Your exhaust system is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It helps regulate pollutants, keeps your vehicle's performance at top level and ensures your vehicle is safe to drive. Since it is so essential to a car's performance and safety, you probably want to keep an eye on the key parts of your exhaust system, like the muffler, pipes and catalytic converter.

At Hoffman Ford, we offer extensive exhaust system service and repair in Harrisburg, and many drivers trust us with their vehicles. Learn more about the different types of service your exhaust system requires and the signs that key parts of your system may need to be repaired. 

Exhaust System Service

Exhaust system service is crucial to your vehicle and the environment as a whole. While you might not notice it most of the time, the exhaust system is doing essential work for your vehicle. This system features a catalytic converter, a muffler, pipes and an exhaust manifold.

As an engine burns fuel, the gases it produces filter out through the exhaust system. The filtration process keeps poisonous gases out of your vehicle, and it also prevents pollution outside the vehicle. Besides these health safety components, exhaust systems also protect your vehicle's performance.

While exhaust systems are very resilient, corrosion and rust can harm them. During exhaust system maintenance, technicians will check for rust, corrosion and cracks in these components, repairing them as needed. These repairs can help your car filter harmful gases effectively and reduce excess noise. Proper maintenance also helps keep the system's temperature down.

Exhaust Pipe Repair

One main type of exhaust system maintenance is exhaust pipe repair. Exhaust pipes are exposed to various dangerous elements, like heat, humidity, snow, ice and debris. These dangers can lead to holes and cracks that make it so the pipes don't properly process the gases. If left unaddressed, the exhaust pipes can begin to leak dangerous gases into the air around your car and into the vehicle itself.

Though exhaust pipe damage can be dangerous, it is not difficult to repair. Usually, the mechanic will begin by locating the broken section of the pipe and then clean any debris that might have accumulated around it. They'll then patch up the hole or crack to ensure the pipes no longer leak, getting you back on the road fast.

Signs Your Exhaust System Needs Repaired

Since your exhaust system is so important to your vehicle's performance and your safety, it's crucial you're aware of the signs your exhaust system needs to be repaired. Common signs include loud and rattling noises, less fuel efficiency, a gas smell and decreased power:

  • Loud and rattling noises: If you hear a rattling noise while you drive, it may be a sign your catalytic converter is failing. Additionally, if your engine sounds louder than normal, there may be something wrong. A hissing or tapping sound can be a sign you have an exhaust manifold gasket needing repaired. 
  • Gas or burning smell: Notice a gas or burning smell in your car? It's time to get your exhaust system checked as soon as possible. These smells can occur if your tubes or pipes are leaking or a fuel gasket has failed and can be a health risk to the driver or passengers.
  • Decreased power: When your vehicle's power and acceleration decrease, your exhaust system might be the culprit. A damaged pipe can harm the performance of your vehicle, and it's crucial it gets fixed before it does more damage.
  • Less fuel efficiency: A damaged exhaust system can cause your fuel efficiency to go down. If you notice you're not getting the fuel efficiency you're used to, it's a good idea to inspect your exhaust system. 

Muffler Replacement and Repair

 

A key part of your exhaust system is your muffler. This component is designed to help reduce the noise of exhaust gases evacuating and engine combustion. Some vehicles may have one or two mufflers, but most only feature one. It's best practice to repair or replace your muffler, as a damaged muffler can cause performance and health safety issues.

While mufflers usually last a long time, they can be harmed by constant exposure to potholes, road debris, speed bumps and salted roads. Common damages include a loose connection, a dangling muffler, holes and cracks. When the muffler is harmed, repairs can be fairly simple. Common repairs include rewelding a dangling muffler, patching cracks or holes and retightening a loose connection.

Replacing the muffler instead of repairing it can be another option if it has undergone extensive damage. Mufflers can usually be replaced relatively quickly and at an affordable price.

Signs Your Muffler Needs Repaired

Knowing the signs your muffler needs to be repaired can help you take action quickly before more serious problems occur. Some common signs of a damaged muffler include roaring noises, bad-smelling fumes, vibrations and reduced miles per gallon:

  • Roaring noises: If you notice your muffler is making a roaring noise when you drive, it's a sign you're going to need to repair the muffler. Loud noises can signal your muffler has a hole in it or has suffered some other kind of damage.
  • Reduced miles per gallon: Reduced fuel efficiency is another sign your muffler could be damaged. Keep an eye on how many miles per gallon you're getting to address muffler damage quickly.
  • Bad-smelling fumes: Muffler damage can cause bad-smelling fumes to travel into your car and outside of it. These fumes can be harmful to the environment and anyone in the car. Typically, these fumes arise when your muffler is leaking, and it's important you take your car to a mechanic as soon as you smell something unusual.
  • Increased vibrations: Sometimes, a damaged muffler will make it so you feel more vibrations while you drive. If your car shakes while you're on the road, you could have a blown-out muffler that needs to be repaired.

Catalytic Converter Service

A catalytic converter is a key part of the exhaust system. It's particularly important, as it's designed to capture the most harmful pollutants that come from the engine before incinerating them. Catalytic converters are usually quite durable, but they can be damaged by leaking oil, leaking coolant or an engine that's out of tune. 

When a catalytic converter is damaged or is starting to fail, you'll usually be able to tell due to loud sounds. The sound often resembles the noise of shaking loose coins in a metal box. Additionally, your check engine light may come on if there's a catalytic converter problem. You may also notice performance issues, where your car sees reduced fuel economy or performance. A clogged converter can even make it so your car won't start.

Service for catalytic converters can involve replacement or repair, depending on the damage. It's also important to note that a damaged catalytic converter is likely caused by another issue in your vehicle that needs to be addressed. Good catalytic converter service will fix the component and take a look at the rest of your vehicle to find what caused the issue in the first place.

Contact Hoffman Ford for Exhaust System and Muffler Service in Harrisburg

Whether you need exhaust pipe repair or muffler repair in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Hoffman Ford is here to help. You can bring your car to our Hoffman Ford Service Center to receive maintenance and repair services to ensure your car runs at peak performance. Contact us today to speak to one of our representatives about exhaust system repair in Harrisburg. If you're ready to make an appointment, schedule service online today.