Your vehicle’s exhaust system plays an integral role in controlling performance, emissions, and acceleration. And while a poorly functioning exhaust may not present an immediate threat to your safety, it can present an immediate threat to your bank account in the form of high fuel costs and potentially, engine damage.


If you’ve noticed unusual vehicle issues and believe you may have an exhaust problem on your hands, there’s a good chance you’re correct. Read on to learn about four of the most common signs of a damaged exhaust from the auto mechanics at AA Auto Tech


Unusually Loud Exhaust

Has your once-quiet exhaust suddenly become noisier than usual? Does it sound like you recently upgraded to an aftermarket system? If so, you likely have an exhaust leak on your hands.


While your vehicle’s muffler — which sits at the end of the exhaust system — is designed to temper the noise the exhaust naturally creates, if there’s a leak in the beginning or the middle of the system, some of that noise ends up escaping. Typically, you’ll notice an unusually noisy exhaust when you rev the engine or accelerate. If that’s when you’re hearing the sound, it’s time to schedule a visit to your auto mechanic to have the system inspected. 


Sluggish Acceleration

Your vehicle’s exhaust system is designed to optimize performance, acceleration, and emissions. And when there’s a problem in the system, you’ll inevitably notice a decline in performance. One of the most obvious signs of declining performance is sluggish acceleration, so if your vehicle appears to be speeding up slower than usual, it probably has an exhaust problem.


A number of exhaust issues can cause slowed acceleration, and the only way to determine what’s causing the performance decrease is with a thorough inspection. Take your vehicle to a licensed auto mechanic who can examine the system and perform any necessary repairs.


Declining Fuel Economy

If your vehicle has an exhaust problem, the engine gradually becomes less efficient. Essentially, that means it must work harder and consume more fuel to produce the power necessary to operate the vehicle.


If you’ve noticed a gradual or sudden decline in fuel economy, that may indicate a problem with your exhaust; however, a number of issues can ultimately decrease fuel economy. To determine whether a damaged exhaust is the culprit behind your higher-than-normal fuel consumption, schedule an exhaust inspection with an auto mechanic at your earliest convenience.


Strange Odors During Vehicle Operation

Most exhaust systems feature a catalytic converter, which functions to control the emissions produced by the system and mask the smell of burning fuel exhaust. But if there’s a leak in the exhaust system prior to the catalytic converter, you’ll likely notice an unusual, pronounced odor when you operate your vehicle.


If you smell anything strange while driving your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to have the issue checked out by a qualified auto mechanic. Several problems can produce odd odors during vehicle operation, and if you fail to have the issue examined, you could end up with more extensive damage to critical mechanical components.


AA Auto Tech: Providing Comprehensive Auto Repair In the Twin Cities Since 1995

When you need the expertise of licensed, experienced auto mechanics, bring your vehicle to our team at AA Auto Tech. We specialize in a wide variety of auto repair and parts replacement services and have proudly served Twin Cities vehicle owners for over 20 years. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give our Hastings, MN office a call today at 651-437-2218 or contact us online, and we’ll be in touch.