Your exhaust system plays a big part in the overall performance of your car. If your exhaust isn’t working well, then sooner or later you’re going to know about it. The difficulty is, however, that the exhaust system is a large and fairly complex piece of kit, comprising multiple parts. So, working out what the issue is when you have a problem isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s a good idea to get to know what can go wrong with your exhaust system, so you know when you should take action.

The Seven Most Common Exhaust System Problems


Because much of your car’s exhaust system is exposed to the elements – especially in winter when water, ice, and grit can easily splash up under your vehicle – rust is almost always going to occur. And superficial rust isn’t usually anything to worry about – it can be easily taken care of. But when rust turns into deeper corrosion and holes begin to form in any part of your exhaust system, it’s really important that you repair or replace the affected part. The exhaust silencer is the area most commonly stricken by rust.


Exhaust leaks can be a really serious problem. Because a hole in the wrong place can flood your car’s cabin with noxious exhaust fumes. Exhaust leaks can happen as a result of rust, or external damage. If you drive over rough ground on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to check any exposed areas of your exhaust system. Not forgetting the joints, which are also prone to cracks.

Oxygen sensor issues

Most contemporary cars have multiple oxygen sensors. But if one goes wrong, it can easily upset the whole system. This can mean that your car is unable to create the right mixture of air and fuel for optimum performance. And if left for a prolonged period, this can cause problems with the catalytic converter, over-heating, and blockages.


If your car’s exhaust is smoking, you probably know that this isn’t a good sign. But the colour of smoke can indicate different problems. Black smoke, for example, implies an issue with fuel processing, and may be caused by a blockage. Blue smoke can mean that there are issues within your car’s combustion chamber. While grey smoke usually means that there’s something up with your gasket, or maybe cylinder head. Either way, it’s not a good idea to leave it untreated.


Your exhaust hangers basically help to keep your exhaust system in place when your vehicle is moving over rough ground. The problem is that all that movement takes its toll, and it’s not unheard of for hangers to crack or simply fall away. If you’re unlucky, this will also mean that part of your exhaust system falls away too. But if you can catch it before that happens, checking and replacing your exhaust fittings can save you money.


If your car suddenly seems louder than usual, there’s every chance that it’s caused by a problem with your exhaust. And the issue could fall in any of these areas:


If you feel your car vibrating when you’re driving, there are a number of potential causes to consider. But if you think that it’s caused by your exhaust system it could be because it has become misaligned, or something else has shifted and is touching part of the exhaust. If this has happened, you need to get your car serviced as soon as possible.

Your car’s exhaust system is integral to not only your vehicle’s performance, but to your safety and wellbeing when driving. If you believe that your car has exhaust issues, it’s always sensible to contact your local mechanic.

Online Automotive can offer a complete range of high-quality low-cost exhaust system components. And we are never beaten on price. Get in touch to find out how we can help you with your car exhaust needs.