A vehicle's exhaust system prevents pollutants and noise from escaping the engine. It's placed on the bottom of the vehicle and is subject to corrosion and road damage. They're also expensive to replace and hard to maintain due to their position. In most cases, repairing them is preferable but complicated. To save money, it is easier to do the repairs yourself.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Welding equipment
- Welding goggles
- Welding gloves
- Wrench set
- Car jack
- Car instruction manual
- Car hoist
Determine the damage. Use the car jack to lift the car and examine the exhaust system. Check for any damage between the motor and the tailpipe; rusted holes on the pipe between the engine and muffler. If the break in the pipe is not rusted on both sides, you can weld it together.
Remove the exhaust. Check your car's instruction manual to see how the exhaust is held onto the car and use a wrench set to remove the brackets. Keep some WD-40 handy in case the brackets are held in place with rusty bolts or screws.
Weld the damage back together. Let it set for a few minutes so it can cool and the weld can take hold. Check the brackets for any rust damage in case those need to be replaced as well. Also use WD-40 on the bracket bolts or screws to ease reattachment to the car's frame.
Reattach the exhaust back to the car. Be careful with the bracket bolts and screws: the WD-40 will make them slippery. Make sure everything is firmly in place before taking the car off of the car jack or hoist.
Examine the exhaust when the car is on its own wheels. Check to see if the exhaust remains attached and is flush with the bottom of the car frame to prevent it from catching on any road imperfections. If it is not, jack it back up and examine the brackets to see if they are snug enough.
Turn the car on to check for noise. Also listen for rattling noises as that is indicative of a loose bracket. Check underneath the car to see if the exhaust is still securely in place. Let the car run for five minutes to make sure everything is secure. Then take it for a test drive. Then recheck it again to be absolutely certain.
Tips and warnings
- If there is a lot of rust damage to your exhaust, it may be cheaper to replace it.
- Repairing an exhaust in this manner requires a capability to weld metal together. Do not do this if you are unable to weld or have no welding experience.
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