Hole in Exhaust of a Car: All Causes and Repairing Solutions

If your car has a hole in exhaust, it might be caused by corrosion, bumpy roads, or faulty exhaust components. You can temporarily seal them with muffler tape, epoxy, or exhaust clamps. To permanently resolve the issue, you can repair or replace the damaged parts with a mechanic’s help.

Hole in Exhaust ~ Ran When Parked This complete guide lists all the reasons for and solutions to a hole in the exhaust system.

Why Do Holes Appear in the Vehicle Exhaust Systems?

Holes appear in the vehicle exhaust systems due to corrosion, exposure to high temperature, or old exhaust parts. They can also form due to the impact of bumps on the road while driving. Moreover, engine misfires and poor welds can also lead to a hole in the exhaust.

Corrosion in Exhaust Parts

The exhaust is vulnerable to corrosion. It comes into contact with chemicals, high temperatures, and other environmental factors. These factors speed up the process of corrosion in the various exhaust parts.

In places where it snows a lot, roads are salted with rock salt to melt the snow. As essential as it is to clear the roads, it can cause harm to the car.

Why Holes Appear in the Vehicle Exhaust Systems ~ Ran When Parked

When you drive on salted wet roads, the salt sprays up and sticks to the car’s underside. It will lead to the rusting of the part it touches. Hole in muffler symptoms include:

  • Production of loud rumbling noises
  • An increased exhaust smell while driving
  • In some vehicle exhaust designs, it can trigger the “check engine light” on your dashboard

Corrosion is also the most common cause of a hole in exhaust manifold.

Impact of Bumps on the Exhaust System

Your car will come across a bumpy or rugged road every once in a while. Potholes, debris, speed bumps, and other poor road conditions can damage the exhaust system.

As it is low-laying, it can also get hit by large rocks, leading to cracks or holes. Such damage causes hissing or popping sounds coming from exhaust leaks.

Failing or Damaged Gaskets

Gaskets present between various exhaust parts act as a seal to prevent leakage of gases and sound. They can get worn out, just like any part of the car. Such damaged gaskets won’t perform their crucial function of enclosing the gas properly.

Effect of High Temperature on the Exhaust

The exhaust systems are designed to handle high temperatures, but there is a limit to that. They can be damaged at some point and become inefficient. Different parts of the exhaust are made up of different materials.

All of them have varying capacities to endure high temperatures. Reduced fuel economy is a symptom of exhaust damage due to high temperatures.

Exhaust Damage Due to Engine Misfires

Engine misfires can also cause damage to the exhaust system. It can lead to unburned fuel entering into the exhaust system. The fuel will then overheat and damage metals present in the catalytic converter.

Engine misfires increase exhaust gas temperature, accelerating wear in exhaust pipes, manifolds, and other components. Exhaust damage due to misfires also produces abnormal engine noises.

Wear in Exhaust Parts With Time

Like any other vehicle part, the exhaust components wear with time. Different exhaust parts have different life spans. It depends on the material quality and maintenance.

For example, stainless steel pipes can last for about ten years, whereas aluminum pipes have the tendency to rust faster. Therefore, you might experience the hole in exhaust symptoms more quickly.

Poor Repairing Job and Maintenance

If someone does a poor job repairing the exhaust, it can lead to visible holes or cracks in the exhaust pipe or muffler. Similarly, poor maintenance of the exhaust can result in its damage. The various exhaust components have crucial functions, which include:

  • The exhaust manifold collects gas from all engine pistons and directs it into a single pipe
  • Exhaust pipes transfer exhaust gas from the engine to the vehicle’s rear
  • Catalytic converter detoxifies poisonous gases like carbon monoxide
  • The muffler helps by further noise reduction

Holes or cracks in any of these components can reduce their capability to perform their functions.

How Do You Fix Holes or Cracks in the Vehicle Exhaust System?

To fix holes or cracks in the vehicle exhaust system, you can use muffler tape, exhaust clamps, exhaust putty, or epoxy. Aluminum patches can also seal them. In case of extensive damage, you should consult a professional mechanic for permanent repair or replacement of the faulty exhaust parts.

