Your vehicle’s exhaust system plays an essential role in the overall functionality. It’s responsible for moving the engine fumes to the back of your car, minimizing the emission of toxic fumes, and regulating the noise the combustion produces.
Overlooking proper maintenance of the exhaust system can bring about several issues. Some problems may arise from poor vehicle performance, diminished gas mileage, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Depending on the seriousness of the issues you’re facing with your car’s exhaust system, consider checking out a reliable source of replacements, including exhausts, universal car mufflers, catalytic converters, and oxygen sensor accessories.
Here are some common problems with the exhaust system you should be familiar with and how to avoid them.
- Rust Formation
As the exhaust system ages, rust will likely form over time. However, most car owners notice the formation later. Generally, the rust is due to exposure to rain, snow, and salt on roads during bad weather conditions. As the rust continues to form perforations in your vehicle’s exhaust system, it’s only a matter of time before moving over a pothole will knock the exhaust loose.
If you want to avoid ending up losing your exhaust, make it a priority to keep an eye out for any signs of rust formation. Make sure to do routine inspections for signs of rust. You can also hire a mechanic to remove it or do it yourself with a rust remover spray. Any components that show significant rust should undergo replacement right away.
- Defective Exhaust Manifold Gasket
The main function of the exhaust manifold gasket is to create a secure point between the cylinder head and gasket, preventing gas from leaking into the system. This ensures the gas leaves the vehicle safely through the tailpipe. Once the exhaust manifold gasket starts to malfunction, expect a tapping or hissing noise in your engine. When you accelerate or start your car, the noise is obvious.
- Obstruction In The Catalytic Converter
A catalytic converter transforms harmful fumes into less dangerous exhaust fumes, usually situated next to the exhaust manifold. Once blockage happens, problems will start to manifest. In most cases, the vehicle may no longer reach its usual power level, along with the distinctive rotten smell, and the car’s flooring may feel warm.
- Unsecure Brackets
Another common issue with the exhaust system is loose brackets. The brackets are responsible for securing the exhaust system in the proper position. Once they loosen up due to wear and tear, you’ll likely hear a rattle-like sound below your vehicle. The brackets could become too flimsy or fall off, causing the exhaust pipe to sag on the road.
Driving will cause damage to an exhaust pipe if it drags on the pavement. You can avoid this by regularly checking the brackets to ensure they’re securely fastened.
- Flawed AdBlue System
If you currently have a modern model, most are equipped with a selective catalytic reduction system that lowers nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The system works by injecting AdBlue, an aqueous urea solution, into your vehicle’s exhaust system. Moreover, the presence of ammonia in AdBlue reacts with NOx to generate harmless water and nitrogen to lower the NOx emissions significantly.
Unfortunately, the system is likely to give rise to several issues, including limitations on speed and the inability to start the engine. In such circumstances, it would require reprogramming and deactivating the system.
- Leaks In The Exhaust System
An exhaust leak can happen anywhere within the exhaust system. Aside from exposure to exhaust emissions and carbon monoxide hazards, expect turbulent vibrations when using your vehicle. The shaking can occur in either the steering wheel or gas pedal, making it challenging to control your car and putting you at risk for accidents on the road.
Once you notice any vibrations in your vehicle, timely action is necessary to have it inspected for an exhaust leak. Other indications of leaks include a flashing check engine light or an unusual noise from beneath your car. Aside from the vibrations, there may also be a whistle-like sound from the engine bay.
- Faulty Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensors within the exhaust system are responsible for balancing the air-fuel mixture. Once the sensors start to malfunction, it allows the emission of more gas, which brings several issues. One example is when the catalytic converter ends up with a blockage. As a result, your vehicle will usually not gain as many miles per gallon, and your vehicle may no longer function optimally.
The exhaust system greatly influences the overall functionality of your car. You have likely encountered issues with your exhaust system at some point, such as rust, loose brackets, exhaust leaks, and a faulty oxygen sensor, to name a few. Remember that these issues require timely intervention to restore the optimal functioning of your vehicle while ensuring safety at all times.