Rice Tire – Exhaust System Maintenance
Exhaust systems in cars cool the engine and keeps the environment safe from harmful gases. Even in small doses carbon monoxide can be very harmful. The exhaust system on your vehicle is probably more significant than you would think. Besides reducing the noise created by your engine, the exhaust system directs harmful gases away from the cabin, helps cool down the engine, and most importantly, cleans the air before exiting the tailpipe.
Identifying exhaust issues early on will keep you safe.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is present in exhaust fumes. Inhaling carbon monoxide, even in small doses, can be very harmful to your health. It can cause headaches and dizziness, and in extreme cases can lead to unconsciousness. Obviously, if this is the case, then you should take the car in to get inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Identifying exhaust issues:
• Listen for odd sounds – The muffler is full of baffles and if these break or fail, the sound of the engine won’t be dampened quite as much.
• Any rattling or thumping is not normal either. Some vehicles have baffles that can open and close to make the car louder or quieter.
• Over time the linkages that hold the door can break or become loose causing a rattling noise.
Rattling sounds can come from a few places. As catalytic converters start to age, the interior will begin to degrade and all the small pieces will rattle around as you drive. This same thing can happen with the baffles inside the muffler.
A heavier thump typically indicates the mounting may be loose or damaged. The exhaust system is held up with metal and rubber brackets. Over time the rubber gets brittle and falls apart. Identifying this early is very important because it can mean the difference between replacing a small piece of rubber or a whole piece of exhaust. If the mount fails, the exhaust pipes can fall or rattle around and dent while you are driving.
Use your nose – While carbon monoxide is odorless, the other gases coming out of the tailpipe aren’t. If you notice any exhaust smell in the cabin, there is probably a leak somewhere. As mentioned, the carbon monoxide in the exhaust fumes can be very harmful.
Identify vehicle performance decline – There are a few things you can look for while driving the vehicle that would indicate a possible problem with your exhaust system. Loss of performance and reduced gas mileage are common with blocked off exhausts. If the engine has to work harder pushing the exhaust out of the cylinder, it has less power to give to the wheels. A blocked off exhaust can also cause the car to run hotter than normal.
Exhaust gas is very hot as it leaves the cylinder and any blockage will restrict the airflow, keeping the heat closer to the engine. Look under the hood – If you suspect you have an exhaust leak, look under the hood while the engine is running. Before doing this, secure any loose clothing that may be hanging down and if you have longer hair, pull it back out of the way.
Only after doing this and making sure to stay clear of any moving parts like fan belts, look for things that may be out of place but most importantly use your nose. If you can smell exhaust in the engine compartment it means the exhaust system is evacuating the gases to the back of car properly. Overall, if you are not a trained mechanic, you may not be able to see much, but that’s ok. Inspect what you can and leave the rest later to the professionals.
Under the car, inspect the muffler(s) – Dents on the muffler or loose connections can cause issues with airflow. The muffler tends to be more susceptible to rust damage as moisture can build up inside. Surface rust is normal, but if it penetrates through the metal, you can be sure there is more rust on the inside. Same thing goes for the rest of pipes, rust is normal but, any holes means big trouble.
Additionally, your entire exhaust system should be securely fastened to the car. If it’s hanging down and loose, it needs to be fixed to be safe. Sometimes it’s just a rubber bushing that needs to be replaced to fix it but, sometimes it can a larger issue like a broken or corroded mounting bracket.
With these small steps, you can identify most exhaust issues that you are experiencing. The key with many of these problems is identifying them early on before any serious damage occurs. You can avoid a hefty repair bill by being proactive with your vehicle and identifying small issues before they become a big problem. If you require any help identifying issues with your exhaust, our certified technicians here at Rice Tire would be glad to perform a system inspection.
If you happen to be shopping for tires, we carry Michelin, Dunlop, Goodyear, Continental, Firestone, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, Falken, General, and others. Rice Tire normally has them in stock. An easy to use “search widget” on our website at http://retail.ricetire.com/tire-look-up.aspx can tell what we have and produce a instant price for you.
Simply search by tire size or make, model and year of car and we’ll match the right tire with your car, truck, or SUV. We also sell commercial tires and farm tires as well!
While you’re here getting things check on, we’re also able to do numerous other jobs for you like brake inspections and can replace your brake pads if you need them. We’ll check your oil and can do an oil change and change the oil filter too. Conventional oil or full synthetic oil, we can do either one.
Last but certainly not least, we can complete the job with that wheel alignment service to make your car ride perfect again.
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