Q: Exhaust makes putt putt noise and vibrates car.

asked by on

Just recently my car began making a putt putt putt noise coming from the exhaust. To my knowledge exhaust should come out in a steady stream rather than putts. This happens when I am in idle, in drive and in reverse. It also vibrates my entire car badly. The check engine is on and blinking which means I have a emission control system issue. I do know that I may have a small oil leak that only leaks under pressure as well as a bad o2 sensor that needs to be replaced. I do not know whether or not these two other issues would cause or affect my exhaust. Hope this helps.

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

This may be a result of a faulty oxygen sensor. As you may know the oxygen sensors which are part of your emissions system read exhaust gases to determine whether or not the appropriate amount of oxygen is present in the exhaust. Based upon this reading, this information is relayed to the car’s ECU which then makes a determination as to whether or not to add more or less fuel to the engine. When too much or too little oxygen is present, this will cause check engine light to come on. Too much oxygen may be present in the exhaust gas due to things like an exhaust leak, a vacuum leak, a faulty mass air flow sensor (causing a lean fuel condition) or faulty fuel injectors. Too little oxygen may be present in the exhaust gas may be caused by things like a clogged air filter, a failing mass air flow sensor (causing too much fuel to be introduced to the motor), bad fuel injectors or a clogged catalytic converter. When the O2 sensor is not working properly, this will cause false readings to be relayed to the computer causing inaccurate adjustments to be made to the intake and fuel system in your engine. Depending on how the adjustments are being made, this may case your car to run a bit rough resulting in a slight change to the sound of the exhaust as you have described. I would suggest having an expert from Your Mechanic come to your location to diagnose your emissions system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Exhaust makes putt putt noise and vibrates car.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: There's a lot of smoke coming from my exhaust pipe when I push on the gas or going fast

Hi there. Normally, when smoke blows from the exhaust while you're under acceleration it is due to worn out or damaged piston rings. If this happens while you're driving down the road under normal throttle, it could be caused by...

Q: Is it possible to start a car with a dead fuel pump? If so, how?

Hey there. You will need to verify whether or not the fuel pump is actually at fault before moving forward with repairs. This fuel pump is accessed under the rear seat through an access panel. If you have a bad...

Q: How to get to the windshield washer reservoir.

Your washer fluid reservoir is located in the right (passenger) side of the vehicle. To access the tank for removal/replacement, you must remove the right fender liner which is the black plastic that surrounds the interior of the wheel well....

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.