Your vehicle’s exhaust system is an important part and should be checked at least once a year. When winter comes, you have to be careful of damages to your exhaust system from icy road conditions. If something in the road causes damage, you will need to get a muffler and exhaust repair quickly to avoid any dangerous effects from harmful gases getting inside your car.
Damage to the Exhaust and Muffler
The exhaust system and muffler are typically mounted on the bottom rear of most vehicles. At any time, especially during winter driving conditions, these can be damaged by potholes, large bumps, as well as debris in the road such as ice chunks. Driving on frequent short trips is the worst thing you can do for your exhaust system in the cold weather.
When it is cold outside, the first 20 minutes of your drive are hardest on your car while it is warming up. When it’s wet out from snow, if your car doesn’t have time to warm up enough, the collected water vapor can’t burn off. The salt that is sprayed on roads can also gather, along with the water underneath your car. Once your car sits turned off, these will corrode the exposed parts, causing your system harm and any moisture inside the muffler will rust. When the weather is nice, wash your car to get rid of all the salt and road grime.
Water inside your exhaust system will combine with sulfur from the exhaust, creating corrosive acids that damage the metal of each part. It may be difficult to detect an exhaust leak that can develop in several parts of your system, including the muffler where holes can develop, pipes that may become cracked, or hangars that can be broken, all leading to required repairs.
Muffler and Exhaust Repair
Any sort of exhaust noise coming from your vehicle can mean a serious problem is beginning. Sometimes you may not hear anything, but you could still have a leak, so it is important to inspect your exhaust system often. Any of these noises coming from your car means that you may have damage or a leak, which needs to be fixed before it gets too big.
Some of the noises to pay attention to include: rattling, hissing, metallic vibrations, and a steady roar, which can be more serious. Another thing to watch for is colored smoke coming from the vehicle’s tailpipe. If any of these present themselves, it is time for a repair. Depending on what the issue is, you may need to repair the catalytic converter, oxygen sensor, EGR valves/sensors, exhaust pipes, manifold, resonator, tail pipes, and muffler.
Exhaust Systems Dangers
Exhaust systems can be dangerous because exhaust contains carbon monoxide that could be deadly if it reaches the passenger area of your car. Carbon monoxide has no color or odor, making it difficult to detect and lethal. Any damages and even small exhaust leaks can cause these gases to flow into your car and impair your judgement while driving.
If you find yourself stuck in a blizzard, make sure the exhaust pipe stays clear from snow at all times. If the exhaust system gets plugged up, the carbon monoxide gas will flow into the vehicle. To stay safe, make sure you only run the engine if the snow is clear of the exhaust system and only in intervals of time. Also, roll your windows down periodically to clear the air of any harmful gases as much as possible.
When you experience any symptoms of an exhaust system problem have it checked by a professional as soon as possible.