Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Pipe/Tube

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.


Next Step

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The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Exhaust and Emission System Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

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Recent Exhaust and Emission System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(4)

Rating Summary
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Pedro

22 years of experience
33 reviews
Pedro
22 years of experience
Infiniti Q60 V6-3.0L Turbo - Exhaust and Emission System - Woodland Hills, California
Very professional and honest. Was fortunate to have him be the one to show up. Thank you Pedro!

Anthony

28 years of experience
113 reviews
Anthony
28 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata L4-2.4L - Exhaust and Emission System - Moriches, New York
Anthony was very knowledgeable in diagnosing the problem with my car. explained everything that needed to be done in terms that I could understand. I would use this service again.

MICHAEL

33 years of experience
184 reviews
MICHAEL
33 years of experience
Mercury Mountaineer V6-4.0L - Exhaust and Emission System - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Did everything he could to track down a emissions code, after all recommended to replace a bad PCM.

Whitney

39 years of experience
783 reviews
Whitney
39 years of experience
Kia Sedona V6-3.8L - inspection - Santa Clara, California
Parts acquisition was a little late because Whitney has only lived here for a couple of weeks (didn't know, traffic, shops and shop schedules), but once he arrived, I felt I was in good hands. He was a consummate professional. I'm very happy with YourMechanic.com and Whitney.

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