How To Identify Issues with Your Car’s Exhaust System
The exhaust system of the vehicle has a lot of importance and is more significant than people give it importance. An exhaust system isn’t only responsible for the reduction in the noise produced by the engine, rather, the exhaust system cleans the air before it exits the tailpipe, helps to cool the engine and also directs any harmful gases away from the cabin.
All these reasons make it imperative that exhaust issues are identified earlier for both safety and for making sure the damage isn’t heavy on the pocket.
In exhaust fumes, Carbon monoxide is present, CO is a colorless and odorless gas, which when inhaled even in small doses can be extremely harmful to the health. It can cause dizziness and headaches, and in extreme cases may lead to unconsciousness or even death. This is why if one suspects any possibility of Carbon Monoxide leaking, the car should be immediately taken for inspection and repair.
Identification of Exhaust Issues
Step 1: The car’s muffler has a lot of baffles and when it breaks or fails, the engine’s sound will not be just as dampened.
Although any thumping or rattling isn’t normal either. Some vehicles provide baffles, which can open or close as per the person’s choice. However, over the time, the linkages which hold the door can become loose or break, thus, causing a rattling noise.
It is possible for rattling sounds to come from different places. When the catalytic converter present in the car starts to age, the interior of it will start degrading and all the small pieces will end up rattling as the car is being driven. The same issue will take place inside the muffler with the baffles.
Typically, a heavier thump is an indication of the mounting being loose or damaged. This is because the exhaust system of a car is held in its place with the use of rubber brackets and metal. The rubber gets brittle and eventually falls apart.
Identification of all of this early is essential since if caught earlier, it may be possible to only change a small rubber piece while later, a whole exhaust piece might need to be changed. Also, if the mount fails, the car’s exhaust pipes can rattle or fall, and dent while the car is being driven.
Step 2: Even though Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas, some other gases come out of the tail pipe, which aren’t are odorless and thus, can be identified as being harmful. This identification can help prevent a leak.
Step 3: Car’s performance speaks a lot about the vehicle. While driving, try looking for signs while driving the car.
Blocked off exhausts can cause reduced gas mileage and loss of performance. When the engine needs to work harder to push the exhaust out of the car’s cylinder, it has lesser power for giving to the wheels.
Also, blocked off exhaust system can cause the car trouble and lead to car running hotter than normal. Since the exhaust gas is hot while leaving the cylinder and any kind of blockage will work to restrict airflow, thus, keeping the engine further heated.
Visually Inspecting under the car
- Jack stands
Step 1: The car’s exhaust system starts soon after the air leaves the cylinder. On the side of the car’s engine block, there are pipes running out, which connect together before heading to the vehicle’s bottom and finally the vehicle’s back. Although a person may not be able to see much, inspecting can be done later as mentioned below.
Ensure that all the bolts are present and tightened as they tend to fall out due to engine vibrations.
Then check the metal for any cracks. This is important owing to the heating and cooling that a vehicle endures in its life, which causes metals to develop cracks.
Important Warning: Before poking or checking about the bolts, make sure that the car’s engine wasn’t on recently since otherwise, it’ll all be hot.
Step 2: Park the vehicle on a flat level service and then raise the vehicle using the jack.
Put jack stands on all the corners of the car to lend it stability so that it doesn’t fall while the person is working underneath.
Step 3: Check the rest of the exhaust manifold that wasn’t inspected or seen earlier.
Step 4: For inspecting the catalytic converter(s), tap the converter softly using the end of a screwdriver or a rubber mallet to listen for any possible rattling inside.
As mentioned above, the interior of the catalytic converter can degrade and will cause pieces to rattle inside as the person drives. Check all the connections that go in and out of the converter to check if they are intact. Any dents, however small, can create a gap that may lead to the gas escaping. Check for external damage as well as the dents on the external side can lead to damage within, causing the replacement of the entire unit.
Further, quite a few companies have been providing catalytic converters that have a heat shield for keeping the converter at optimal operating temperature. Although, it should be ensured that there is a gap between the converter and the shield to avoid rattling that originates from vibrations.
Step 5: Inspection of the muffler(s) has to be done in the same way as the converter.
Dents present on the muffler or its connections may lead to an issue with the airflow. Another problem that a muffler faces is that it is susceptible to corrosion if there is a buildup of moisture inside.
Step 6: Carry out an inspection of the pipes and connections for rust, dents or cracks.
V-style engines and the dual exhaust systems usually have an X, Y, or H connection.
Make sure to check all the seals for any dents and ensure that piping isn’t in contact with any other metal. This lets the metal be kept cool and avoids transference of the heat to other parts of the vehicle
Step 7: Finally, do an inspection of the exhaust mounts. The exhaust system’s mounts have a rubber loop for holding the pipes in position and allowing movement.
Verify that the rubber is holding up and is installed correctly.
With all such steps, any issues with the exhaust system can be identified that a person may be facing. A major beneficial factor with checking these systems early on is that it can help identify any perspective serious damage, which can then be rectified easily by visiting a mechanic. Like they say, knowing is half the battle won, so this is winning half the battle!