How to Find and Fix A Car Exhaust Leak At Home
DIY Exhaust Leak Repair
If you are reading this, then you more than likely want to find out more about exhausts, and you’re also likely to be having problems with your own vehicle at the moment. We are here to help! Most issues with your exhaust should be dealt with by a qualified technician, however, there are some instances where you can take a look yourself and make some improvements.
Components of An Exhaust Explained
There are 2 main components that make up an exhaust and its system. It is important to understand how your exhaust works and which part of the vehicle it effects.
The exhaust system runs underneath the vehicle and helps to start the engine. Once fumes have been generated from the system they pass through the manifold and different cylinders which ends up exiting through the exhaust pipe.
The pipe appears along the underside of your vehicle. The system is separated into several components, in which the catalytic converter sits between the manifold and muffler. The exhaust muffler sits just before the last part of your pipe and is there to muffle the sound of the engine, and then the cleaned fumes are released into the air.
Your catalytic converter is a vital part of the exhaust system as it heats excess particles in the gases emitted from your vehicle’s engine. The catalytic converter is there to keep your emissions lower.
If your car is struggling for power or there is a bad smell from the inside or outside of the vehicle, it is more than likely an issue with the converter within the exhaust system
Diagnosing your Exhaust Leak
The first step is to find out where the leak specifically is and the current state of your exhaust. Due to the high temperatures within the area that your exhaust sits on your vehicle, it can often be quite difficult to dig in deep and find the issue. We would always recommend that you get a friend to help you out with this process so that they can test it when the engine is on, when it’s off and so forth, to help you identify the issue correctly.
Leaks can usually be identified by the sound coming from the vehicle, which will more than often be a humming sound. Never touch the exhaust whilst the engine is on, you will be susceptible to burning yourself which is dangerous.
How Do I Repair the Leak?
Before doing anything, you must ensure that the exhaust has cooled down, which can sometimes take several hours, so be careful and check it is okay to touch before you try to repair anything.
You then need to make sure you have scrubbed the area in which the leak was found so there is no rust or dirt present. Keep the area clean and you will find it much easier.
If the leak is small then you can use some basic exhaust tape will do the trick. The tape will come with instructions as all tape is different, so make sure you follow what it says on the packet, as that will give you the best results.
If the leak is larger then you can possible fix it with aluminum patches, however, if the hole is larger than 3 inches you will probably need to get it replaced, so it is important to measure it and decide on the best plan of action. Unfortunately, not every problem and its solution are a one size fits all approach!
Get That Exhaust Fixed
If the home remedies and fixes fail, you will definitely need to get the exhaust looked at so that the issue doesn’t get any worse and doesn’t cause long-lasting damage to your vehicle.
If you are finding issues with your exhaust that can’t be fixed, then you may need to consider an exhaust repair and replacement service, and take your car to a local garage. They will be able to investigate the issue and officially diagnose what is wrong with your exhaust. Of course, try home methods where you can but if in doubt, do not hesitate to get advice from an expert.