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5 Signs That Point Toward Car Exhaust Leaks

by Emilia Latvala

Exhaust systems perform an important role for your vehicle and for you. Basically, your car's exhaust system eliminates dangerous emissions from the engine and converts them into less toxic gases which are then eliminated into the atmosphere through the tailpipe. When an exhaust system suffers leakage, there's a high possibility that these dangerous gases could find their way into the passenger compartment, placing your life and that of other passengers in serious risk due to inhalation of poisonous gases. For any motorist, it is imperative that they are aware of the tell-tale signs of a car exhaust leak. Here are 5 symptoms that call for immediate car exhaust repair by a professional mechanic.

Loud engine noise

This is perhaps the most common symptom of an exhaust leak. A sharp ticking or tapping sound that is loudest when you start the engine and lowers down as the car warms up usually points to an exhaust leak. As the emissions escape, your engine will rumble noisily and this symptom is more apparent during acceleration. Generally, the nearer to the engine the leakage is the noisier it is.


If you notice the gas pedal constantly vibrating while driving, particularly during acceleration, then this points to a possible exhaust leak. Note that even the smallest of leaks can cause your car to vibrate because the emissions are escaping at high speed. Bigger leaks usually generate greater vibrations that may be felt all across the car but typically they will be experienced more in the gas pedal, floor boards as well as the steering wheel.

Fuel economy

If you constantly have to fill up your tank more frequently than usual, have your car exhaust diagnosed by a mechanic. Just like the vibrations, excessive fuel use points towards something wrong with your vehicle. Due to exhaust leakages, your engine is forced to work harder which necessitates more fuel.


The main objective of the exhaust system is to release the dangerous emissions out of the back of your car. If you are able to smell the exhaust gases from the passenger compartment of your car, then this is probably an indication of an exhaust leak, which might be a hazardous one.

Engine light malfunction

An exhaust leak that is situated anywhere in front of the oxygen sensors can permit fresh air to infiltrate the exhaust system. As a result, the sensors will read incorrectly and might cause the engine light to switch on unnecessarily.

Delaying a necessary car exhaust repair will ultimately cost more than tackling the problem promptly. Contact a car repair shop when you notice any of the above-mentioned signs.