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Your exhaust system runs from the exhaust manifold to the tailpipe. It is made in several different pieces through various arrangements depending on your vehicle model. At every exhaust pipe join, there must be a gasket that prevents exhaust gases from escaping before being properly processed through the catalytic converter and the noise dampened by the muffler.
For all flared joints, there is a donut-style exhaust gasket that prevents gases from escaping into the atmosphere. It fills the gap in the flare and creates a smooth passageway for the exhaust to go through. It is made of compressed soft metal and graphite, and is subject to burning through if exposed to abnormally hot exhaust temperatures. When the exhaust donut burns, a leak forms in the exhaust system. The leak is a weak point in the exhaust where not just exhaust gases leak but high temperatures as well. This can cause premature failure of an exhaust pipe or flange and require more extensive repairs than just the exhaust donut itself.
Dangerous exhaust gases are routed out the back of the vehicle through the tailpipe so they are not able to enter the passenger compartment through gaps or holes elsewhere in the body.
Anytime an exhaust component is replaced, the related exhaust pipe flange gaskets should be replaced. If you notice excessive exhaust noise coming from underneath your vehicle, not the tailpipe, you may need one of our expert technicians to replace the exhaust pipe flange gasket, or exhaust donut.
You can be ticketed for violating noise ordinances due to a leaking exhaust pipe flange gasket. More importantly, exhaust gases from an exhaust leak can enter the passenger compartment and cause negative health conditions including sickness, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness or death. An exhaust donut leak needs to be addressed immediately.