How Can I Tell if My Vehicle’s Exhaust System Is Bad?

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Your vehicle’s exhaust system plays a crucial role in emissions control. The exhaust system converts dangerous gases into safe ones and then releases them into the environment via the exhaust pipe. If your vehicle’s exhaust system is compromised, you could have a dangerous situation for the environment and you. How can you tell if your vehicle’s exhaust system is bad? Accurate Auto lists three obvious and not-so-obvious signs of trouble.


Your muffler is part of your automobile’s exhaust system and loud noise is a sign there is a crack, hole, or other issue with the muffler. This includes loud bursts of exhaust exiting your tailpipe(s) or your car, truck or SUV sounding as if you’ve souped it up purposely so it growls every time you accelerate. You’ve likely heard vehicles with loud or no mufflers, and if your automobile roars during operation, it’s time to have your muffler inspected and possibly replaced. Your car should not be loud while you drive it.

Fuel Efficiency

Your exhaust system plays a crucial role in your vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency. If you track your mileage after each fill-up, you’ll see this not-so-obvious sign of exhaust system trouble over time. You can track your mileage the old-fashioned way by calculating how many miles-per-gallon you get out of each full tank, or, if your automobile is newer, you likely have a dashboard readout that tracks it for you. Either way, if you notice you’re losing fuel economy, it could be your exhaust system, so have it checked out.


Finally, if you smell your exhaust while you’re driving, especially if that smell is bad, have your exhaust system checked right away. Automobile fumes are dangerous because they contain carbon monoxide. Your catalytic converter converts that carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide, which is not as dangerous. If you smell rotten eggs, your catalytic converter is not working as it should be, which means you could be releasing dangerous carbon monoxide into the outside air and into the cabin of your vehicle.

You shouldn’t smell anything bad while you’re driving. Burning smells, rotten egg smells, or even just hot smells signal trouble. Accurate Auto would be happy to inspect your exhaust system to ensure it’s healthy and operating with optimal efficiency. We have three shops to serve Oregon customers who live in Beaverton, Oswego, or Hillsboro and their surrounding areas.