The vitality and functioning capacity of your car is generally determined by the soundness of your exhaust system. The intricate and complex network consists of several different components that only execute their role well when in cooperation with one another. When one sector of the set-up fails or falls behind, the entire system will malfunction. While a perfect exhaust system that will never break down is certainly ideal, things don’t always go the way we want them to. This article explores some common exhaust problems, and how to deal with them.

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Common Exhaust System Issues

A spoiled oxygen sensor, leaking exhaust pipes, smoke emission, corroded materials, faulty hangers, strong vibrations, and loud feedback sounds from the engine are common signs of degeneration of an exhaust system. Whilst the occasional problem is fine, if you’re encountering more than one issue at hand, you might want to replace your entire exhaust system with a firehouse exhaust ventilation system vendor.

Amplified Engine Sounds 

The first and most identifiable warning sign of an exhaust leak is an abnormally loud engine sound. This is a common indicator of a leak along the joints of the exhaust system, or within the system’s manifold. Not only would you have to deal with a louder engine sound, but hazardous gases may begin infiltrating into the body of the car. Again, this is potent and dangerous to your health. It is thus critical to send your vehicle for repair to solve this issue. 

Defective Oxygen Sensor

Despite modern-day automotive having several in-built oxygen sensors, it only takes one malfunction before your entire vehicle exhaust system begins to get confused and shuts down. When this happens, the vehicle’s engine program is unable to accurately level out the air to fuel ratio needed to run the system. If left untreated, having little air and too much gas will potentially lead to an increase in temperature and end up choking your catalytic converter –– all of which will result in extensive damage to your car and its exhaust system. 

Leaking Exhaust Pipes

The traffic condition that you usually drive in affects the longevity of your car’s exhaust system. Unsurprisingly, the harsher the road, the tougher it is for your vehicle. Therefore, the exhaust systems of automobiles that are frequently exposed to poor road conditions generally have a shorter lifespan than those that aren’t exposed to such road conditions. Driving over bumps and potholes makes the car shake a lot, wearing out fragile points like the interlinks in the exhaust system. If they get broken, hazardous toxic gases will seep out and pose severe health risks to the people in the vehicle.  

Seek professional help at the first sign of an exhaust leak. As visual cues might not be obvious, another indicator would be the smell of gas. Be vigilant and act immediately if you catch a whiff of something abnormal. 

Smoke Emission 

Regardless, it’s never a good omen when you see smoke coming out of a car. However, it might be handy to know what the different smoke colors mean, and how best to treat the issue. 

Blue smoke suggests that there is oil burning in the combustion chamber. This could have been triggered by many things including old cylinder walls, the positive crankcase ventilation system, piston rings, or even the valve seals and guides.

On the other hand, black smoke typically signals that there is excessive burning of fuel and gas, which poses an environmental hazard and can waste your money. This could have been caused by a choked air filter or a fuel injector that was blocked.  

White or grey smoke is an indicator that the engine’s coolant has leaked into the exhaust system and is burning inside the combustion chamber. This could be due to a broken head gasket, cylinder head, or engine block. 

A smoking car is never in good shape, no matter what the color of the smoke is. If you observe your vehicle emitting smoke, dial for a professional’s help as this demands immediate attention. 

Rust And Corrosion

Rust is the worst nemesis to an exhaust system and this is most often observed in cars that regularly drive short distances per trip, as opposed to taking longer ones. Short-distance drives allow water vapor to gather inside the system, yet leave them no time to evaporate, because the temperature in the exhaust system has not managed to heat up sufficiently. Subsequently, the prolonged exposure to water vapor will begin to rust and corrode from the inside out. Moreover, if you drive frequently in cold climates, the salt found in ice can also result in rust if left unattended. Hence, you should always go to a mechanic to have regular checks on your vehicle. 

Spoilt Hangers

Hangers are the little structures that hold onto your exhaust system and protect them when you drive, making sure they don’t get damaged from impact. While they’re good protectors, these hangers aren’t indestructible themselves. The moment the hangers give way, the entire exhaust structure will no longer be fixed in place and become loose. The excess movement from the exhaust pipes will cause them to bump and hit against the car’s interior as it drives across bumpy or uneven roads, which may create dents, cracks, and lead to broken pipes. Hence, it is vital to routinely inspect the little guardians of your exhaust system from time to time. 


Strong vibrations coming through your steering wheel or accelerator are warning signs that your car’s exhaust system is failing. In severe cases, these vibrations may even cause your vehicle to shake vigorously whilst on the road. Not only is this detrimental to your car’s health, but it also threatens the safety of yourself, your passengers, as well as those on the road. We strongly recommend taking your car to an automobile shop for fixing should you notice unordinary vibrations.  

How to Avoid Issues of an Exhaust System

For optimal vehicle performance, we recommend going for annual or bi-annual checkups to prevent dealing with these exhaust system failures. Whether you’re just there to fix your engine light, repair exhaust leaks, or for regular maintenance checkups, there’s no harm in letting professionals inspect if there’s anything amiss in your car –– they may be able to find something that you might not have noticed! 


If there is only one takeaway from this article, let it be that you should schedule regular maintenance for your vehicle at the local automobile workshop to prevent exhaust system problems. These issues are certainly avoidable so long as you put in the effort to do so. 


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