The exhaust system in your vehicle is responsible for a key task: moving combustion by-products out of the engine while filtering out dangerous materials. This seemingly straightforward task requires several components to work hand in hand.
Simply put, your vehicle’s exhaust system eliminates harmful substances such as particular matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. It also minimizes noise levels and releases cleaner fumes into the environment.
Unlike other car components or systems that undergo routine maintenance, such as oil changes, battery replacements, and tire rotations, the exhaust doesn’t receive much attention. In such circumstances, you should know what to look for if a repair job or an upgrade is necessary. Depending on the parts or components you need, you should browse here or check out other online sources for a good head start.
Since the exhaust system spans nearly the whole length of your vehicle, you can easily tell if something has gone wrong with it. As a refresher for seasoned motorists and a primer for first-time car owners, here are the tell-tale signs that your exhaust system needs an upgrade:
- Constant, Strange Noises
When your engine starts making more noise than usual, it may indicate a problem. However, since the exhaust system consists of several parts, each issue can make a specific type of noise. The key is to know which is which.
If the gasket is starting to malfunction on the exhaust manifold, it’s going to generate a tapping or hissing sound. A persistent knocking may be a sign of a detonation lock in which air and fuel are mixing within the engine cylinder. Idling or excessive load roaring of the engine may indicate compression of the cylinder.
Other unusual sounds, such as rattling, shaking, or ones you cannot identify clearly, may tell you that there’s something serious you need to check out. In most cases, that usually comes from the muffler, which is responsible for drowning out any sounds your engine generates.
If you continue driving while your engine makes odd sounds, it may be unsafe and result in lasting damage to your vehicle. Once you notice anything unusual with the sound your vehicle produces, get it checked by a professional or visit a car shop right away.
- Poor Vehicle Performance
The engine plays a key role in your vehicle’s performance while on the road. However, once you start to experience a drop in its performance, it may be a sign that your exhaust system is breaking down.
Once your engine starts to lose most of its power, your car will have a hard time accelerating as usual. In most cases, it’s because of an engine leak somewhere along the exhaust system.
Poor performance is often accompanied by a drop in fuel mileage. Remember that as your vehicle struggles to overcome engine problems, it burns more fuel than necessary. That’ll leave you with more visits to the gas station and higher fuel costs, a pain in every driver’s pocket. With this in mind, note the amount of gas for the number of miles you travel every time you fill up.
- Foul Odors Or Burning Smells
When you have an engine problem, you’ll notice two distinctive smells: gas or burning odors. A defective gasket on the exhaust can cause a whistle-like sound while making a distinct burning odor at the same time. You can catch this scent while you’re inside your vehicle and even once you get out after driving.
The smell of gas is also another sign. It indicates that your vehicle has a leak from one of the exhaust pipes. Sadly, this can be an issue for your car’s performance, the integrity of the rest of its systems, your health (especially when the smell gets worse), your budget, and the environment.
- Evident Physical Issues Upon Inspection
One of the clear signs you need to upgrade your vehicle’s exhaust system is physical problems. You’re most likely to find one during an inspection. While you’re going through the muffler, tail pipe, and exhaust system under the hood, check if there are cracks, signs of rust, leaks, or black stains.
Even small exhaust leaks can harm your car to the point where repairs are fruitless. Also, if smoke comes out, it’s another sign that your vehicle requires immediate servicing.
Does The Exhaust Need An Overhaul?
Your vehicle’s exhaust system plays an important role in your car’s performance. It helps maintain overall engine efficiency and power while minimizing detrimental gases released into the environment. However, the system will end up with issues at some point. Once you notice these tell-tale indications, consider upgrading your vehicle’s exhaust system soon. Feel free to reach out to a professional mechanic or drop by the car shop of your choice to get the right work done.