How Can We Find And Fix An Exhaust Leak In Our Car?

An exhaust leak can create lots of problems. If you are lucky, it won’t cause much trouble except for making your car some weird noises. But, it is the reason of serious performance problems on a vehicle in most of the cases. It may affect the gas mileage and make the ‘check engine light’ to come on. The worst case scenario in case of a huge leak could be car’s cabin filled with toxic carbon monoxide gas. So that is why we have to find the causes and know how to find exhaust leak as soon as possible to keep safe for your vehicle. Let’s take a look for details below.

Signs that the exhaust pipe of the car has malfunction

Fuel vehicles will generate emissions for obviously. Normally, this exhaust gas will be taken out through the exhaust pipe of the vehicle. So let’s look at the signs below of how leaks are emitted through the exhaust pipes of the car, it would help you to know how to find exhaust leak and methods for exhaust leak repair.

How to find exhaust leak in your car?
How to find exhaust leak in your car? Source: HyreCar

1. The bad odor emitted from the exhaust pipe of the car

When driving a car, if you find that the discharge pipe has an unpleasant odor, which means that the exhaust pipe has been poorly operated, with poorly treated exhaust gas or simply leaky exhaust that causes a bad odor. So, this is the time when you need to replace the exhaust pipe for your car.

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2. The checking engine light glows

The engine light will illuminate if the exhaust is not up to standard. Car owners in the process of inspection, if detecting, should quickly have the direction to repair and repair in time to ensure safety when moving as well as ensure the waste into the environment in accordance with standards.

The check engine light will glow if there are any kinds of leaking emissions
The check engine light will glow if there are any kinds of leaking emissions. Source: Bankrate

3. Automotive exhaust pipe emits noises

When the vehicle is running, the exhaust pipe detects noise, and this is also an important sign that you need to check the exhaust. Typically, the exhaust will emit more noise when the exhaust is leaking. Take the vehicle to check immediately to avoid downgrade quickly if the condition is detected.

How does an exhaust leak sounds like while driving?
How does an exhaust leak can emit noises? Cre: Shutterstock

How to Find Exhaust Leak

The first step to repairing such a leak is to find it first. If you suspect that there is something wrong with your exhaust system, there are a few ways to find it.

The small exhaust leaks often show up with a little bit of soot around the outside of the pipe. So just look for that black soot while inspecting the entire exhaust system. Especially inspect the flex joints (usually the emissions are hidden under the mesh so you have to nail down to find where an exhaust leak comes from)

 exhaust leak
You have to find the leak first to repair it. Source: AxleAddict

Preparation before trick in finding exhaust leak

So, before we go to the part: How to find exhaust leak? We need to prepare few things to fulfill all the conditions needed.

The first thing is you need to grab someone to do this work with you.

Secondly,  jack your vehicle up so you can get a good view of the exhaust system (use the axle lift)

And you have to do is get under the car to have an overview of the exhaust system so with this way, you can inspect the entire thing.

How to find exhaust leak
Fully prepared before finding exhaust leak in your car. SOurce: LiveAbout

Specific step to solve the leaking emissions of your car

Step Description
1 Start the vehicle up
2 Hear the sound of your car to inspect the sound of the exhaust system
3 Take a look in your car muffler and push a new rag into the exhaust, this will make any leaks more apparent (tell your partner to look around your car while you doing this)
4 You will hear the sound of leaks clearer and more better, and there must be a small amount of leaks at the weep hole at the back of the muffler if there are any kinds of exhaust leaks in your car.
5 Take a deeper look at the exhaust system by pull the cover off.
6 Observe the manifold inside to check whether the leaks are comes from the down pipe. So it will help you to clarify the position where the leaks come out.

For more specific with step, let’s take a look in this video, it will help you to illustrate the visible ways in finding exhaust leak in your car.

How to Fix Exhaust Leak

The methods will be slightly different based on the size of the holes. You will be using an exhaust patch for tiny punctures while larger ones will need an aluminum patch.


Fixing the Leak – Smaller and Bigger

Use a steel brush to scrub the area surrounding the leak. Clean thoroughly so that there is no rust, mud, or dirt. Smoothen the clean surface with a fine grit sandpaper. It will remove the tiny particles of dirt that survived the steel brush. Rinse the scrubbed area with acetone (or nail polish if you don’t have this chemical). It will help the tape to form a stronger bond with the metal surface.

If it is a small exhaust leak, use an exhaust tape or epoxy. Follow the application instruction that comes with the tape because some bonds well with a warm surface while others need it to be wet. Use at least two layers of the tape for a stronger, tighter wrap.

exhaust leak
The methods will be different for small and bigger holes. Source: YouTube

If the hole is larger but still smaller than three inches, you can fix it with aluminum patches. Anything bigger than that will require the replacement of the entire part. You still have to apply epoxy before putting the aluminum patch over the leaking area. Use hose clamps to hold the patch securely around the exhaust pipe.

Never forget to wear goggles and gloves. Otherwise, dirt and rust particles can get into your eyes and acetone can cause irritation to the skin. Also, take the car to a servicing shop if the leak is bigger (larger than three inches).

All the information above has showed the clearly way to answer the question: How to find exhaust leak and also released some ways of exhaust leak fix while using car. If you want to know more about any maintenance tips for your own vehicle, follow us for daily updated articles to fulfill your demands.