How to fix car exhaust leaks

When leak occurs in the exhaust system, you’ll get to hear the deafening sound or louder roar of the car’s exhaust than normal. People easily get to know that you are passing by from the road. Well, this is not only embarrassing, but also irritating, especially the way your car makes the noise on the calm environment. In this case, all you need to do is to do something with the exhaust pipe and repair it as soon as possible.

Fixing car exhaust leaks
Fixing car exhaust leaks

Difficulty Level: Moderately Challenging

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Resources Required:

1. Eye protection to prevent your eyes from rust, dirt and toxic chemicals which can drop in

2. Metal snips

3. Jubilee clips

4. Wheel ramps or axle stands

5. Screwdriver. Take the flat head which will match the jubilee clips

6. Arrange one empty tin can

7. Find an exhaust repair paste which you’ll get any car spares store

8. Assorted pliers, thumpy things and spanners

9. Wear a cloth which you doesn’t wear outside as stains can stuck to it which are hard to remove

10. Also wear an old hat or scarf to protect your hair from the dirty stains

Estimate Cost: $15 - $30


1. Find the cause

Your first job is to arrange all the materials and tools which are required to fix the problem. Once you’re done with the first step, jump to the next. Here, you have to find the cause. This is easy. Your car will roar like extra litres have been added to the engine. Find the hole on the exhaust pipe and you’re job will be easier to fix. If you still couldn’t find the leak, then run your fingers from the pipe and you’ll feel the breeze coming out of the leak. It’s the escaping fumes which you need to fix up, but be extra cautioned as the exhaust pipe remains much hotter than you think. It can burn your hand or finger as well. So just try to feel the air passing by rather than touching the hot pipe.

2. Check whether the problem is from inside or outside

In many cases, the problem occurs from inside which means extra work. Your exhaust can break from inside by creating an odd-shape which needed to be fixed. Use the snips, turn the can and make it a sheet of steel which can be rolled to create a small metal to fit into the exhaust. However, use everything carefully as sharp edges can make you hurt. Slid in the rolled can to the exhaust and fit it well to fill the leakage.

In other case, if the break is at the straight section then you can consider wrapping the can from outside the break. The can will be wrapped around in such a way that the gap will be filled and locked properly through jubilee clips.

The can rolled and placed to the exhaust already did its work, but it is not safe to move the car with unclear fume-tight work. The loose section has to be pulled up tightly against the fixed section. Fix the loose section of the exhaust and the other part to the jubilee clips, making both the parts a fixed section. Tighten both the clips and you will be able to pull the broken ends of the exhaust. Use exhaust fixing paste and leave it to fix. Well, you can use the paste through your finger, but if your skin is broken or wounded, then it is recommended to use gloves or use a tool to apply the paste. Once it is fixed, you can cut loose the jubilee clips.

Well, this is not a lasting job; neither a great engineering. However, it costs you somewhat $10 including the paste and the clips. At least, much cheaper than what professionals charge you. If you go to a garage to fix it, they will no doubt ask you to replace with an all new exhaust. You can use this formula and make your car run effectively for another six months.

Frequently asked questions:

1. How do I find an exhaust leak?

You need another person’s help to locate a leak. Race the engine not too hard and ask someone to examine the breeze which might leak out of the pipe under the chassis. You can see the leaking smoke which is even visible from your naked eye. Once you find the leak, you will then understand whether you need a replacement of pipe, joint gasket, and muffler or need a welding. Also make sure not to run the engine in a closed garage as CO2 emission is toxic and can harm the inhaler if taken for long time. It can even choke a person to death. So find an open space to do this job or an open garage.

2. What all problems you can face from exhaust gases?

It is the carbon monoxide which can bring headache, nausea and drowsiness. It is better to treat the problem in open air or let the hazardous gas go away from the garage or the packed room. Continuous inhaling of this gas will bring uneasy feeling, upset stomach and breathing problem.

3. How to recognize that it’s a leak?

The moment your car starts roaring loudly, you’ll get to know the problem. Besides, you can get down the car safely and locate the leak which spews out of the hole. Let the engine run, put the car in neutral or in park and the brake set to parking and head to the down side of the car to hear the leak.

4. My Honda City sounds weird and I think its manifold. The sound comes close from the front, what can it be?

If in case it’s an exhaust manifold leak then you do have to replace it. Besides, it can even be just the gasket.

Quick tips:

1. Find proper tools which will help you do your job effectively without any hassle. If you find it difficult to locate the leak, it is better to let the professionals handle this.

2. The problem can even be huge so first of all check for yourself and if you fail to locate then move to the garage and get it fixed at nominal charge.

3. The older the exhaust, the more risky it might be. So be very safe when you enter under the car to locate and fix the problem.

4. Unused cloth, face covered and cap will be the better options when you go underneath the car.

5. Tighten the U-bolts and clips properly as you wouldn’t like the exhaust coming out loose.

Things to watch out for:

1. Head underneath the car and examine the exhaust pipe. You need to understand the construction of the exhaust and whether or not you’ll be able to remove it.

2. After understanding and locating the leak, turn off the ignition of the car as you need to work on it without letting your fingers or hand burn through nasty exhaust.

3. The exhaust needs to be cooled for at least an hour so that you don’t have to work by wearing gloves on your hands.

4. Check out if the exhaust system is welded as you might find it difficult to fix it by yourself. For this you need a welder and cutting torch.

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