Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Pipe/Tube

exhaust pipe

Internal combustion engines produce fumes known as exhaust in their normal operation. The exhaust fumes exit the engine’s cylinders after combustion and flow through the vehicle’s exhaust system for expulsion from the tailpipe. The exhaust system is made up of a series of metal pipes that transport the exhaust fumes to the rear, or sides of the vehicle where they can be safely released. While the exhaust system is relatively simple in its operation, it plays an important role in engine performance. Any issues with the system or its pipes can cause problems with the drivability of the vehicle. Usually a bad or failing exhaust pipe or tube will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential issue.

1. Excessively loud exhaust making hissing sounds

One of the first symptoms of a problem with the exhaust pipe is an excessively loud exhaust. If any of the exhaust pipes or tubes break or crack, they can cause an exhaust leak that will result in an excessively noisy engine. The exhaust may produce a hissing or tapping sound that may become more pronounced during acceleration.

2. Smell of raw gasoline from exhaust

Another common symptom of a possible problem with the exhaust tubes is a noticeable exhaust smell. If any of the exhaust systems pipes or tubes become damaged and leak, the exhaust fumes may find their way into the cabin, giving off a smell of raw gasoline.

3. Decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency

Engine performance issues are another symptom of a potential problem with the exhaust tubes or pipes. If the pipes become damaged or corroded, they can sometimes produce an exhaust leak that can cause the vehicle to experience performance issues. An exhaust leak from a broken pipe can cause the vehicle to experience a decrease in power, acceleration, and fuel efficiency due to the loss of backpressure.

4. Hanging or dragging exhaust pipe

Another more serious symptom of a problem with an exhaust pipe or tube is hanging or dragging exhaust pipes. If any of the pipes break, they can sometimes hang or drag underneath the vehicle. The pipes may be visible from the sides of the vehicle, or may make noise if they contact the ground.

While exhaust systems are built specifically to withstand the high stress and heat conditions associated with engine exhaust, they are still prone to corrosion and rust over time. Usually a problem with the exhaust system will be quite obvious. If not for the noise usually produced, for the effect on engine performance that usually occurs. If you suspect that your vehicle may be having an issue with an exhaust pipe or tube, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car needs an exhaust pipe or tube replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


Related questions

Q: What headers are good for this car we can't find one that is good need help?

Hello there, exhaust manifold or header issues are common on your 1990 Toyota Celica. The best bet for finding a proper fitting exhaust manifold is to get a OEM or OEM replacement part. This indicates the part will function and...

Q: Gas fumes in car

The fuel pump on your vehicle mounts underneath your back seat. From the fuel pump to the engine, the lines run along the underside of your car. The fuel pump and lines need to be inspected visually to verify where...

Q: My car starts then stallsafter a few seconds and won't start again

Hello. The steps you have taken at this point are all appropriate, and help to eliminate a lot of the electrical components that can cause stalling. You may be looking at a mechanical issue instead of an electrical one. You...