Do I need a new exhaust?
The exhaust is a critical part of any vehicle with a petrol or diesel engine (although clearly not a component required on the growing number of purely electric vehicles!)
Your exhaust may not be a silent hero but it's a hero nonetheless. It does far more than simply removing fumes from the engine. The exhaust is essential in maintaining overall engine performance, fuel efficiency, reducing noise and in ensuring that your vehicle meets stringent emissions guidelines. But how can you tell when your exhaust needs replacing?
In general, exhausts are designed to last for around 5 years, but it can be far longer than this depending on a number of factors. These include the type of exhaust system, for example, stainless steel exhausts will outlast their mild steel counterparts but are more-costly.
We refer to the exhaust as a hero for various reasons. It is constantly exposed to extremely high temperatures from the exhaust engine gases, combined with often adverse road conditions. All of this, over time, can cause cracks, impact damage and holes through long term corrosion.
10 reasons you might need a new exhaust
The following are just some of the signs that may indicate an issue with your exhaust system. By no means all of these indicate that the exhaust system requires replacement:
- The exhaust is loose. Possibly a broken or detached mount but may be the result of corrosion.
- Visible rust. Surface rust is common but as corrosion progresses, it causes holes and, ultimately, system failure.
- Excessive engine noise. May be a sign that your exhaust is damaged or nearing the end of its life. The failure of internal baffles or the presence of holes can result in increased noise levels.
- Rattling. If there is a rattling sound as opposed to a roar, this may indicate that the internal components of the catalytic converter are damaged. This may be the result of impact damage, but it can also be caused by general wear and tear.
- Roaring. Indicative of a hole or loose joint.
- Lower fuel efficiency. Whilst there are a variety of possible reasons, a reduction in fuel efficiency could mean that your exhaust is leaking. This will affect the engine's performance with a commensurate effect on fuel efficiency.
- Clanking noises. This could be an indication that the exhaust - or part of it - has become detached.
- MOT emissions failure. A compromised exhaust may result in excess emissions and an MOT failure.
- Excessive deposits. If the inside of the tailpipe is showing excessive deposits, this may indicate the internal components have reached the end of their lifespan.
- Exhaust emitting from the underside of the car. An indication of a hole or other damage.
- Scraping along the road. Extremely dangerous but more common than you might think.