Common Signs of Car Exhaust Problems, and the Repairs You May Need

Posted on: 29 August 2016

Never overlook problems you might be having with your car's exhaust system, as this part of your car may be more important than you realise. The exhaust system helps to deposit fumes and emissions away from the cab of the car, so leaks in this system can mean you're breathing in toxins every time you drive. The exhaust also helps the engine keep a good mix of fuel and oxygen so it runs smoothly. If you are having problems with your car's exhaust system, note a few common signs and issues and what they might mean by way of needed repairs.


The area where you can ehar rattling can help determine the repair that's needed. Keep your car running and crouch down by the car; if you hear rattling near the back, it's probably a loose bracket for the muffler and tailpipe. These can be replaced relatively easily. If the rattling is coming from near the front of the car and sounds like someone shaking a box of rocks, this often means the catalytic converter needs replacing or repair. This converter helps to filter out emissions and when it goes bad, and it starts to rattle as it filters out fumes.


Vibrations from the steering wheel can mean that the car's tires are out of balance or alignment, but these can also mean that there is an exhaust leak in the manifold, a set of pipes that come down from the engine and into the exhaust system. Vibrations from the gas pedal are also quite common when there is a leak in the manifold. Rather than smoothly depositing air out the tailpipe, these leaks cause the manifold to shake as air passes through the leaks and, in turn, you'll feel vibrations when you accelerate. 

Decreased fuel efficiency

If you're filling up at pump more often than usual, this can mean your car needs a tune-up, or it can be the result of carrying added weight; if you've recently loaded up your trunk with sporting goods and other items, don't be surprised if you pay more for gas since your car is now working harder. However, decreased fuel efficiency also usually means that there is a leak in the exhaust system. This can be the manifold, mentioned above, or anywhere along the pipes connecting the pieces of the exhaust. When air is leaking out, the engine burns more fuel to maintain combustion and you need to fill up at the pumps more often. 

For more information and assistance with diagnosing your problem, contact a car service shop in your area.