What are the most common muffler problems?

Rust –

Over time your exhaust system can become corroded. Short trips, especially in cold winter weather can accelerate this process because your vehicle does not reach optimal temperatures and moisture becomes trapped in the exhaust system. This moisture then mixes with sulfur from the exhaust creating a coercive compound that then rusts the metal from inside out. Given enough time the rust will eventually lead to leaks in your exhaust system. Some areas of your exhaust system are particularly susceptible to leaks, for example where the exhaust manifold meets the cylinder head thermal expansion and contraction from starting the engine can cause leaks over time. Leaks in this area can be very dangerous because they are positioned when gases can easily escape through vents into the vehicle. Hot gasses can also create further damage by melting spark plug wires and plug boots. The seam where the exhaust manifold pipe and head pipe meet can also be especially susceptible to corrosion and leaks over time.

Exhaust leaks can allow deadly carbon monoxide to seep into the passenger cab of your vehicle. The EPA has reported that as high as 1 in 5 vehicles involved in a car accident show elevated levels of carbon monoxide inside the vehicle. This is not surprising since even slightly elevated levels in the cab of a vehicle of this tasteless odorless gas can cause disorientation, dizziness, headaches and confusion. Regular inspections and maintenance of your exhaust system will protect you and your family from this deadly contaminant. Ask your trusted Traverse City mechanic to fully inspect your exhaust system to ensure that your system is not leaking.

Oxygen Sensor Failure –

The oxygen (O2) sensors are located before and after the catalytic converter (some vehicles have 2 sets) their function is to measure the oxygen levels in the exhaust gasses and then relay this information to the electronic control unit so that it can maintain the most efficient air-fuel ratio. If the one or more of the oxygen sensors report false information the car can suffer from lower fuel economy, increased emissions, sluggish acceleration, excessive wear on the catalytic converter and rough idle. O2 sensors should be replaced as part of your regular preventative maintenance, ask your trusted Traverse City mechanic or refer to your owner’s manual for specific replacement mileage increments for your vehicle. Replacing your oxygen sensors is a relatively inexpensive procedure and if you currently have a malfunctioning O2 sensor replacing it could increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 10-15%.

If your exhaust system hasn’t been inspected recently a TC Public Service Garage mechanic would be happy to conduct a free comprehensive inspection of the entire system to identify any leaks, corrosion or other problem areas. Call 231-933-1113 or stop by our auto repair shop located only 2.5 miles south of downtown Traverse City, at 2450 Diamond Drive Traverse City, MI 49684 just off of Cass road.

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