How to Replace a Broken Exhaust Support

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Your car’s exhaust system is a series of pipes, mufflers, and emission control devices that are attached end-to-end. Taken together, it’s nearly as long as your car and might weigh as much as 75 pounds or even more. The exhaust system is attached to the engine at one end and hangs from the body of the car for the rest of its length. The exhaust system must be able to soak up all the noise and vibrations from the engine, without transferring it to the body of the car and the passengers.

A series of flexible hangers keep the exhaust in place while allowing it to move with the engine. Most cars have a rigid supporting bracket, usually at the rear of the transmission that firmly attaches the engine and transmission to the exhaust pipe, so that the front of the pipe can move with the engine as it vibrates and twists with the torque reaction. If this support breaks, other parts of the exhaust like the flex pipe or the exhaust manifold are likely to crack from the strain and fail shortly afterward.

The first signs of a problem with this support may be rattling or banging noises from under the car, sometimes associated with stepping or letting off the gas pedal. You may even notice knocking and vibrations when you put the car in reverse. In some cases, you may not notice any symptoms and you may not find out about the problem before a pipe or manifold breaks unless you get an exhaust system inspection done.

Part 1 of 1: Replace the exhaust support bracket

Materials Needed

jacking the car up

Step 1: Raise the car and put it on jack stands. Look in the owner’s manual to determine the recommended jack-points on the car. These points will be slightly reinforced to handle the load of a jack.

Jack the car up and let it rest on the jack stands.

  • Note: Working under a car can be very dangerous! Be extra careful to ensure that the car is well supported and not likely to fall off the jack stands.

After you secure the car on the stands, pull the floor jack back out as you may need to put it under the exhaust later.

spraying nuts and bolts with penetrating

Step 2: Spray penetrating oil on the bolts. Exhaust system fasteners are usually rusty and it will make the whole job easier if you pre-treat all the nuts and bolts with WD 40 or some other kind of rust-removing, penetrating oil.

  • Tip: It works best if you can spray the bolts with the oil and then go do something else for a couple of hours. When you approach the job again, everything should be able to move easily.

unbolt the support

Step 3: Remove the bolts. Take out the bolts attaching the support to the transmission and the exhaust pipe. In many cases, there will be rubber dampening washers under the bolts. Save all of these parts or replace them as necessary.

replacing the support

Step 4: Install the new support. Install the new support and re-attach the exhaust pipe.

  • Tip: It might be helpful to put the floor jack under the exhaust and jack it up so that it meets the exhaust pipe before you try to put the fasteners back in.

test your work

Step 5: Test your work. Grab the exhaust pipe and give it a good shake to check for unwanted movement. Ensure that the exhaust does not bang against any other part of the car.

If everything is alright, lower the car back onto the ground and start the engine.

After a few minutes, you might see a little bit of smoke from the penetrating oil on the fasteners. Don’t be alarmed, it will stop smoking after a few minutes of running.

Take the car out for a drive and go over a few speed bumps to be sure that no part of the exhaust is banging on the car.

A broken exhaust support increases the strain on all the other attaching points of the exhaust system. Neglecting a cracked or broken support can lead to more expensive damage.

If you have any reason to suspect a problem with the exhaust system, get a trained mechanic from YourMechanic to come to your home or office and inspect the exhaust system.


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Recent Exhaust System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Exhaust System Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

52

Rating Summary
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Ira

35 years of experience
259 reviews
Ira
35 years of experience
Ford Edge - Exhaust System Inspection - Brandon, Florida
Ira was prompt and was able to diagnose the issue quickly even though it had been misdiagnosed by a chain repair shop.
Chevrolet Blazer - Exhaust System Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Ira was amazing and honest. I scheduled for the wrong service. He explained what I needed and took care of the car appropriately. Your mechanic is a fantastic service with wonderful people. If you have the option for Ira, do not hesitate!

Kyle

11 years of experience
137 reviews
Kyle
11 years of experience
Honda Accord - Exhaust System Inspection - Jenkintown, Pennsylvania
Extremely helpful! He saved me money wherever he could, he was extremely patient and answered any question I had. I strongly recommend him.
Buick Century - Exhaust System Inspection - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Very perfessional and honest and those are rare traits for a mechanic. Dude save me money and a headache! I'm using him for any of my car needs or anyone I know!

Breck

19 years of experience
562 reviews
Breck
19 years of experience
Cadillac CTS - Exhaust System Inspection - Houston, Texas
Mr. Bishop was very professional, friendly and knowledgeable about the problem my car was having with the emissions system. He explained to me in layman’s terms how and why I may have incurred this problem, which was greatly appreciated.

Chet

40 years of experience
445 reviews
Chet
40 years of experience
Chevrolet Tahoe - Exhaust System Inspection - San Diego, California
Chet always does a fantastic job and I can trust him to let me know of things that I need to take care of right now and others that will probably come up in the future because of the age of the car and the mileage.

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