How To Fix An Exhaust Leak In Different Ways – Read Our Solutions

Do you own a car? Is its exhaust system in good condition? Do you smell some strange gas your car?

If so, your car's exhaust system needs an immediate check. The exhaust system is a very fundamental part of your car and when not in proper operation can result in many perils.

What Is The Work Of An Exhaust System?

The exhaust system of your car performs a meek task, which is technical to some extent. The primary function is to channel exhaust gases to a safe location. Herein, the obvious safest place should be somewhere outside your car.

Moving on, the secondary purpose of your exhaust system is to dampen the sound of high-velocity gases while escaping from your tailpipe and sound from explosions that occur in your engine.

Depending on whether you are accelerating, downshifting, or just idling, your engine will vibrate and move quite a bit. Therefore, the dangerous fumes should be quietly and quickly transported to the back of your car.

Exhaust Leak 

Car Exhaust Leak

One of the most common dilemmas that occur in the auto repair industry is the exhaust leak. An exhaust leak is something that is imperceptible but can cause you much harm if it is not repaired as soon as possible.

Why Exhaust Leak Is Dangerous?

In the auto repair trade, an exhaust leak has always been considered as a problem requiring immediate attention. There are two reasons for this.

1. Car Performance

Reduce Car Performance

First, it will reduce your car's performance because the exhaust system is designed to control both the emissions and the gas mileage of your car.

2. Health


Next, this problem poses a serious health risk to all passengers of the car, as the exiting exhaust gases will also enter the car.

exhaust gases in car

How To Fixing An Exhaust Leak  

Now that you know what a leaking exhaust can do, it is important that you do everything you can to repair it. The best way to handle this is to hire a good mechanic.

However, if you have the necessary tools to solve this problem, or are in the middle of nowhere; here are some guidelines to help you find the leak all by yourself.

1. How To Detect An Exhaust Leak

Recognizing an exhaust leak helps you save some cash you could have used to hire an expert. If you self-diagnose the leak yourself, you need to know which parts need to be repaired or replaced. About 20 minutes is the time required to know whether if your exhaust is leaking or not.

The knowledge you have to fix the leak would be useless if you cannot find it. Finding the leak takes time depending on its size.

One of the problems you should know is that if the leak is a small one, it usually shuts off after you have used the car for a certain amount of time because the exhaust will expand and seal the leak due to heat.

Therefore, if you think the leak is a small one and you cannot find it, it would be better for you to look for it after you have cooled your car.

Below are some ways to help you detect where the leak on your exhaust is

Hissing Sound

Hissing Sound

The car front should be as high as possible. Next, place two jacks under the front suspension that supports the front end of the air.

Get under the car at the front. Call a friend to plug the car's exhaust with a rolled-up rag or towel. A sputtering or hissing sound will be heard next. The location of your exhaust leak is right where there is the hissing noise.

Tail Plug


The first thing you can try is to plug your tail. When you do this, make sure your emergency brakes are on. Start your car and gently accelerate. Since the tail is clogged, the vapors go from where the leak is located.

Physical Way

The other way of doing things is to get under the car and look for the leak physically. Leaks usually occur at welds, joints, and corroded areas. They also have physical signs that will help you locate them, such as black carbon buildup from exhaust fumes and small patches of burnt paint.

Related: Top quality wheel paint for your car.

2. Fix The Leak In Two Ways

Soon after detecting the leak, it is time to fix things up. Below are the two simplest ways to fix the leak.

Replace The Gasket

Replace The Gasket

If you find your exhaust leak in joints or around the exhaust manifold, the solution is to seal the leak by replacing the gasket. However, remember that the screws on the gasket can be hard to loosen, as they can be rusty.

Welding or Replacing The Entire Exhaust

If the leak is coming from a hole in your exhaust system, it can be challenging to repair on your own.  In this case, you will have to weld close the hole and replace the exhaust wholly.

Let’s Answer Some Frequently Asked Questions

1. Water is dripping from the exhaust, is there a problem?

Water dripping from the exhaust pipe is not necessarily a cause for concern, as a certain amount of water is a natural by-product of your engine's combustion process and does not indicate the presence of water in your exhaust and muffler.

2. Can water in the exhaust damage the muffler or exhaust components?

Considering that water is a very corrosive substance - if it has enough time, it can wear through any material - like water dripping from your exhaust pipes will reduce the life of your muffler and exhaust system.

3. What is an exhaust header?

An exhaust header is a very vital automotive part that contributes to the performance of the vehicle. The small performance gain provided by an exhaust header is essential to high-performance riders, who often make other modifications to their vehicles to increase the speed.

4. Is rust the leading cause of exhaust leak?

Rust is not the only problem that can cause severe problems with your exhaust system. If a vehicle has poor fuel economy or power loss, the exhaust system may have an internal restriction or blockage.

5. Does an exhaust leak have a threat to the engine?

An interruption in the exhaust means that the engine has to run harder and rougher, which puts more strain on the engine. This will result in power loss, and the closer the leak is to the engine, the more it will be damaged.


Exhaust leaks can be very hazardous as they leave exhaust fumes in the cab of your car. Inhaling exhaust leaks can cause discomfort in the short-term, but can cause health problems such as death!

From the point, you smell strange gases in your car, opt for an immediate check by an exhaust workshop or reference this article and get a clue on what to do next.

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