A vehicle exhaust system helps safely remove, transform, and eject the hazardous gases produced by the engine’s combustion process. If the components malfunction, it can expose the cabin to dangerous vapors as well as reduce the car’s efficiency and ease of acceleration. For these reasons, it’s important to be able to spot a problem and schedule exhaust repair services as soon as possible. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common signs of an issue.
How to Identify an Auto Exhaust Leak
1. Unpleasant Odor
The system relies on a stretch of piping that moves it from the engine, along the bottom of the vehicle, and out the back. If there’s damage anywhere along this path, vapors might be able to reach the cabin. This often results in a musty or smoky odor, but it can also smell like gasoline or diesel.
Not only do the fumes smell bad, but they can also expose the driver and passengers to harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide. As such, it’s important to seek exhaust repair immediately. Call a tow truck or leave the windows down when driving to the shop for assistance.
2. Whistling Sound
Pressure from the engine can also produce a whistling noise as the vapors escape. It’s possible to differentiate the sound from other mechanical noises because it usually only occurs when accelerating. When the leak is coming from the manifold gasket instead of the piping, the sound may occur as a loud rumbling or rush of air coming from under the hood.
3. Vibrating Pedal
The pressure of gases produced by the engine reduces the farther down the exhaust system they travel. However, when an opening closer to the engine occurs, it actually increases the pressure as the vapors try to escape from it instead of the large opening at the back.
This premature release can cause vibration through the piping, which can sometimes be felt through the gas pedal. In some cases, you can even feel the issue in the steering wheel.
If you suspect an exhaust leak in your vehicle, get back on the road quickly and safely with help from the team at JL Tire & Auto Service in Chantilly, VA. Drivers across Fairfax County rely on the local auto repair shop for reliable work at affordable rates. From exhaust repairs to routine auto maintenance and brake work, find out how they’ll assist you online or by calling (703) 327-4366.