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What Are the Signs of Exhaust System Problems?

Your vehicle's exhaust system is one of the largest systems in your car, stretching from the engine all the way to the exhaust pipe. The nice thing about your exhaust system is that it can clue you into its condition fairly easily. For example, a roaring tailpipe could imply problems in your muffler. Odorous and dark exhaust fumes, on the other hand, can signify several issues in your car's engine or exhaust system.


A solid and healthy exhaust system is attributed to keeping your car running silently, maintaining fuel efficiency, and reducing the hazardous output of gases from your engine. Some states (and counties) even go as far as requiring vehicle owners to pass emission tests to ensure everyone's safety.


What Are the Symptoms of Exhaust System Problems?

If part of the exhaust system is not functioning correctly, you will likely notice the following symptoms:

Smell of Gasoline

The exhaust system parts running under your car are subject to very high temperatures, road debris, moisture, and scraping, leading to rust and holes. A break in any exhaust parts could lead to gas leaking into the vehicle cabin or out of your pipe. 

Smoke and Burnt Smell

Leaking exhaust fumes are very hot and could burn any synthetic parts of your car. As a result, your nose may catch a burning smell. In some cases, you may see smoke emanating from under the hood.

Hissing Engine

Another sign of a broken or rusted exhaust part is a powerful hissing sound originating from the engine gasket. It is most noticeable when the engine is cold or while accelerating.

Loud Exhaust

If you do not have a functioning muffler, you may hear thunderous roars coming from the backend of your vehicle. Not only will this disrupt your community, but it can be damaging other parts of your car as well.

Reduced Fuel Economy

If you're fueling up more than usual (under the same driving habits), you may be dealing with a catalytic converter or oxygen sensor issue. Both are integral to the exhaust system and play a role in telling your automobile how much fuel is needed. If these components are problematic, it could cause extra gasoline to be pumped through your engine, leading to decreased fuel efficiency.


A properly maintained vehicle is the best approach to ensure you don't run into any problems, particularly exhaust problems. Our ASE-certified techs are apt to take on any exhaust challenges that may be coming your way. If you need any repairs, please give us a call at (704) 343-8431 or visit Pete's Auto Service today.

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