Signs your car’s exhaust system is failing

Signs your car’s exhaust system is failing

Feature Staff

Whether you drive a family sedan or a powerful truck, an underperforming exhaust system will dramatically affect your vehicle’s performance. The fuel economy will decrease, and the performance of your engine will suffer.

How can you know when this is happening? If you suspect something is up with your vehicle but aren’t sure what, there are some telltale signs your car’s exhaust system is failing.


If your car is extremely noisy—you hear abnormally loud exhaust noises or even a simple change in your exhaust tone—it might be a symptom of failing bellows. Any damage or wear and tear on your exhaust system will cause odd noises, and you shouldn’t ignore them. Damage to your exhaust will cost you more in fuel, and an officer could also issue you a noise citation.

Bad fuel economy

A noisy exhaust from a rusted muffler, a broken gasket, or cracks in the pipe is an obvious sign, but you should also consider whether your fuel efficiency isn’t what it used to be. This is a subtle sign that your engine is working harder to compensate for a lousy exhaust.

Slow start

If you notice you have to push harder and harder on the gas to accelerate, this is another sign there might be an exhaust leak. A lack of power when you take off from a light or even when you’re driving down the highway is another less obvious symptom—in this case, a checkup is recommended so that a mechanic can diagnose any problems.

Odd odors

If you’re noticing any odd smells, you need to get your vehicle checked immediately. A strong odor means the leak in the exhaust pipe isn’t reaching the converter. This isn’t just a severe problem for your car; it can also affect your health.

You shouldn’t ignore any loud sounds or a decrease in your vehicle’s performance. Catching exhaust problems early by recognizing the signs your car’s exhaust system is failing will save you from more costly repairs in the future.