Locate an Exhaust Leak

How to Locate an Exhaust Leak? Symptoms and Solutions

Exhaust leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, in many other best performance exhaust system including defective gaskets, bad hangers and damaged pipes. Unfortunately, they are not easy to locate because they often occur in areas not easily accessible.

For example, if your car is equipped with turbocharger(s), then the exhaust manifold play a crucial role in delivering high-pressure gases into each cylinder.

Therefore, if this component wears out over time or cracks because of excessive heat exposure; it could lead to serious problems such as an increase in fuel consumption or even engine failure due to lack of power.

The following article will give you some tricks and trendy points on how to find an exhaust leak:

Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak

  • Symptoms of an exhaust leak. The most obvious indicator of an exhaust leak (and the easiest to fix) is when you lose power or your vehicle emits excessive smoke from the tailpipe.
  • A rotten egg smell in the cabin. You may not notice this at first, but if there’s an exhaust leak it will eventually bring about a strong odor of sulfur. This happens when unburned fuel gets into your engine’s cylinders and mixes with oil vapors in the exhaust system, forming hydrogen sulfide gas that is released through your tailpipe as diesel emissions
  • A constant noise from the engine compartment. If you hear chirps or whistles coming from under your hood, particularly when starting up or idling at low speeds, those are signs of a not good catalytic converter or muffler system

Knowing Where To Place Your Focus When Trying To Locate a Leak

When trying to locate a leak, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for the following:

  • Cracks in or holes in the exhaust manifold.
  • Loose or broken bolts, fasteners, and/or gaskets on the exhaust manifold.

Lack of Power/Acceleration

If you notice a lack of power or acceleration, it’s possible that there is an exhaust leak. The engine is trying to pull air in through the leak and it’s not getting enough air. The engine will not be able to work properly with this problem.

Decreased Fuel Economy

You can be sure that a leak will cause your car to use more fuel. A leak usually causes the engine to run hotter, which could lead to increased fuel consumption, along with other issues like excessive oil consumption and decreased performance.

Rotten Egg Odor in the Cabin

The rotten egg smell is caused by the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas is produced when the engine burns oil, which can be from a worn valve stem seal or cracked exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe. In some cases, this smell may also point out that a more serious problem such as a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head.

Constant Noise From the Engine Compartment

  • If your car is making a constant noise, it could be an exhaust leak. The sound should get louder when the engine reaches higher RPMs and then disappear as the car slows down. If the sound remains constant and you notice a smell of burning rubber or oil, this could be a signal to a more larger problem with your vehicle.
  • To fix an exhaust leak: You can buy an exhaust system sealant kit at any auto parts store for around $10-$20 depending on which brand you choose to purchase. These kits come with everything needed to repair leaks in most vehicles including hoses, seals and clamps among other items needed for installation.*

Dark Exhaust Smoke Coming From the Tailpipe

If you see a lot of dark exhaust smoke coming from your tailpipe, it’s possible that the leak is in the exhaust manifold. If you’re smelling something like rotten eggs, it could be a leak in the catalytic converter.

If you see smoke coming from under your vehicle as well as near the back bumper, then it’s likely that there is an exhaust pipe problem that needs to be addressed.

Huge Reduction in Power and Damage

Exhaust leaks can be dangerous. They can cause a huge reduction in power and damage other vehicle components. Exhaust leaks also increase fuel consumption as the engine will have to work harder to expel exhaust gases through the leak.

An exhaust leak may not be immediately noticeable, but should be checked for at regular intervals by an authorized mechanic or professional technician. A constant noise from your engine compartment may indicate an exhaust leak that needs to be repaired immediately before it causes irreparable damage to your vehicle’s performance and safety features.


The only way to know if you have an exhaust leak is to take your vehicle in for a diagnosis. The repair shop will look at the symptoms you are experiencing and perform a visual inspection of the best performance exhaust system. If they find that there is a problem with your car’s exhaust, they can then fix it by either replacing or repairing the damaged parts.