5 Signs Your Exhaust System Is More Polluting Than It Should Be
Newer cars have engines and exhaust systems that are designed to be friendly to the environment. This is accomplished primarily through the catalytic converter, which converts bad emissions and pollutants from your car exhaust system into compounds that are harmless to the environment.
When the catalytic converter starts to fail, or an exhaust leak occurs, this conversion stops, and the resulting pollution can be harmful to the environment as well as damaging to your vehicle. The following are 5 signs that your vehicle is causing harmful pollution due to a malfunctioning exhaust system.
- Smoke From The Exhaust
The most obvious and direct sign of harmful pollution is smoke emitting from your car’s tailpipe. A healthy exhaust system on modern vehicles rarely emits visible smoke, if ever. When smoke starts to come out, it’s usually as a sign of some sort of problem. This smoke might appear in three different colors.
White smoke is a sign of coolant leak within the engine. Blue smoke is a sign of an internal engine oil leak. Black smoke indicates that your car is burning up too much gasoline, possibly due to a malfunctioning fuel injection unit. Any of these different colored smoke emissions are creating harmful pollutants and they are sure fire sign it’s time to repair your vehicle.
- Increase in Engine Noise
The exhaust system typically dulls engine noise through the muffler. If a fuel leak occurs, it’s likely to create an excess of noise within the engine that your muffler won’t be able to muffle.
Noises caused by a fuel leak may sound like the engine is rumbling with power, but this in fact means it’s struggling to perform correctly. Any unusual noises from the engine can indicate a problem with the exhaust system, and this is definitely a sign of unnecessary and harmful pollution to the environment.
- The Gas Pedal Doesn’t Help You Go Faster
One specific sign that your vehicle’s exhaust system is failing due to a broken catalytic converter is a malfunctioning gas pedal. When exhaust becomes trapped in front of the catalytic converter, it causes your engine to run less efficiently.
This increased pressure in the back of your vehicle may actually cause your engine to stop completely. You’ll be pushing your gas pedal and your car won’t move, but the engine may still be emitting harmful, unprocessed exhaust from your vehicle’s tailpipe.
- Vibrating Gas Pedal
Another pedal problem that may show itself in the event of a fuel leak is an excessively vibrating gas pedal. As exhaust fumes escape from your tailpipe in excess, they may cause shaking and vibrating throughout the whole car.
You’ll be able to feel this vibration most through the gas pedal because you’re touching it directly with your foot and because it’s located directly above the exhaust system where the problem is coming from.
The vibrating will likely get worse the more you accelerate your vehicle. All the while your engine will be spewing out toxic fumes that are harming the environment as you speed along the highway.
- Decrease in Fuel Economy
Your exhaust system features an oxygen sensor which detects the amount of oxygen in your exhaust. This acts as a gauge for how much fuel should be burned up in the engine. If there’s a fuel leak present, the oxygen sensor will actually read an excess of oxygen.
This will falsely indicate a lean running vehicle, when in fact more gas will be unnecessarily sent to the engine, resulting in an excessive amount of exhaust fumes. This results in unnecessary gas usage for you and unnecessary pollution for the environment.
Most modern vehicles are designed with an engine and exhaust system that’s environmentally friendly. But a fuel leak or an error with the catalytic converter can easily disrupt your vehicle’s eco-friendly process. Any of the above signs are reason to suspect your car is creating unnecessary pollution for the environment and should be taken to a mechanic right away.