5 Ways to Tell Your Exhaust System Needs Maintenance

Your car’s exhaust system does more than you may realize to keep your car’s performance optimal. If you’re in need of an exhaust repair, you’ll likely notice much more than just a change in the look or smell of exhaust coming out of the tailpipe, though those can also indicate an issue. Keep an eye, nose, and ear out for these few signs that you make have a problem with your exhaust system.

Don’t Ignore Your Exhaust System

If you’re worried about your exhaust system, the muffler and exhaust system experts at AAMCO Louisville are here to help. 

You Don’t Have the Same Power to Accelerate

If you’re noticing a lack of acceleration power, it could be part of your exhaust system. There are several parts of your exhaust system that impact the air-fuel mixture in your engine, which then impacts performance. The oxygen sensors, for example, monitor oxygen amounts at two different points and send that information back to your car’s computer so that fuel injectors send the right amount of fuel into your engine. If this is out of whack, that can show up as a lack of power or hesitation when trying to accelerate.

image of mechanic smiling with clipboard

An Exhaust Leak Impacts Engine Performance

Another possibility is an exhaust leak in the wrong place, causing an imbalance of air and fuel in your car’s engine. An exhaust leak anywhere on your car should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid more serious exhaust repairs or even health problems.

A Tank of Gas Doesn’t Last as Long as it Used To

If you’re noticing a lack of power, you’re also likely to notice a tank of gas doesn’t seem to last quite as long as it should. That’s because the same problems that can cause a lack of power may also impact fuel economy by sending more fuel than needed into your car’s engine. When the air-fuel ratio is thrown off, it means your engine has to work harder than usual and you risk causing more damage to other parts of your exhaust system over time.

An Exhaust Leak Can Throw off the Air-Fuel Ratio in Your Engine

When it happens in the right spot, an exhaust leak could throw off the air-fuel ratio in your engine, causing your fuel economy to take a hit. If an exhaust leak is the cause of your problems, rather than a problem with one of the sensors, it becomes an even more urgent exhaust repair that should be addressed soon.

image of mechanic pouring engine oil into vehicle

You Hear Hissing When the Engine is Running

You never want to hear strange noises coming from under the hood of your car. However, if you start to hear a hissing sound or even just a more-noisy-than-usual engine, it points to a problem with your exhaust system.

The Exhaust Manifold Gasket Could Be Faulty

The most likely cause behind the sound from your engine is a leaky exhaust manifold gasket. You’re also most likely to notice the sound on a cold start or when accelerating, so pay attention to timing. Any information you can give your mechanic about noises, location, and timing will help them find the necessary repair quicker.

image of engine belts

You Smell Burning from Under the Hood

Another side effect of a leaking exhaust manifold gasket is too much heat near the engine wiring, as well as other parts under the hood that are made of plastic. If too much heat is hitting those parts, if can cause them to melt, resulting in a burning smell after the engine has been running for a while.

You Smell Gas in the Cabin of Your Car

Finally, an exhaust leak on the underside of your car can result in some gases making their way into the passenger cabin of your car. If you start smelling gas while driving, it’s likely you need to make an appointment for an exhaust repair so that a trained mechanic can find and repair the leak.

Carbon Monoxide Can Be Fatal

It’s important to know that if you’re smelling gas in the cabin of your car, your health is also at risk. If there’s carbon monoxide making its way to you, it’s toxic and can even be fatal when inhaled for extended periods of time.

Worried About Your Car’s Exhaust System? Call AAMCO Louisville

If it’s time for an exhaust or muffler repair, there’s no one you can trust more than the mechanics at AAMCO Louisville. No matter what signs and symptoms you’ve noticed, we’ll be able to accurately diagnose and repair anything necessary to get you back on the road again, safe and sound.

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