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Exhaust systems are an integral part of properly performing vehicles. A problem in the exhaust system can cause engine performance issues and impact the overall operation of your vehicle. At AAMCO, we know how to diagnose and repair exhaust issues, from a simple exhaust leak to a full catalytic converter replacement. Plus we have the expertise to know the difference!
The most obvious sign of an exhaust system issue is a noisy engine that gets louder the more you give it power. This is usually an indication that a gasket, pipe, muffler, or catalytic converter is leaking exhaust fumes. A small leak may sound like a hissing or whistling noise, while a larger issue can be very loud!
A clogged exhaust system can cause excessive back-pressure that will affect the power of your engine and will commonly cause the check engine light to come on. A Leaking exhaust can also affect performance in that it will cause the oxygen sensors to not read accurately which will affect the fuel trim calculations and engine performance.
A leaking exhaust system can be deadly. You may not always smell the exhaust that accompanies odorless and deadly carbon monoxide that is coming into the cabin, but it is certainly something to be wary of. If you do smell exhaust or a gassy odor, get it checked immediately before anything harmful happens to you and your passengers.
A loose or broken clamp or hanger can cause noise under your vehicle and some serious problems to your vehicle’s operation. Exhaust pipes that are banging around can damage brake lines, fuel lines and electrical wires that also run under the vehicle, and generally wreak havoc to your vehicle. Get that noise checked out by the professionals at AAMCO as soon as possible to avoid any problems.
Most computer-controlled vehicles manufactured today are performance calibrated using the factory designed exhaust system. As a result, in many cases you may actually reduce power by modifying the exhaust system, and quite often you will be met with a check engine light. Also, in most states in the US, it is illegal to remove the catalytic converters or other emission devices which in some cases include the mufflers.
Most catalytic converters are warranted by the manufacturer for a period of 5 years or more. You can expect yours to last 10 years or more as long as you drive properly and there is no particular damaged to them. An ill running engine with a flashing check engine light or antifreeze where it shouldn’t be can damage a converter very quickly, however, so make sure to maintain your engine properly.