Ultimate Guide on How to Find and Repair Exhaust Leak?

Fixing the exhaust leak is often something people would depend on professionals to deal with. I, however, still want you to consider fixing the leak yourself if you’ve tried such auto repairs before.

However, that also does not mean I’ll recommend you to try things without having zero clues on how to repair exhaust leak.

So, before you grab the best repair tape for exhaust leak and start figuring it out on your own, read this and find at least a bit about how to actually make it work. Yes, I’ll share the two easiest ways that often are enough to handle minor serious cases of an exhaust leak.

Before Finding How to Repair Exhaust Leak, Pay Attention to These Preparation Steps

There are a few things you need to sort before getting into the repair process. And the most important one is finding exactly where the exhaust leak is located. Make sure you never deal with the exhaust system using direct touch, as it’s going to be pretty hot. Especially when you have just driven the vehicle.

Open the hood and look for a manifold that is located in the area where gas leaves the engine. Appearance-wise, it is quite rusty and comes with a few tubes. In some cases, there might be one huge tube. Heatshields are often used to keep the part covered, so try to look hard if you can’t see it.

Start from that part and keep going towards the underside of the vehicle, a pipe is what’s going to cover this path. Go all the way to the backside. You want to pay attention to finding a leak, hole, or broken area.

Don’t miss any component of the exhaust system. This includes many catalytic converters, mufflers, or resonators. You don’t want to miss any crease, dent, or hole. The top area needs to be inspected with a mechanical mirror. And you should be able to find all the leaks that need fixing.

Also Read: What is an Exhaust Leak

Apart From Finding the Exhaust Leak You Also Need To

  • Find a surface that is firm and level to park your vehicle.
  • Coolen down the vehicle if you have just driven it.
  • Bring the vehicle to a higher position by jacking up so that a thorough inspection of piping beneath is possible.

Clean & Sand the Area

Using a steel-toothed brush gives the leak surrounding area a good scrub. This area usually comes with caked-up dirt, rust, and mud. And you should get rid of those before anything else. Otherwise, the solution you’ll use for fixing the area (mostly stick or seal) won’t work on the area.

After so, use sandpaper of fine grit and sand the portion of area that has leak. This would make even the last bit of dirt leave. Also, the tiny micro-abrasions would help epoxy or tape that you’ll use later.

Use Acetone to Wipe It

Use acetone on a clean cloth and wipe the area next. This can be done with regular nail polish too. Acetone is a common element of most nail polish formulas. The acetone would help in allowing the epoxy to bond better.

Use Epoxy or Exhaust Tape for Cracks & Pinholes

Now, this is for the holes that are pretty small and won’t need patching. Cracks, as well as pin size holes, are what I’m referring to. However, in case of huge holes, you must patch, I’ll tell you how in a later section.

With The Exhaust Tape

  • Start wrapping the pipe surrounding with exhaust repair tape you bought.
  • Each and every leak should be covered with at least two layers of tape. The more the better.
  • A few inches of wrapping around the pipe is suggested. This will help to secure the leak’s sideways as well.
  • Depending on your exhaust tape, the application can be slightly different. So, make sure to go through the given instructions.

With The Epoxy

  • Mix epoxy following the instructed method on the label of it.
  • Then directly apply the epoxy on leaks.
  • For sealing, make sure to use a wooden dowel for mixing two parts together.
  • Use dabbing motion for applying the solution on leaks. Speared it nicely on the surrounding area of leak as well.
  • Go for thick layers to cover the leak properly. Both over and around the leak.
Just Saying – Applying the epoxy and then wrapping it with tape, would be the best way to deal with leaks. So, if possible, try both together!

Alternative Method – Perfect for Slightly Bigger Leaks

Clean the area just like before and scrub as well. Next, decide the size of patch depending on hole’s hugeness. Whatever you decide, make sure to keep additional half inches included (just to stay extra safe!).

Now you want to cut the patch (usually made of aluminum) and then fit it over leak. Make sure you are using a sturdy pair of scissors for so.

For the surround of the leak, use some epoxy for best results. Also, you can try wrapping a large patch around the pipe instead of just patching leaking area. In case you don’t want to use epoxy, this can help.

If you want to be even safer, try applying a coat of epoxy over the patch you just used on top of leak. So that the patch stays in its place. And the seal will, of course, make things extra safe.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does Exhaust Leak Repair Cost?

Ans: If you want to handle things with the help of a professional, then it can cost you somewhere between 150 to 300 dollars. In the case of the dealership, it would cost slightly more. Usually around 210 to 340 dollars.

2. How to Tell If You Have an Exhaust Leak?

Ans: The loud noise of the engine and vibrating pedal are two most common signs. Also having a sudden decrease in fuel efficiency is a signal of an exhaust leak. Acceleration causing weird noise and strong smells are also quite frequent indicators.

3. How Long Does It Take to Fix an Exhaust Leak?

Ans: It would depend on the severity of the leak. However, generally, you can expect the repair to take around two to three hours.

4. Can an Exhaust Leak Cause Loss of Power?

Ans: Power loss is one of the many performances degrades that you may experience with exhaust leaks taking over your vehicle. You’ll notice the gas pedal punch not having the regular flow of functioning as well as other problems.

Wrap Up

And I tried my best to tell you how to repair exhaust leak all by yourself. Also, the information on cost if you decide to take it to professional and similar information, I tried to put those as well. Hopefully, this will prove to be helpful. Don’t delay the repair of this really significant vehicle part that handles quite huge responsibilities. On that note, I’ll leave for today. Have a Nice Day!

Leave a Comment