Locating and Cleaning the Affected Area

Before we move on to how to fix hole in exhaust, you need to locate the problematic spot first. Here are some methods to identify a hole or crack:

  1. Visually inspect the exhaust for holes or rust.
  2. Turn the car on and listen for a hissing sound once it cools down. It can lead you to the spot.
  3. Block the tailpipe with a rag if these don’t work. The gas will have difficulty escaping it, preferably moving out of the leaky parts. It will come out of the leaks with a greater force and be indicated.
  4. Another toolless method is to spray soapy water on the possibly damaged area once the car has cooled down. Then, turn the car back on, and the air from the leaks will form bubbles or foam up.
  5. A smoke machine can send smoke to the exhaust system through the tailpipe. The smoke will leave from the exhaust leak.

Once indicated, clean the affected area using a metal wire brush to remove any debris or dirt from the affected area. Then, use sandpaper to remove the rust from that area.

Fixing Holes or Cracks in the Vehicle Exhaust System ~ Ran When Parked

Lastly, use acetone or isopropyl alcohol to remove any leftover grease that won’t scratch. Now you have an excellent surface and can proceed to fix the hole.

Use Muffler Tape to Seal the Hole

Muffler tape, also known as exhaust tape, is a quick and temporary way to seal exhaust leaks. Read the manufacturer’s instructions beforehand, as different tapes have various application methods. Apply it to the leak like a bandage and ensure an overlap of an inch.

Apply at least two layers of the tape to seal the leak effectively. Remember that this is not a long-term solution, but it can assist you till you find a permanent way to fill the holes.

Use Epoxy To Fix the Exhaust Hole

You can also use epoxy to temporarily seal holes in the exhaust system. These are the steps to do so:

  1. Park your vehicle in a well-ventilated area and wear protective gloves.
  2. Locate and clean the hole using the methods described above.
  3. Now, apply epoxy on and around the hole, sealing it completely. Heat-resistant or metal-filled epoxy is better suited to fill exhaust holes.
  4. Ensure smooth application and let it dry for about 30 minutes.
  5. Use sandpaper to smooth it to the level of the exhaust component.
  6. Place a piece of muffler tape over this sealed area for reinforcement.
  7. After it completely dries, turn on the car and ensure no hissing sounds are coming from that part anymore.

Use Muffler Putty To Fix the Hole

Muffler putty is a heat-resistant resin compound that can help seal cracks, leaks, or small hole in exhaust. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for application beforehand.

Apply it and wait for it to cure, preferably for 24 hours. This is also a temporary measure to seal the holes until you properly repair or replace the faulty exhaust components.

Use an Exhaust Clamp to Seal the Hole

The most straightforward method you can use is to cover the hole with an exhaust clamp. Wrap the clamp around the hole and fix the bolts after ensuring the clamp’s bolts are on the opposite side. Then, tighten it so that it completely covers the hole.

Use an Aluminum Patch as a Seal

This method can be used in case of a large hole in any exhaust component. Use some heavy-duty scissors or metal cutting shears to cut a patch of aluminum according to the extent of damage or hole size. Apply some epoxy around the hole, which will act as an adhesive.

Place the patch on the epoxy and hold it in place with clamps until it dries. You can also spread epoxy on the patch’s edges to seal it ultimately. However, there is no need to apply it all over the patch.

Consult a Mechanic on Extensive Damage

In case of extensive damage or inexperience, it is recommended to consult a mechanic. A minor hole in exhaust costs less than intensive exhaust repair or replacement of components. If you have a hole in exhaust, how much to fix depends on the make and model of your vehicle and the degree of damage.

A muffler and exhaust pipe replacement can cost about $100 to $600 or more. Gasket replacement can cost you from $50 to $200, depending on its type and location. Other major exhaust components are more expensive and can cost several hundred dollars.

Maintenance of the Exhaust Parts

After fixing the exhaust part, especially if you did it yourself, it should be appropriately maintained. You should check regularly for hole in exhaust sounds like hissing. Emissions tests are recommended to ensure good air quality, pollution reduction, and maintenance of the vehicle’s proper functioning.

Regular Maintenance of the Exhaust Parts ~ Ran When Parked

Suppose you are wondering how long can you drive with a hole in your exhaust. In that case, the answer is that it is not immediately dangerous, but not fixing it for a long time can damage your health and environment.

  • Toxic gases, like carbon monoxide, can escape into your car, and inhaling them frequently can cause health complications.
  • Excess fumes from exhaust leaks can leak into the air and lead to air pollution.
  • If a foreign object causes a hole, it can enter the exhaust system and potentially damage other vehicle parts.

It is a good idea to check the exhaust components occasionally to avoid expensive exhaust repairs.

Hole in Exhaust Conclusion ~ Ran When Parked

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