The exhaust system may be considered a minor part of a car but it is also one of the most important one. Thus proper exhaust leak repair should always be done when it gets broken or damaged. It channels exhaust gases properly away from a controlled combustion in the engine. These exhaust gases flows through pipes. There are 4 kinds of exhaust pipes:

  • A cylinder head and exhaust manifold
  • A turbocharger which helps in increasing engine power
  • A muffler which is effective in reducing noise. This is more popular among newer car models which prefer quiet and smaller engines.
  • A catalytic converter whose main purpose is to channel exhaust gases while reducing air pollution.

The car’s exhaust is also one of the most common parts damaged or broken. Repair and replacement is not so expensive but if it gets frequent then it becomes more expensive than other repairs. But no worries, you can actually do it yourself as a DIYer, you just need to know the basics and have the proper equipment.

First thing that you need to do is to identify the problem. This could get really tough since the exhaust pipe is usually hot. Therefore, you should never touch or hold any part of your exhaust system if you have driven your car in the last few hours. The best thing to do is do a visual inspection. Open the hood of the vehicle and find the exhaust manifold. That is the part where exhaust gases exit from the engine. There could be several tubes or just one tube and most of the time it looks rusty. Follow the tube all the way to the back of your vehicle to check for holes or if any part is broken or damaged. Inspect the exhaust components as well. Lastly, check the top of each component with a mechanic’s mirror.

The next step is an audible inspection. Start your vehicle and do an inspection again starting from the engine bay. Listen carefully if you can hear a distinct noise coming from close the exhaust manifold. If there is a leak, you should hear either a ticking or puffing sound. Try to listen for leaks at any joints in your exhaust system. If there is a leak on the catalytic converter, the sound should be close to a buzzing or humming.

If there are leaks in the exhaust manifold or in the joints then you can simply seal them by changing the gasket. Each joint have a replaceable gasket but take note as well that the bolts could be hard to remove since they get rusty. If the leak is from a break or hole in the exhaust system, it could be more difficult. The best thing to do is to disconnect the joints and replace the entire section of the exhaust. This repair is often expensive and difficult because of the rusty bolts and connections. It may be best to take it to a mechanic of that is the case.