The exhaust system in your vehicle is not something that you will think about very often, and that's understandable. In fact, an exhaust system that is doing its job properly is supposed to be almost unnoticeable. However, an exhaust system that no longer works properly can spell a number of complications for your vehicle by affecting the performance of your engine. Understanding some of the clearest signs of exhaust issues can help you spot these problems early and have them fixed before they grow to be serious.
1. Increased Noise and Rough Idle
One of the first signs that your exhaust system is no longer venting gases out of your engine at an efficient rate is if you notice that your engine itself has grown much louder and if it seems to have a rougher and almost uneven sound when idling. This points to some sort of blockage or damage within your exhaust system that is preventing gases from leaving the engine, forcing fuel to be burned at inefficient temperatures and with inefficient mixtures of oxygen.
2. Reduced Performance and Fuel Efficiency
Continuing the above point, an engine that is burning fuel inefficiently is going to suffer performance issues. This will take a variety of forms, including slower acceleration speed and a longer response time from pressing the pedal down and your engine reacting, lower overall top speeds, and reduced fuel efficiency, forcing you to fill the tank up much more often. Not only does this make it harder for you to handle your vehicle on the road, which can be a contributing cause to collisions, but it will also cost you more money in the long run to deal with reduced fuel efficiency – which means that you should head to an auto repair shop as soon as possible.
3. Strong Smells
Another sign that there is something wrong with your exhaust system is if you notice strong smells coming out of the exhaust pipe, especially if you can smell them within the interior of your vehicle. The smell of burning can point to oil or fuel leaking into the exhaust system, while the smell of exhaust within the cabin of your car can point to a hole within the exhaust system itself. Both of these can release gases that are not healthy to be exposed to, so at the first instance you should pull over and get in touch with an auto service to determine the next best step.