The 7 Most Common Exhaust System Problems

A healthy exhaust and emissions system is important to have. It expels harmful fumes and gases from the engine and burns off dangerous toxins before they are sent out the tail pipe and out into the environment. If something is wrong in the exhaust system, your engine may not work properly. You may lose fuel efficiency and fail to meet emissions standards. You want to take care of your exhaust system and it will take care of your vehicle.

Here are 6 of the most common exhaust system problems according to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive:

1. Exhaust Leaks

Exhaust leaks are very dangerous for a number of reasons. They will affect the performance of the engine. The fumes can also circulate throughout the vehicle and pose a threat to your health. If your vehicle has an exhaust leak, you will want to get it diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible before bad things happen.

2. Failing Oxygen Sensor

Most modern vehicles will have as many as four oxygen (O2) sensors that monitor oxygen levels in different parts of the exhaust system. An oxygen sensor being tripped is one of the most common sources for your check engine light coming on. However, it doesn't always mean you have an actual exhaust problem. The sensors themselves are very delicate and are prone to failure. You will want to replace a faulty oxygen sensor right away and also get the entire exhaust system inspected to make sure there is no other damage.

3. Failing or Clogged Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is a key component in the emissions system as it burns off the harmful gases coming from the engine. If it fails, develops a leak or becomes clogged with pollutants, it won't function properly and it will ultimately cause bigger problems.

4. Damaged Exhaust Manifold Gasket

The manifold connects the exhaust system to the engine itself. It's gasket seals can become brittle and weak over time, so they should be replaced as needed to prevent exhaust leaks at the source.

5. Loose Brackets

Various connection points are found throughout the exhaust system and brackets hold the components securely to the undercarriage of the vehicle. If one of these connectors or brackets becomes loose, weakened or broken, you will feel more vibrations and hear rattling. If these parts aren't repaired, you could be facing damage to the bigger components if they are not secured tightly to the vehicle.

6. Damaged Muffler

If your engine seems louder than normal, then there's a good chance the muffler is damaged. It is also a common source point of exhaust leaks.

7. Rust

Rust is a constant threat here in Alaska because of our cold and wet weather throughout much of the year, and the exhaust system is one of the most susceptible to this slow killer of any metal components. Rust can gradually weaken the exhaust pipes, connection points, exhaust mounts, catalytic converter, muffler and manifold. Rust damage should always be taken seriously, especially when it comes to your exhaust system!

If you think you might have an exhaust system issue, you can contact either of Simard Automotive's two Fairbanks auto repair shops: (855) 690-0889 (Airport Shop on Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Chevron Shop on Gaffney Rd.). You can also book an exhaust system inspection appointment online.

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