What Are the Most Common Exhaust System Problems?


The exhaust system in your car is made up of several components. They include the muffler, exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, hanging brackets, exhaust piping, and an oxygen sensor. A problem with any of these parts will result in exhaust problems such as loud exhaust sound, poor fuel mileage, funny smells, rattling noises, vibrations, smoky exhaust gases, and a loss of power or acceleration. Your check engine light may also be activated if there is an issue with the exhaust system.

What Causes Exhaust Problems?

Several factors can cause problems with your exhaust system. These include:

  • Rust: This is the most common cause of exhaust problems and results from the accumulation of water or salt in the exhaust system. Rust will corrode the exhaust piping, joints, and other components leading to leaks and breakages. Have your car inspected by a mechanic if you see any signs of rust on your vehicle.
  • Blockage in the Catalytic Converter: The catalytic converter eliminates harmful gases from your exhaust before they are released into the air. A blocked converter will result in funny smells like rotten eggs. It may also make the underside of your car warmer than usual.
  • Broken Exhaust Manifold Gasket: The gasket is a tight seal between the cylinder and exhaust manifold. When the gasket is broken or worn out, exhaust gases leak, causing a hissing or tapping sound.
  • Loose Brackets: These secure the exhaust to the underside of your vehicle. Loose brackets will cause the exhaust to hang or drag on the ground. Have them tightened or replaced to prevent the exhaust from completely falling off.
  • Faulty Oxygen Sensor: The oxygen sensor regulates the air-fuel mixture. A faulty sensor will distort this balance resulting in loss of power or even a blocked catalytic converter.
  • Leak in the System: Any leak in the exhaust system will cause loud noises, vibrations, and smells in the vehicle. Have a mechanic inspect the exhaust system to fix any leaks within it.

When you discover problems with your exhaust system, have it checked immediately by a qualified and experienced mechanic. If you need exhaust system repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Bay Area TIre & Service Centers!