How to repair a hole in an exhaust

Updated March 28, 2018

An exhaust on a vehicle is made up of several different sections that transport used combustion gasses from the vehicle's engine to the back or side of the vehicle (tailpipe). The pipes incorporate several silencers (mufflers) to reduce noise. If you notice a sudden increase in noise from your vehicle, especially when you rev the engine, you probably have a hole in your exhaust. Luckily, with some muffler patch tape from your local hardware store, you can silence your exhaust. However, you will need to have your vehicle eventually looked at because muffler tape won't last forever.

Find the hole in your exhaust. While the car is off, look under it near the tail pipe and muffler. If there is a visible hole, you have found the culprit. If you do not see any cracks or holes, turn the vehicle on and carefully look again, but look for vapours seeping out. Another method of finding the hole is to trace the noise back to the source by having a friend rev the engine while you are looking under the vehicle.

Move the vehicle onto a hard flat surface. Turn off the vehicle. Let the vehicle stand for 10 minutes to cool.

Jack up the vehicle on the side where the tailpipe is visible. This will allow the best access to the exhaust hole.

Wrap the muffler patch tape around the hole you found at least four times for good measure. The tape is self adhesive and uses the muffler's heat to adhere to the exhaust.


Muffler repair tape is only a quick fix. Schedule an appointment with a local mechanic to have the exhaust looked at further.


Use extreme caution around vehicles on jacks. They can fall and cause serious injury. Do not touch any part of the exhaust after your vehicle has been running for an extended period of time. It will be extremely hot and may cause injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Vehicle jack
  • Muffler patch tape
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About the Author

Jess Jones has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has been a featured contributing writer for "Curve Magazine" and she teaches English composition at a small college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her Master of Arts in English language and literature in 2002.