How To Check Your Exhaust For Leaks, Rust Or Damage

Here is a simple guide as to how to check your exhaust for leaks, rust or damage.

Checking Your Exhaust For Leaks

To check your exhaust for leaks you will need a jack, a towel or rag and a friend to help.

  1. Ensure your car is on a flat surface.
  2. Use a jack to raise the front of your vehicle.
  3. Turn your car.
  4. While you lay under the front of the car, as a friend to plug the exhaust with the rag or towel. Your friend may want to wear heavy duty gloves during this process as, while it will take a while to get hot, the exhaust will get hotter the longer you leave it running.
  5. Listen for any hisses or spluttering noises.
  6. Locate the noises and you will have located your leak.
  7. If a leak is found take it to your local Protyres centre to be fixed.


Checking Your Exhaust For Rust

There are various forms of rust which can form on your exhaust. All of which can be identified and located if you follow these simple steps.

  1. Ensure your car is on a flat surface.
  2. Use a jack to raise the front of your vehicle. Alternatively elevate your car using a ramp.
  3. Climb under your car and check your exhaust for rust.
  4. Check for pinholes.
  5. If pin holes are found, take it to your local car service centre to have replaced.

Spot rust is normal for vehicles used in the northern hemisphere. The damp from snow, rain and from the sea all contribute to spot rust developing sporadically across your exhaust. Spotting rust early could be the difference between having to have it replaced and having it repaired.

Why not get a professional to take a look? Get a Free Exhaust Check at Protyre

Protyre offer a range of Free Vehicle Checks to all of our customers, including exhausts. Our expert technicians will carry out a check of your vehicle and will offer advice on what can be done to correct any issues. 

Book Free Vehicle Check


Other Forms Of Damage

Corrosion and rust are the most common forms of damage to your exhaust, but it is also worth watching out for the following:

Oxygen Sensor

Over time your oxygen sensor wears out and becomes less accurate. The effect of this is that your car will burn more fuel than needed which in turn will cost you more money. In modern cars your Check Engine Light will come on when the oxygen sensor is in need of replacing. If you don’t have a light then we recommend you have it checked every 60,000 miles.


Rust is usually the killer when it comes to silencers. These can be replaced easily by a professional.

Catalytic Converter

Although rare, it is possible for your catalytic converter to become clogged. If this occurs you will need to get it replaced. Symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Loss of Power
  • Heat coming up through the floor
  • Smell of sulphur
  • The converter itself glowing red

If any of these symptoms appear contact your local car servicing centre and get them to check it out.

Not sure where your local Protyre is? Click the button below to use our garage locator.

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About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The Protech Academy is a centre of excellence where the Protyre team learn the latest mechanical knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and develop their expertise to share with our customers at their local garage. The Academy is also designed to help us stay ahead of the ever changing automotive market by ensuring we have the best skills available to deal with advanced driver assist systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles in addition to all the new technology finding their way into our vehicles. During Dean's career he has worked for some of the biggest names in the fast-fit and mechanical aftermarket and as the man responsible for developing our people and their mechanical skills he is ideally suited to help provide advice in the latest in car technology and ongoing maintenance of your vehicle no matter how new or old it maybe.

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