Can you drive with an exhaust leak? How to Find Exhaust Leaks
Hi Guys! Today I’m going to show you how to find an exhaust leak in your car or truck. After we find the leak, I’m going to show you how to seal and repair it without using a welder. This way, you can do it at home inexpensively with popular products. You can find these products in your local stores and they are very easy to use, they are very cheap. and you can do this quickly.
If the leak is loud and it sounds bad, especially when you are driving and if you step on the gas when you have such an exhaust leak it can cause the engine indicator lights to come on, you can lose fuel consumption, and sometimes the engine just won’t run properly. I could already smell it, vapors are coming into the cabin and you don’t want to inhale them. The way you can find them easily, you don’t even have to run the car and when we find them I’ll show you how to seal it and here are all the tools and products you can use to do that.
How to find exhaust leaks?
So we need to find the leak first and to do this we will use an air compressor. Anything that pushes air into the exhaust creates a positive pressure in the exhaust system, then we reach for our soapy water, that’s just dish soap and water, all you want to do is get something that gets really frothy, so where the air is? If you escape you will see bubbles and this is how you locate the leak. Once you locate the leak, we have three different products that you can use to stop the leak.
First, we have our filler, it’s like a gimmick, you push it into the crack or the leak, and then it hardens like steel. Then we have our muffler bandage, which you wrap around the muffler like an ace bandage and then seal it and get really hard too, and finally, we have our exhaust band clamp that goes over the damaged area and seals it off when you tighten it. This covers pretty much everything you will need to repair your exhaust. The only extra parts you’ll need are gloves, some tape, some sandpaper, and a metal wire brush. These are good as it will help you clean the area before applying your fix.
Since the leak is near the front, I’ll be using ramps to safely raise the front of the car for easy access, and with the front end raised, it’s always a good idea to get some wood and chalk off the rear wheels remove so it doesn’t work ‘don’t roll and now we’re ready to pressurize the exhaust system.
Now I’m going to use my workshop vacuum to pressurize the exhaust so just slide this hose into the exhaust pipe and glue it so it doesn’t come out well now as this is a vacuum we need to our hose from the front and now when we turn this on it blows air into the exhaust instead of sucking it so we are good to flip a switch and have positive pressure in our exhaust and we are able to find where that leak is.
Is it safe to drive with an exhaust leak?
Now, not every car has a single exit exhaust, some cars have a dual exit exhaust. What you would do here, I’ll use the leaf blower as an example. You will receive your leaf blower and mount it in the exhaust tip. And then for the other tip nice and easy to get a nitrile glove and wrap it around the exhaust to seal it off and then tape it off so now you know how to pressurize the exhaust with a double exhaust end on a single exhaust I switch that off and let’s turn this on and find our exhaust leak and since our leak sounds like it’s coming from the front.
How to check for exhaust leaks?
I will first have a look at the engine. And one thing I should mention is that you want the engine to be completely cold or not a hot engine, you will spray soapy water on the exhaust, you will also force cooler air into the exhaust and if you could cool things down quickly they warp or crack and you wouldn’t want that, so the first thing to do with a cold engine is grab your soapy water and spray down the entire exhaust manifold and don’t be afraid to use lots of soapy water, that You can never use too much, what you’re going to be looking for is blistering caused by air escaping through a hole and that’s where your leak is and you could immediately see clearly where the exhaust was gushing. And let’s go to find exhaust leaks.
But don’t stop, you want to check the other side too, so grab your soapy water, we’ll come here and I’ll remove that inlet. I’ve already loosened it and we’re going to check the exhaust on this side so spray it all over again and soak it completely. I don’t see any leaks at all so this site looks fine. I don’t see any bubbles which mean we don’t have any more leaks now.
I want to check one more thing and it’s the exhaust under the car. So slide under the car and we have two exhaust pipes that we need to check for leaks and I think you get it by now. You have to spray everything with soapy water concentrate on the spots with welds or flanges or the connections because these spots are often the ones that are leaking. So definitely get soaking wet and look for air bubbles and after I’ve completely hosed down these two exhaust pipes, I don’t see any leaks under the car and that’s always a good thing.
So hopefully, the article was helpful. Thanks.