming from your steering wheel or gas pedal, something could be wrong. It’s most likely a leak in the exhaust system, and the size of the leak can sometimes be as small as a pinhole, making it difficult to locate. You’ll want a mechanic to look for the leak, because it may be too small to find on your own.
If the leak is bigger, more parts of the car may experience vibrations. The entire car may shake if the leak is big enough. Along with the concerns of breathing in toxic fumes, this particular symptom of a leak is dangerous because a shaking, vibrating car can interfere with your ability to control it with precision while on the road.
There’s an Increase in Engine Noise
The earliest telltale sign of a leak in the exhaust system is an increase in noise from the engine. This means that the muffler is no longer doing the job it’s supposed to and noise from the rear that’s usually dampened suddenly becomes loud and clear. A leak in the exhaust system will usually create a distinctive loud rumbling noise.
Most common locations for the leak include the exhaust manifold and anywhere you’ll find joints along the exhaust system. An engine leak in the manifold in particular can create a loud increase in engine volume along with potentially very harmful fume leaks into the passenger cabin.
A vehicle’s exhaust system is essential for a fully functional and safe driving experience. In addition, broken exhausts can release toxic gases into the surrounding environment, impacting local ecosystems and boosting your greenhouse gas emissions.
Anything off with your fuel efficiency, vehicle vibrations or engine noise are surefire signs that it’s time to repair your exhaust system. Please put safety and the environment first and visit a mechanic before continuing to drive your vehicle.