How To Fix an Exhaust Leak

How To Fix an Exhaust Leak
July 20, 2021
How To Fix an Exhaust Leak

If you notice a loud noise from under your car or truck or specifically from the exhaust, you may have an exhaust leak. Bad gaskets, cracks, joints, and holes in the exhaust manifold, flex pipe, muffler, catalytic converter, or exhaust pipe can cause these loud exhaust leaks. Some exhaust leaks, however, do not show up as loud noises but rather black soot and smoke. If you have a leak near the middle section of your car, the cab could fill with exhaust while idling, which is a very dangerous situation.

Let’s Check for an Exhaust Leak

1. Safety is a primary concern. Only work in a well-ventilated area.

When working on a vehicle while it is running, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. Your exhaust system’s maintain output is carbon dioxide. This is a very dangerous gas so open doors, windows, and working exhaust fans are ideal to vent the harmful gas, keeping you and your family safe.

2. Look over your exhaust for black soot, holes, cracks, bad joints, or cracked gaskets.

The exhaust manifold extends out directly from the engine and is the most common area to experience exhaust leaks. Keeping in mind that your exhaust will be hot if you have been running your car, inspect the pipe with your eyes, while looking for holes, cracks, or other prime areas for leaks. Black soot is a product of contaminants like carbon dioxide, so areas with excessive amounts of black soot could indicate an area where your exhaust is leaking.

3. Often, the first sign of an exhaust leak is a loud rumble from under the car.

To check for an exhaust leak by sound, start the vehicle and listen for where the exhaust noise seems to be originating. Exhaust pipes get hot quickly, so do not touch the pipes directly. Use a glove to feel for air leaking from the exhaust system to determine the location of the leak. Move along the full length of the exhaust, feeling for air, and mark any areas that appear to be leaking with a marker or chalk.

Finally, using a thick work glove, place your hand over the end of the exhaust pipe. If your exhaust pipe is working properly, the pressure should push your hand away. If your exhaust leaks, the pressure at the end of the pipe will be minimal, if there’s any pressure, at all. At this point, you can block the exhaust pipe, temporarily, so you can go back over the length of the exhaust, feeling for leaks.

4. If all other diagnostic steps fail, try a mirror

So you still hear an exhaust leak but all steps to find it has failed? You can try using a mirror. With the vehicle running, hold a mirror within a few inches of the exhaust and run it the length of the exhaust system. If the mirror fogs up at any certain point, it could be a sign of an exhaust leak.

5. Once you have located the leak, check out the condition of the rest of your exhaust.

If you are experiencing an exhaust leak, there’s a good chance that other exhaust system parts could be deteriorating or in disrepair. If you find that other exhaust parts look as though they are worn or rusting through, it’s best to replace them when you fix the leak or you may find yourself in the same situation a few weeks down the road. Fortunately, Partshawk has everything you need to get your car back on the road safely, quickly, and quietly.

For Parts Needed to Repair an Exhaust Leak, shop

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