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It’s all in the noise!

Roaring, chugging, hissing or rattling, the type of sounds your exhaust makes will give you a clue as to the problem. And given that your exhaust system plays a vital role in ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly, it’s worth taking note if you do hear something coming from the underside of your car.

Let’s take a look at what the different sounds mean as this will help you to identify problems if they occur.

Loud roaring noises

A loud roar from the exhaust is usually because of a hole in the pipe or silencer box. Holes often form from the middle to rear of the exhaust. They’re easy to spot as the surrounding area may have a film of carbon soot where exhaust gases are escaping.

Holes and cracks could be down to rust, which can develop on the metal of the exhaust pipe and silencer due to their closeness to wet ground. Because of its location, the exhaust is susceptible to wear and tear.

If rust has affected your silencer, you may hear a roaring sound from your engine. A quick visual inspection of your exhaust and silencer will show whether you have a rust problem. If you do, we can easily replace the affected parts.

Low chugging sounds

If you hear a chugging noise when you’re driving, it could be a sign that you have a blockage. The car could also feel sluggish, and your fuel consumption may increase.

The smell of sulphur, and your engine getting hotter than usual, are indicators that your catalytic converter (or DPF on diesels) has a blockage and gases aren’t escaping through the system as they should. You must take your car straight to a garage if you think you have a blockage.

There are many different reasons for blockages to the exhaust system including debris finding its way into the exhaust pipe or soot and carbon build-up in the catalytic converter.

Small obstructions are often easily ejected from the car. But more serious blockages can significantly impact on your engine’s performance. You should get your system serviced urgently.

Frontal hissing noises

If you hear a hissing noise near the front of your car, you could have a crack in the exhaust manifold. This needs to be repaired as soon as possible because the manifold transfers noxious gases away from the engine for treatment. In cases of damage, gases could leak into passenger areas.

Because of its function, wear and tear of an exhaust system is inevitable, and the manifold is particularly susceptible. We would spot any problems like this at a service and advise remedial action.

Shaking and rattling sounds

The exhaust system is suspended using a variety of mounting, clamps and brackets – any of which can rust and become unattached.

If you hear a rattle coming from underneath your car, it’s probably a sign that something’s come loose.

Jolts from bumps in the road or potholes, or rust and wear and tear, can cause parts of the exhaust system to loosen. Fortunately, replacing the part is generally simple and inexpensive. A quick trip to the garage should soon sort it out.

But while you’re there, get the mechanic to check that your exhaust pipes haven’t become misaligned.

Are you looking for reliable car maintenance and servicing?

We offer car servicing, maintenance and repair for all makes and models of vehicles including classic and vintage cars. We can arrange free collection and delivery if you live near our Fleet or Dogmersfield service centres.

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