Do you have a suspicion that your vehicle has an exhaust leak? If so, know that this problem can be difficult to find. Here are some of the tricks used to tell if you actually have a problem with your exhaust system that requires repair.
Raise the Vehicle
It helps to get the vehicle off the ground so that you can get closer to underneath the vehicle. This is why your mechanic is going to put your vehicle up on a hoist since it makes the job a bit easier. If you're checking your exhaust system on your own, consider using jacks to lift up your vehicle so that you can get underneath it.
Listen To The Exhaust Manifold
You can actually listen to the exhaust manifold to check for weird noises. The trick is to listen to it when the vehicle is cold, which is why it should be the first thing that you do. When the vehicle is cold, the metal parts of your vehicle will start to contract. If there is any crack or imperfection in the exhaust system, it is going to be more apparent when the parts are cold. Once the metal expands, the gap may close up and make it difficult to find that leak.
Check The Exhaust Pressure
The next thing that can be done is simply checking the exhaust pressure. If you were to place your hand over the exhaust pipe while the vehicle is running, you should feel pressure that wants to immediately push your hand away. If there is no pressure, then you are likely dealing with a leak somewhere in the exhaust system.
Feel For Leaks
There is a simple test that will take two people, but it is easy to check for leaks along the exhaust system. This can be done by having one person placing their hand over the exhaust pipe for a moment, and then looking along seams in the system to feel for leaking air. Seams are the most likely place where there is a leak, so you don't have to spend much time checking out every inch of the exhaust system.
Not sure if you have an exhaust system leak? It will be worth taking the vehicle in to be inspected by a mechanic. They'll be able to perform some more in-depth tests to determine where your exhaust system could be leaking and require repair.
If you know you need an exhaust system repair but don't know how to do it yourself, contact a local auto shop to get help.