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How to Fix a Bad Exhaust Leak

last updated March 7, 2019

One of the major problems that occur in cars is a bad exhaust leak. An exhaust leak can get easily diagnosed by the sound of your car or by excessive carbon monoxide escaping from the exhaust pipe and filling the car.

Car exhaust systems serve an integral part in the functioning of the car and a major leak may cause you to stall or even experience other major problems that are usually expensive to fix.

How to Fix a Bad Exhaust Leak

Is it OK to drive a car with an exhaust leak?

An exhaust leak is both dangerous for the car and or passengers. As such, it’s never OK to drive a car with an exhaust leak.

Harmful effects of an exhaust leak

1. Harmful to the environment

An exhaust leak causes loud noises and leaked carbon monoxide which is harmful to the environment. Carbon monoxide is said to be part of the cause of the growing concerns of global warming and as a result, should be regulated.

One way of doing this is to not drive a car with an exhaust leak.

2. Could lead to the death of the driver and passengers.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas could lead to suffocation in the car of the driver and passengers during a drive where all the windows are up. If the leak was in a position that could direct the carbon monoxide into the interior of the car rather than outside, it could lead to a buildup of the gas if windows are not open and cause death by suffocation.

3. Fuel consumption

A leak distorts the functioning of the car’s exhaust system leading to increased exertion in the engine. That’s why you’ll notice increased fuel consumption. This will cause rising maintenance costs of your car and could lead to frustration over your car.

4. Noise pollution

Backfiring vehicles and poorly maintained vehicles with exhaust leaks cause loud noises which can be classified as noise pollution. Whenever a car is unusually noisy, this means that there’s a problem with the exhaust system which is most likely an exhaust leak.

5. Money sucking

Exhaust leaks are not expensive to fix.  Truth is, it all depends on how soon you visit your mechanic.

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Is an exhaust leak expensive to fix

An exhaust leak should not be expensive to fix. The average price for an exhaust leak fix ranges from $150-200 inclusive of parts and labor charges.

In addition, the fix will not take longer than a day at maximum thus also saving you lots of time.

When does it become expensive to fix an exhaust leak?

One of the common symptoms of exhaust leaks is an unusual noise. Therefore as soon as you hear odd sounds coming from your car, have it looked at immediately and repaired.

When you delay, the unusual noise develops into a full-blown car problem. The delay could lead to further damage to the exhaust system and that’s an expensive affair.

Benefits of repairing an exhaust leak early

1. It’s much cheaper

When your car has an exhaust leak ensure that it’s repaired as soon as possible. When you fail to do this, the exhaust leak caused either by a hole or a faulty gasket leads to engine problems that end up being more expensive than had you done it earlier.

2. Enhances the functionality of your car

When you have an exhaust leak repaired early, you’ll see increased efficiency in the fuel consumption of your car. In addition to lower gas costs, your car  accelerates without straining.

3. Maintains the value of your car

You can’t fetch a good price for your car when everyone hears the noise from a mile away.

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Can exhaust leak make you sick?

Exhaust leaks will make you sick. The fumes produced by combustion in a vehicle are deadly in large doses. Small amounts cause different diseases and effects on the human body.

Diseases that can be caused by exhaust leaks

1. Death

This is the most serious condition that can be caused by an exhaust leak. Motor vehicle combustion produces highly poisonous carbon monoxide. Accumulation of carbon dioxide in the vehicle could lead to suffocation and death of driver and passengers.

2. Dizziness and headaches

The fumes produced by exhaust leaks can cause you to develop headaches and feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness. The pungent smell affects your normal body functions and leads to abnormal body reactions that cause dizziness and headaches.

3. Nausea

Every pungent smell that hits you in your gut suddenly or by building up over time causes you to get nauseated and could lead to vomiting especially when traveling long distances.

4. Carbon monoxide poisoning

The fumes produced via an exhaust leak contain carbon monoxide. Once they get into your car you might experience lightheadedness, vomiting, and coughing, as your body struggles to get in oxygen and release carbon monoxide as fast as it builds up.

How to prevent exhaust leaks from causing diseases

1. Early repair

As soon as you identify signs of an exhaust leak, it’s important that you have your car checked and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

2. Regular maintenance checks on the car

Ensure that you’ve your car checked regularly to ensure that it doesn’t have a small hole that may lead to exhaust leaks.

3. Using the appropriate parts

When buying spare parts for your vehicle, don’t cut corners and buy the cheapest parts available. Purchase the correct parts and you won’t ever have to endure nauseous exhaust fumes.

Can an exhaust leak affect gas mileage?

Increased fuel consumption which leads to a low gas mileage ratio indicates exhaust leak. A properly functioning car displays the number of miles it should cover with a particular amount of gas. When an exhaust leak occurs, the car has to consume more gas to cover the particular mileage.

Signs that an exhaust leak is affecting gas mileage

1. Increased consumption

An unexplained cause of increased fuel consumption for a regular commute is a sign that your car has an exhaust leak.

2. Higher emissions

If you notice higher emissions from your vehicle, it’s a sign that there issues with fuel combustion in your engine. When this happens, it leads to fuel wastage and higher fuel consumption.

What are the symptoms of an exhaust leak?

1. Unusual noise from your engine

Strange noise from your car’s engine is a sign that your car could have an exhaust leak. When you hear odd sounds it’s important to get your engine inspected for other developing problems.

2. Low performance and power

Your car, that’s usually easy to drive, suddenly becomes slower and acceleration becomes difficult. You can feel the change from its usual performance. Without urgent repair, this low performance of your car will persist and will only get back to normal after the exhaust leak is fixed.

3. Increased emissions

If suddenly your car is emitting large quantities of black smoke when it previously emitted clean water and white fumes, you should visit your mechanic. Exhaust leaks cause an increase in emissions as combustion isn’t fully supported. Have your car checked and repaired for an exhaust leak and all will be back to normal.

4. Increased fuel consumption

Is your car demanding for more fuel for your usual commute? This is a clear sign of the presence of an exhaust leak in your vehicle.

5. Vibrating gas pedal

When you’re driving and realize that your gas pedal is vibrating, don’t rule out an exhaust leak. With repair, you will notice that the vibration ends.

6. Loose exhaust pipe

A loose exhaust pipe is a clear sign of an exhaust leak. It should be repaired immediately lest it causes more serious problems that could result in the whole exhaust system overhaul.

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