6 Most Common Exhaust System Problems

Exhaust problems are every vehicle owner’s worst nightmare; they cost a lot to repair and can render your vehicle unusable for days. As a result, a proper and well-functioning exhaust system is necessary for a seamless driving experience. However, things don’t always go as planned, and exhaust system problems may pop up at any time. This article will look at some of these most common exhaust problems that have been infuriating owners for decades and what you can do to get rid of them, or at least prevent them.

Let’s begin.

1. Leaks

Every other vehicle on the road is susceptible to exhaust leaks. Whether you regularly travel on uneven roads or drive in the city, there is every chance that at some point, a rock or boulder will hit the bottom of your car and damage the exhaust pipe. And that is one among the countess problems owners face on a day to day basis. Sometimes the exhaust manifold develops cracks due to prolonged wear and tear, and as a result, toxic fumes leak out of the system before reaching the tailpipe. The fumes are detrimental to your health and also to the environment. Especially harmful gases like Carbon Monoxide can easily ooze out from a leak before passing through the catalytic converters of your exhaust system. Not only that, even a small leak can affect the sensors of your car and cause it to burn more fuel than required.

One should always watch for signs of exhaust leaks, such as a check engine light showing up or unusual noise coming out from under your vehicle. Another frequent symptom is a whistling noise coming out of the engine bay and excessive vibrations originating from the exhaust system.

2. Faulty Oxygen Sensor

Oxygen sensors play a crucial role in balancing the proper air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. A faulty sensor can cause a chain reaction of catastrophes. It can puzzle other sensors and feed your car’s onboard computer system inaccurate data. In return, the computer won’t correctly set the air-fuel ratio, resulting in a lower fuel economy and higher emissions. Furthermore, a lack of oxygen in the combustion chamber is a significant reason behind incomplete combustion leaving behind carbon particles that can damage the catalytic converters and clog your exhaust system.

3. Rust

Rusting is a familiar foe in the automotive industry, and every year millions of dollars are lost due to it. And even though automakers take every measure possible to keep rust from forming, your vehicle’s exhaust system will ultimately give up at some point. Over the years, water vapor collects in various nooks and crevices of an exhaust system. Your engine’s heat is sometimes not enough to vaporize these droplets, and after condensation, these droplets react with the metal to form rust. If left unchecked, the rust can spread and affect other parts and corrode the exhaust pipes inside out, developing leaks. Furthermore, salts from icy regions of the country can also cause rusting and damage the exhaust system.

While it’s not possible to keep water and ice from getting into your car’s exhaust system, you can undoubtedly prevent rust from forming and spreading. Conduct regular inspections and check for any rusting underneath your vehicle. Get the rust removed by a professional mechanic, or do it yourself by using rust remover spray.

4. Malfunctioning Adblue System

Nowadays, most modern vehicles come equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction system to bring down Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) emissions. The system injects Adblue, an aqueous urea solution made of 32.5% urea and 67.5% ionized water, into the vehicle’s exhaust system. The ammonia in the Adblue reacts with NOX to produce harmless nitrogen and water, effectively bringing down NOX emissions by up to 90%.

But as impressive as it is, the Adblue can give rise to several problems, including vehicle speed restriction and engine not starting. One way to deal with this Adblue problem is to reprogram and deactivate the entire Adblue system.

If you happen to face any Adblue problems or see related warning lights all over the dash, call your mechanic and ask for a complete Adblue removal or custom software programming for your vehicle.

5. Loose Brackets

Brackets hold your exhaust system in place, and it’s not good news if you have one coming off. A loose bracket leaves your exhaust system open to damage underneath the vehicle. Listen for a distinct rattling sound coming from underneath your car, chances might be you are dragging a tailpipe, or the brackets may be falling off.

Always make sure the brackets are well secured; after all, the last thing you would want is your tailpipe hanging and hitting everything in its path, skyrocketing repair costs.

6. Vibrations

A faulty exhaust system can cause your vehicle to vibrate uncontrollably. If you haven’t serviced your car’s exhaust system for a long time, your whole vehicle might begin to shake when you drive. The vibrations also impact other parts of your vehicle and may cause unnecessary wear and tear. Above all, it is a significant safety hazard and may put you and your loved ones at the risk of a terrible road mishap.

Last Words

We all have faced these common exhaust system issues at some point. Whether it is rusting, Adblue problems, or a bad oxygen sensor, these problems will never go away permanently, and one always needs to be prepared when such a thing happens. Do not wait for things to go wrong and inspect your vehicle before a potential problem arises. This way, not only will you save hundreds but protect your vehicle and its occupant.