Ever seen a car driving around spewing out black or grey smoke out of the exhaust? Sometimes exhaust problems are obvious (at least to other drivers), other times they are less so.
Problems with your exhaust like a roaring sound can seem like a minor annoyance, not seriously related to safety – like brakes and tires, or power like the engine, transmission or clutch; but this belief is wrong. Exhaust problems can be more cause for action than you might think. In-fact most people do not realize that the exhaust system is more than just the muffler – hence “system”. The job of the exhaust system is to:
- Keep harmful fumes away from the inside of the car
- Reduce emissions
- Help the engine to operate efficiently
1. A bad exhaust can kill
This might seem a little drastic but it is true, and it can happen. Sometimes when exhaust systems are compromised gas fumes can back up inside the cabin instead of into the atmosphere.
If exhaust fumes enter your car’s cabin you and your passengers are potentially at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning. Common symptoms include: Confusion, dizziness, headaches, nausea and feeling sleepy.
2. You may fail your emissions test
An exhaust system that leaks or doesn’t work properly can release excessive fumes that are harmful to the environment. This can stop you from passing your state emissions test; so you won’t be able to drive the car until it gets fixed.
3. Repairs can get more expensive
The longer you leave an exhaust problem the worse it is going to get. Not only is this bad for the exhaust but it can be bad for other parts of the car – namely the catalytic converter.
The quicker you get it fixed the greater chance you have of keeping repair costs down.
4. Reduce engine performance and fuel efficiency
A healthy exhaust system helps to maintain a healthy engine. Leaks in your exhaust can cause the engine to lose pressure and performance; the engine won’t run as efficiently. The knock-on effect of this is that you’ll get less miles per gallon, so you could end up spending more time to refill your tank. Avoid extra stress on the engine by scheduling an exhaust repair as soon as you notice problems.
Common Signs you have Exhaust System Problems
- You hear hissing, popping, rattling, roaring or loud noises
- Your muffler has holes, cracks or rust
- You notice a considerable change in fuel efficiency
- You notice vibrations from the gas pedal, steering wheel or driving seat
- You notice a smell of fumes inside the car – This can be very dangerous, open the windows, if the smell doesn’t go then stop somewhere safe as soon as you can or call a repair shop.
- The check engine light comes on
What causes exhaust problems?
You may be familiar with the sight of an old, rusty muffler that’s been a victim of time. But you can’t easily see the whole exhaust system and damage that can come from numerous other causes. These include:
Pothole damage – Drive slowly over or around potholes if you can
Salt etc.. from roads – This can lead to rust on the underside. It’s a good idea to get your underside washed from time to time, especially in the winter to clear away any salt and other residues.
Corrosion from the inside out – Caused by moisture combining with gasses from the engine, over time corrosion can eat away at the welded parts, especially if the corrosion resistant carbon is worn down/away from heat.
If you suspect you have an exhaust system problem but aren’t sure and you live in the Ansonia, Derby or Seymour CT area then contact General Muffler and Auto Supply – Experts in exhaust systems and authorized CT emissions test/repair center.