The car’s exhaust system is a complex system. Responsible for the evacuation of flue gases, with any fault it gives the owner clear signals that something is wrong. A metallic noise or too loud operation of the car are obvious signs of failure. In addition, if you focus on the main element, and thus the exhaust pipe, you may have to deal with various types of defects. Unsealing the system at the junction with a muffler or catalyst usually requires the intervention of a mechanic. Our actions, whatever they may be, can only harm. However, in the case of a hole in the pipe, there is a chance that we will avert the problem ourselves. Appropriate exhaust system repair elements are sufficient. A specific exhaust first aid kit.
When does a hole form in the exhaust pipe?
It really doesn’t matter how long you drive a car. Such a malfunction can occur in both the new model and the venerable one. What causes this?
First, corrosion, which usually arises for reasons beyond our control. Here, mainly unfavourable weather conditions are blamed, in particular, those prevailing in winter. Roads sprinkled with salt in combination with snow and water create ideal conditions for the development of unwanted red coating.
Sometimes we are also guilty of rusting important parts of the car. It’s about standard negligence like rarely washing a vehicle. We do not flush regularly accumulated salt. And if we wash the car, then we do not think about using anti-corrosive preparations. We also often disregard the first signs of rust. And this is a simple way for the phenomenon to spread at an alarming rate.
In addition, all kinds of cracks are equally dangerous for the exhaust pipe. They are usually the result of too reckless driving, hooking curbs or driving on unpaved roads.
Assuming, of course, that the fault is only a hole on the surface of the pipe, it is worth trying to solve this problem yourself. How? Of course, using special products. Exhaust system repair elements include, among others, bandages and silencer repair tapes, cement and patches. Also, don’t forget about clamps, entire pipe connectors or flexible connectors in case the damage is large.
Exhaust system repair elements – what do we need for self-repair?
Bandages and tapes are products with a fairly low price. They are easy to use, so it’s definitely worth equipping yourself with them. They are especially useful when travelling. If something happens to our exhaust system on the road, the most important thing is the speed of reaction.
However, it should be remembered that this type of solution is temporary. Fast, efficient, but only for a while. Such products are mostly made of aluminium, which is why they are characterized by exceptional resistance to adverse weather conditions. Their operation is not disturbed by high temperature, which is the result of the pipe heating up during the car’s operation. In addition, in the bandage set, we usually also buy a cable band, which greatly facilitates the whole process. Repair goes faster and easier. In fact, it is enough to wrap the damaged area very tightly, and then secure it with a band.
Exhaust system repair elements – cement and patches
Other exhaust system repair elements are, of course, cement and so-called patches. Special cement enables sealing of cracks or cavities. If we notice that a hole has formed in the exhaust pipe, it is enough to apply a layer of cement on it, and then distribute it thoroughly. However, with this method, it happens that once is not enough, and we have to repeat the action. In turn, patches work like bandages. In fact, it is enough to stick them on the defect to temporarily stave off the problem.
Temporary exhaust system repair elements are one thing. On our own, we can also try to remove rusty elements and replace them with new ones. However, we should not take this action while travelling. It often turns out to be impossible. When removing parts that have been attacked by corrosion, you must have a welder to keep the system tight. The whole procedure consists of removing old, rusted parts and welding new ones in their place. If we approach the matter really solidly, the repair effect can serve us for many years.
How do I know if I can do it myself?
Either way, regardless of which method we choose and which repair components for the exhaust system we use – the preparation must be the same. We should remember to thoroughly clean the repaired area beforehand. We can use a stiff, wire brush or sandpaper for this purpose. It’s about something that will thoroughly remove rust. If the defect is not properly cleaned, it is very likely that any patching attempt will fail.
When we already know how to fix a possible hole, the question remains: how do you even realize that this is the problem? The correct diagnosis is sometimes a difficult task. We will not always be able to see the defect with the naked eye. Listening from where exactly unpleasant sounds can be heard is also of little use.
To properly and correctly assess the problem, we must first wait several dozen minutes from the engine alone. So that the exhaust can cool sufficiently. If we take action too soon, we can get burned. To see the car from below, of course, we can slip under it, but a much better option is the channel or ramp. In the absence of such opportunities, let’s try, at least to raise the car. His height should allow us to lie down freely.
Once you’re directly under the car, let’s carefully study the entire exhaust system. Let’s look for a hole that can eventually turn out to be a source of problems and noise. When undertaking any repair, however, remember that it is pointless to deal with heavily damaged components. An equally bad idea is to try to fix the fault in an element that is already covered in rust in many places. Most likely, the situation looks even worse inside. Repair makes no sense then. We must understand that the exhaust system will wear naturally and all parts will need to be replaced over time.
Exhaust system repair elements are not everything. How to care for the exhaust system?
To extend the life of individual components of the exhaust system and not to lead to the need for their replacement or repair too quickly, it is worth taking care of the system.
First of all, it is good when we properly secure the car. What does it mean? Among other things, the fact that we remove salt residues from it in the winter, and paint the outer coating with special paint. Regular suspension control is also important. What’s more, during your visit to the mechanic, you can ask him to additionally secure the muffler. He will do this with the help of fasteners, brackets or so-called hangers.
For the catalyst, there are several methods for extending its service life. It’s all about avoiding puddles. While driving, the car engine gets very hot. Its rapid and sudden cooling can quickly damage individual components, including the catalyst. Secondly, whenever possible, it is preferable to avoid short distances and winter driving. The engine is not able to warm up properly during them. And this, in turn, leads to the accumulation of unburned fuel residues. And finally, thirdly – all potholes on the road should be overcome with a great deal of caution. The catalyst is very delicate. The muffler itself can also quickly break down during heavy driving.
Faults other than just a hole in the exhaust pipe. What are the most common damages in the exhaust system?
Finally, it is worth looking at the most common exhaust system faults. The hole discussed in the article will not always be a problem. If we are not able to determine for ourselves what exactly is happening with the car – it is necessary to visit a mechanic. However, there are some symptoms that can give us something for thought.
When we hear a loud noise, we may assume that the muffler is damaged or a hole has formed in the exhaust system. For unknown reasons we feel gas in the car, most likely it is a system leak. When we get the impression that the engine is choking, we are most likely dealing with a clogged catalyst or DPF. In a situation where the engine begins to stall, and we have a problem with its restart, it means that the recirculation system fails.
Other causes of trouble with the exhaust system are also rust, i.e. corrosion and clogged particle filter, for which indicator points. As you can see, there can be a whole lot of causes and faults. We are able to deal with some of our own, but not necessarily with others. The fact is, however, that eventually, the day will come when the item will have to be bought again.