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Advice and Tips, Exhausts, Suspension & General Mechanical

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Whether it’s a regular exhaust system or performance exhaust, sedan or your beloved 4x4 vehicle, your exhaust will only perform as well as its maintenance and upkeep.

Damaged and failing exhaust systems will affect your vehicle’s performance, fuel economy and the sound or tone of your 4x4 or car.

Let’s take a look at some common indicators for damaged or failing exhausts. If your vehicle is suffering from any of these symptoms, then bring it into Burnside Motors on the Sunshine Coast so our experts can take a look at it. Read more about our exhaust and muffler services.

Excessive Engine/Exhaust Noise

Probably the most obvious indication that there’s something wrong with your exhaust is excessive noise, or a distinct change in the tone of your exhaust. This could be due to a rusted muffler, cracks in the pipe, or a leaking manifold gasket. Anywhere that your exhaust system has been compromised will emit a loud, growling type of sound. This should not be ignored for a number of reasons. For one, you’ll lose performance and experience reduced fuel economy. You also run the risk of being fined for having an excessively loud exhaust.

Reduced Fuel Economy

A less obvious sign that your exhaust is not performing at its best is a noticeable reduction in fuel economy. Of course, this could be due to a number of factors, but it’s a definite symptom that your exhaust might be underperforming. The reason is your engine has to work harder when the exhaust is failing, causing it to burn through more fuel.

Slow Acceleration

If you find yourself having to plant your foot down further and further on the accelerator to extract power from the motor, particularly on take off from a standing start, then this is also an indicator that your exhaust system could be failing to work properly. This is often due to a leak somewhere in the exhaust, and maybe a leak that’s small enough not to emit a lot of noise.

Stench of Strong Gases

The stench of noxious gases coming from anywhere around your vehicle likely means there is a leak in the pipe before it reaches the catalytic converter, or the catalytic converter itself is damaged. This problem needs to be addressed immediately, as these poisonous gases can seep into the car’s cabin and cause serious health problems. Book your vehicle in for an expert and thorough inspection with Burnside Motors immediately. Don’t take risks with this.

Banging or Knocking Sound Beneath the Vehicle

If you hear a banging or knocking sound beneath your car, it could be that one of the exhaust mounts has come loose, or even a sign of a broken pipe. If you discover the muffler or tail pipe dragging along the ground, then this is an obvious sign that something is seriously amiss. You can’t leave your exhaust like this. The problem will need to be rectified ASAP.

Rust Caused By Condensation

Mufflers and tail pipes are prone to rust due to condensation build up. Each time the car is run everything heats up. As the exhaust system cools down when the car is not in use, it can attract moisture and a build up of condensation occurs. Over time this moisture can cause the tail pipe and rear muffler to rust out. Excessive condensation can indicate your muffler is on the way out. If you notice any rust at all and more condensation than normal, don’t wait until your exhaust is falling apart. Bring your vehicle in to have it looked at and sorted.

Engine Is Misfiring

A misfiring engine can also indicate your vehicle is suffering an exhaust system breakdown. While there could be numerous reasons for a motor to misfire, the exhaust can definitely be the culprit. Inside the cylinder head is the exhaust valve chamber, which feeds the engine’s exhaust fumes into the exhaust manifold and down the exhaust pipe. If there is any sort of obstruction or backup in the exhaust system, the fumes won’t effectively escape the chamber, causing the motor to misfire. 

A Burning Smell Coming From the Engine Bay

Between the exhaust manifold and the head of the motor is the manifold gasket. If there is a leak or tear anywhere in this gasket that occurs near wiring or anything plastic under the hood, the heat escaping from the exhaust chamber can cause these parts to burn. This gives off a rancid stench that smells like your engine is burning. Smoke can also be the result, but don’t wait until you start to see smoke to bring your vehicle into Burnside Motors for examination and repair.

Low Hanging Exhaust Pipe

Does your tail pipe and rear muffler appear to be hanging lower to the ground that normal? This could be caused by a number of factors. Perhaps one of the exhaust mounts has failed. Another thing could be damage to the piping or a bent pipe. This needs to be looked at expediently before the problem gets any worse, as driving your vehicle with the exhaust in this condition will rapidly exacerbate the problem. 

Leaking Exhaust Manifold

If the exhaust manifold is cracked and leaks, this can burn the exhaust valves and affect their seal over the engine cylinders. Back pressure can be created, causing the engine to lose power, sputter and misfire. Even a ticking sound from the engine bay can be an indication the manifold has suffered some sort of failure.

Shaking a Box of Rocks

When your vehicle is idling, if there’s a noise coming from beneath the car that sounds like someone shaking a box of rocks, this could be the catalytic converter suffering catastrophic breakdown. The important internal parts are failing and it will need to be replaced.

Burnside Motors – Your Local Exhaust Specialist

No matter what type of vehicle you drive – car, 4x4 or performance vehicle – if it’s suffering from any of the above symptoms, don’t hesitate to bring it into our workshop for expert inspection and repair. Don’t take chances with safety and performance. Come in and see us today.