Exhaust System Safety

Exhaust System Safety

Exhaust system repairs are among the most common repairs a vehicle may need, and one of the most dangerous parts if it is in disrepair.

Your vehicle’s exhaust system emits Carbon Monoxide. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a serious and deadly toxic gas. Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless, non-irritating, and has no taste, making it difficult or impossible to detect before it is too late.

Most often, we hear about carbon monoxide poisoning cases where a vehicle has been left running in an enclosed space such as a garage, but CO poisoning can be caused by some other circumstances as well.

For anyone residing in an are where winter weather conditions apply, it is important that you frequently check carefully to determine if your exhaust pipe may have been blocked by an accumulation of ice or snow. This blockage will prevent the toxic gas from escaping through the exhaust pipe, and force the gas back into the vehicle through gaps or cracks in the floorboard.

Signs of CO exposure include headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, fluttering of the heart, impaired vision, confusion, impaired reaction time, drowsiness, and other changes such as behavioral changes. Infants, elders, and individuals with health problems, especially those with heart health concerns are even more at risk of death by exposure.

In normal circumstances, a muffler should last roughly 5 to 7 years, but exposure to road salt from snow maintenance or seawater, damage from objects such as speed bumps or pot holes, or a custom change not recommended by the manufacturer can cause them to wear out prematurely. Be on alert for signs your exhaust is in need of repair such as the following:

Loud or unusual exhaust noise
A decrease in your normal gas mileage
A bad or unusual smell coming from the exhaust
Rough idling
Backfiring or engine misfiring
Condensation from the exhaust pipes

If there is any reason whatsoever to believe there is an issue with your exhaust system, contact your mechanic immediately for a thorough inspection.