Exhaust Leak Service
If there’s a burning aroma lingering in your cabin (and you didn’t just drive by a smokestack) Exhaust Leak service should go right to the top of your To-Do list. Behind those yucky fumes you smell, more poisonous gasses may be sneaking into your cabin -- that you can’t smell.
Since you can’t always smell an exhaust leak, pay attention to any changes in your vehicle’s acceleration performance. Book an appointment at the first sign of sluggish pickup, backfiring, funny noises, or a vibrating gas pedal. (Better yet: have your exhaust system checked regularly at Midas.)
An exhaust leak is a hole (or other defect) in your vehicle’s exhaust system that lets toxic exhaust fumes enter your cabin instead of exiting your vehicle through the tailpipe. Engine exhaust contains poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, phosphorus, metals such as lead, and unburned fuel (hydrocarbons). An exhaust leak can endanger you and your passengers if the fumes build up in your cabin faster than your car’s ventilation system can evacuate them. Exhaust leaks can also compromise your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and performance, make your ride noisier, and damage your catalytic converter.
A leak can develop anywhere along the parts of a vehicle exhaust system:
- Exhaust valve and piston: Engine parts that force exhaust fumes out from the combustion chamber (where they are created) to the exhaust manifold.
- Exhaust manifold: The path from the piston to the catalytic converter.
- Catalytic converter: Converts some toxins to carbon dioxide (CO2) and water for cleaner emissions -- though the exhaust is still poisonous in confined spaces (and CO2 is a greenhouse gas).
- Exhaust pipe: Carries the cleaner exhaust gasses to the muffler.
- Muffler: Reduces the noise of combustion and expulsion of exhaust.
- Tailpipe: Where exhaust leaves your vehicle.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Vehicles (AEN-208) from Iowa State University, Colleges of Agriculture Engineering and Biological Sciences. Prepared by T.H. Greiner, Ph.D., P.E. Extension Agricultural Engineer.↩
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: What Is It? from Harvard Medical Publishing, June 2019.↩
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning FAQ from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.↩
- Midas Closer Look Vehicle Check™ includes visual checks of brakes, battery, air filter, fluids, belts, and hoses.↩