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Is it ok/safe to drive my car with an exhaust leak or issue?
Your car’s exhaust system is comprised of a catalytic converter, two oxygen sensors, one or two mufflers, and a tail pipe. What all does it do? It helps route harmful fumes away from the engine and passenger cabin, it converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, and it reduces engine noise. Some common signs of exhaust issues are:
- Check engine light: Many times a check engine light can mean that there is an issue with a restricted catalytic converter, or “cat.”
- Decreased fuel efficiency: Although decreased fuel efficiency can mean a great many things such as incorrect tire pressure, bad fuel injectors or worn out spark plugs, an exhaust leak is also a reason for this phenomenon. If you notice your MPGs have dropped then you may be in need of an exhaust system repair.
- Decreased power and acceleration: Eventually a restricted exhaust system will begin to affect your engine performance. It will cause your car to be unable to accelerate as quickly. As is true with most car problems, the situation will only worsen if it is not addressed by qualified technicians.
- Strange or loud noises: Loud noises coming from your exhaust system could mean that you have a crack or break in your exhaust pipes. A rattle sound can indicate a loose or broken exhaust mount. Moreover, a hissing sound coming from your exhaust system – especially as it is accelerating – can also be as sign that your exhaust system needs to be looked at. Eventually, a cracked pipe could lead to dangerous fumes being redirected into the cabin of your car. It can also damage parts near the leak and even cause a fire. Obviously, this can pose a danger to passenger and driver safety. Thus, if you hear loud or strange noises emanating from your exhaust system you should take it to a qualified mechanic immediately.
- Exhaust smell: You should never smell exhaust in the cabin of your car. If you do then this is a sure sign of an exhaust problem as redirecting these kinds of fumes is one of the primary functions of your exhaust system.
- Wear and tear: All things break down eventually. If you have an older vehicle some of its systems are bound to become less efficient over time. In this case, you may wish to look at one of our quality, European made used cars.
These are just a few ways to know that your car may have an exhaust problem. The best way to prevent this and other problems is to be sure to have factory recommended maintenance performed on your car at the suggested intervals so that the exhaust system can be visually inspected.
To answer the question, “Can I drive my car with a broken exhaust pipe or other exhaust issue?”, as you can see, the answer really is no. It is best to have any problem with your exhaust system checked out by a qualified technician to avoid further damage to your vehicle, or even something as severe as harmful fumes in your cabin and/or a potential fire.
Autohaus is here for you five days a week. Give us a call 248-549-3636, or request an appointment here.
We service the Royal Oak, Ferndale, Farmington Hills, Beverly Hills, Berkley, Southfield, Franklin, Oak Park and surrounding areas.