The exhaust system is one of the most critical parts of your vehicle that ensures the removal of harmful gases from your engine products. It plays a vital role in controlling the noise, improving the fuel economy, and boosting engine performance. However, a disintegrated exhaust system can cause toxic gases to spread in and around the car, leading to unwanted circumstances. Moreover, since these gases are most often invisible and odorless, car owners must stay well-aware of and recognize the symptoms of a malfunctioning exhaust system.
Listed below are the top signs of an exhaust leak that you should always keep in mind.
Noise getting louder
When igniting the engine, if you hear a thunderous noise emerging from its surrounding areas, it is usually a telltale symptom of an exhaust manifold gasket leak. This is because the gasket is located between the engine block and the piping of the exhaust manifold. Hence, like a piping system, it causes continuous heating and cooling in the gasket. Therefore, if you notice a crack or leak in the piping, you should get your gasket inspected by an expert to determine if it is broken and needs replacing.
Vibrating gas pedal
Even the most nanoscopic leak can cause vehicles to start vibrating. However, more significant leaks can create much bigger vibrations. In such a situation, you may begin to notice the initial vibrations from the gas pedal and gradually from the steering wheel if left unaddressed for a longer duration. In the worst scenario, your vehicle's floorboards may also start vibrating, hence calling for immediate help from an expert.
Bad fuel efficiency
If your vehicle is beginning to show the symptoms of lousy mileage, it can result from a leaky exhaust system. Such leaks hamper your engine's performance, hence, lowering its fuel efficiency. Thus, it is recommended to consult a professional at the earliest to fix your vehicle's exhaust system or replace it with an aftermarket product.
Odd noise while accelerating
If you suspect any abnormality in your vehicle, try placing your foot on the gas pedal while closely listening to see if you can hear any odd sounds. Such strange sounds can include air leaking or whistling noise that suggests a definite issue in your vehicle's exhaust system. For most individuals, it can be hard to ascertain the difference between exhaust sounds, engine sounds, or a vacuum hose leak. Since strange sounds from the engine can be due to other critical reasons, you should only rely on this sign if you witness other exhaust leak signs as well.
Besides carbon monoxide, most of the exhaust fumes are odorless. However, if your car has a leaky exhaust system, it may start releasing a very pungent odor from the inside or outside of your vehicle. Moreover, persistency of such foul smell is a clear indication of harmful exhaust emission that you should resist breathing while calling for immediate help. It is advisable to drive with open windows in such a situation since carbon monoxide can be lethal for human health.
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