Your car’s exhaust system is one of the largest systems in your vehicle, stretching from the engine all the way to the back of the car, although we typically only see the exhaust pipe sticking out from the back. That exhaust system clues us into the condition of our vehicle: a rumbling tailpipe could signify problems in your muffler and odorous exhaust fumes could signify a number of issues in your car’s engine or exhaust system.

A healthy exhaust system is credited with keeping your car running quietly, maintaining fuel efficiency and lessening the toxic output of fumes from your vehicle’s engine. In addition to increasing the amount you spend on gasoline, you could potentially be faced with fines for excessively loud exhaust noises or failing to pass emission tests in states where they are required, so knowing the signs of an exhaust system issue is important.

Considering the location of the exhaust system on the undercarriage of the vehicle, it’s no surprise that over time damage and wear can occur leading to some unpleasant side effects that should alert you to the need for an inspection and repair of your car’s exhaust system.


The main purposes of the exhaust system is to quiet the loud explosions that occur within your vehicle in order to run the engine, move toxic chemicals from the engine out of the back of the of the vehicle, and to convert some of those toxic fumes into less toxic fumes. If part of this system is not functioning properly you will notice:


The exhaust system components running under your car are subject to high heat, road debris, moisture, and scraping, which can lead to rust and holes developing in the parts that transfer the fumes from the front to the back of your car. A hole or crack in these parts could lead to these fumes leaking into the cabin of your car or releasing fumes from the tailpipe that are stronger smelling than usual.


Leaking exhaust gases coming from the engine are very hot and could burn any plastic pieces in your engine, leading to a burning smell and possibly smoke coming from under the hood of your car.


Another sign of a cracked or rusted exhaust component is a loud hissing sound coming from the engine, indicating an exhaust leak from the manifold gasket. This could sound like a hissing or tapping and would be most obvious when the engine is cold or while accelerating.


While some may pay for that loud rumble out of the tailpipe, if you did not add a special muffler and are noticing extremely loud noises coming from the exhaust system you should have your car checked out. Damage to the exhaust system resulting in this kind of noise could be producing extremely high temperatures in your vehicle that could damage other areas of the car and also pose a safety hazard to anyone in the vehicle.


If you’re filling up the gas tank more often ,it could be due to an issue with the catalytic converter or oxygen sensor, both responsible for telling your car how much fuel is needed. If these components are malfunctioning it would cause excess gasoline to be pumped through your engine, leading to reduced fuel efficiency.

If any of these symptoms are ignored, you will begin to notice a decrease in your car’s performance. Acceleration will feel labored and your V6 engine may start to feel like a standard 4-cylinder. It’s important to have your exhaust system checked out before it get to this point.


A properly maintained vehicle is always the best way to ensure you don’t run into these common exhaust problems. The ASE- and Bosch-certified team at Autobahn Automotive, convenient to San Antonio and Longhorn, Texas, has the experience and expertise needed help you do that.

In addition to helping you create a maintenance schedule that could prevent some of the exhaust system issues that occur naturally over time, they have the equipment and capability to make any repairs required to get your vehicle performing at its best. Autobahn Automotive will partner with you in maintaining or upgrading components of your exhaust system before they show signs of wear you will keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid costly unplanned repairs.

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