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Identifying and Locating an Exhaust Leak

Do you suspect that your car may have an exhaust leak? While an engine tick may indicate an oil leak, it could also mean an exhaust leak. The check engine light may come on or you may even smell antifreeze.

If you notice any of these signs, it may benefit you to check for a leak yourself, before you head to your local Utah auto shop. This can ensure that you know what you’re dealing with, before you go.

It is relatively easy to check for an exhaust leak, if you have the ability to get under the vehicle. But, you do need to make sure that the engine has cooled before you start. Not only does heat expand the metal, hiding leaks from view, but you could actually burn yourself as well.

Start at the engine, following each connector until you get to the tailpipe. Look for holes or visible cracks. The connectors are your most likely culprits, so check these all thoroughly.

The exhaust manifold can warp and form a leak. Examine the exhaust manifold carefully, being sure to look at the gasket that connects it to the cylinder head. The gasket may have cracked.

Moving to the exhaust pipe itself, you may find areas that have rusted out, or cracks along the surface. Rust may just be on the surface, but it may also have permeated through to the other side. Cracks are commonly found where the pipe bends around the rear axle.

You may still be at a loss as to where the leak is, after checking all of these things. If you are brave enough, and have the skill and ability, you can have someone help you by blocking the exhaust pipe while you listen or feel for leaks. This will increase the pressure, making leaks more noticeable. Whatever you do, however, do not touch any hot metal.
If you have discovered the leak, you can get an idea of what the expense will be, when you take it in to be repaired. The Utah auto shop can probably save you some time on the labor bill, if you have diagnosed the problem yourself.

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09 May, 2011

Mufflers

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