Today's modern vehicles have more advanced emissions systems than ever. The exhaust control system (also know as the EVAP system) features sensitive controls, sensors and equipment to reduce emissions. Then, you have the standard exhaust system equipment like the catalytic converter, exhaust pipes and muffler that all play their part in keeping the engine healthy and minimizing the toxicity of the exhaust being put into our environment.
All cars, trucks and SUVs—new and old—require exhaust system and emissions system maintenance and repairs to keep the vehicle running right. So, how do you know if you might have an emissions/exhaust system problem? Here are some symptoms to look for, according to the Fairbanks auto repair specialists at Simard Automotive:
1. Warning Lights
Of course, the obvious sign that there is a problem is when your check engine light comes on or some other dashboard warning light is illuminated. Some new cars will give you even more specific notifications. An exhaust problem is one of the most common automotive issues that causes the check engine light to come on. In many cases, it is a tripped oxygen sensor or failing O2 sensor. However, the check engine light can illuminate for any number of different reasons, so it's a good idea to get your vehicle inspected as soon as possible.
2. Strong Exhaust Smell
If you notice the exhaust smell is stronger than usual (especially inside the car while driving), then it is a sign there may be an exhaust leak or some other concerning exhaust system or emissions problem. Any strange smell coming from your vehicle should be easy to notice and should warrant a trip to the auto shop for diagnosis and repair recommendations.
3. Loss of Fuel Efficiency
Though there are many different things that can affect your vehicle's fuel economy, the emissions system is perhaps the most impactful. If there is an exhaust system failure or emissions control system issue, you will likely notice a drop in average MPG. The engine won't run as efficiently and that will definitely hurt your fuel efficiency.
4. Weaker Performance
If the engine isn't running right because of an exhaust or emissions system problem, you will probably notice it while driving. The vehicle may surge or feel sluggish during acceleration, or the engine may sputter and stall. When the car doesn't feel right, that is an easy sign that there is likely a problem worth getting looked at by a professional mechanic.
These are just some common signs of exhaust system failure or emissions control system issues. If you are in the Fairbanks area and think something is wrong with your vehicle, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Airport Shop on Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Chevron Shop on Gaffney Rd.). You can also book your service appointment online.