Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Exhaust Pipe/Tube

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

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: Black exhaust - 2004 Honda CR-V

Black smoke coming from the exhaust is usually an indication of a rich fuel condition. When this happens, it can be the result of many things such as faulty fuel injectors, a failing mass air flow sensor, or a faulty...

Q: Why Do Some Exhausts Smell Bad?

The most common reasons for an exhaust system to smell bad is the result of the thermal reaction that occurs within the catalytic converter. The temperatures inside catalytic converters run around 1200F to 1600F. The front substrate inside the catalytic...

Q: An exhaust leak on 1994 Chevy V8 with idling

In the intake manifold, you're not going to get exhaust leaks because that's the intake. All the systems there are the stuff that's coming in, not the stuff that's coming out of the exhaust. You can hear the exhaust...