One of the best ways to save money on an exhaust leak repair is to simply do it yourself. Of course, you may not have the time or the inclination to repair your own car, no matter how small the job, but then you’ll have to consider how this will affect the overall repair cost. First, you have to consider the labor costs, keeping in mind that most professional mechanics charge $100 per hour for a job like this, and that’s just for the labor! Then comes the cost of buying the parts, which usually comes in at $200 to $300.
The components are also quite affordable as well, and although they differ from one vehicle to the other, the typical cost is usually between $15 and $50. Of course, a dealership will probably charge you more than this for both the parts and the labor involved in flex pipe repair cost but you will probably be getting a better quality of both in any case.
An exhaust leak could seem trivial when it’s causing your car to make interesting and cool noises that make it seem to go faster, but things can quickly go south. This article specifically deals with the signs of leakage in your car’s exhaust system and how to deal with it when it happens.
Exhaust Manifold Leak Repair Price Comparison
Exhaust leak repair prices usually differ greatly according to the type of vehicle you’re dealing with. Different manufacturers charge different prices for their components, which might cause fluctuations in the price as well. There are also variations in the hourly labor rates charged by different repair shops, and the chart below represents the typical rates charged by some of the country’s major shops.
What’s Exhaust Leak Repair?
A leaking exhaust manifold can seriously damage the performance of your car, and the longer you take to fix the problem, the more expensive it will become.
Although an exhaust leak repair is a pretty straightforward job, it requires specialized tools that aren’t easy to come by. Also, some vehicles are harder to repair than others, especially when it comes to doing an exhaust pipe repair.
Exhaust Leak Repair Benefits
The exhaust system of your car is there to keep things quiet while making sure that there are no exhaust fumes coming from the cabin. A well-functioning exhaust system will also help to reduce emissions, ensure that the engine is running smoothly while providing you with good fuel efficiency. An exhaust leak can make it a pain to drive your car, as you’ll have dangerous fumes coming from every crevice in the vehicle, and they might even contain carbon monoxide.
The most obvious benefit of repairing an exhaust leak is the fact that you’ll be preventing further damage from happening to other parts of your car as a result of the leak. For example, it might cause damage to the exhaust intake manifold. This happens as a result of misdirected leaks from the combustion chamber’s exhaust, thus pouring the liquid right into the intake manifold.
To avoid further problems and additional repairs, you should fix the problem as soon as it arises, or as soon as you notice something unusual in your car. As a car owner, it pays to learn how to check for exhaust leaks on your own.
When Should You Fix Leaking Exhaust Manifold?
Some of the tell-tale signs of a leaking exhaust pipe include loud and unusual sounds, poor fuel mileage, a pulsating motion on the gas pedal, and foul-smelling exhaust fumes. Should you experience any of these signs, take your car in for an inspection by a professional mechanic immediately. The longer you inhale these harmful fumes, the more damage you do to your lungs because they contain unhealthy amounts of carbon monoxide. An exhaust leak, on the other hand, can considerably compromise your car’s performance and lead to incredibly costly damages.
Ideally, you want to do the repair immediately after you notice any issues with the exhaust pipe. Your mechanic can easily miss this problem when performing a systematic checkup on your car because they’re not used to hearing your car, so you’ll have to take responsibility and look out for when the tell-tale signs appear.
For example, your car’s engine might start making unusual high-pitched sounds, which is an exhaust leak sound that you as the car owner who drives the car every day will notice. So you’ll do well to notice how an exhaust leak sounds like just in case it happens to your car.
Also, if the gas pedal starts to vibrate while you’re driving, then you might have a leaking exhaust pipe on your hands.
Another obvious sign of an exhaust leak is reduced fuel efficiency. This is caused by the gas sensor receiving inaccurate signals from the combustion engine, thus causing gas to run out faster than usual.
So, How to Fix the Exhaust Leak?
Exhaust leaks are capable of inflicting serious damage to your car. For example, the exhaust leak might cause your car to make a raucous noise, it can decrease your car’s fuel efficiency, and the “check engine” light may come on as well, which is never a good sign.
You might also notice a considerable amount of carbon dioxide fumes filling your car as a result of the leak, which can cause serious health problems for you and your passengers.
That’s why it’s so important for you to spot those leaks while they’re still new so that you can fix them before they cause further damage.
The first thing that a mechanic will do after you send your car for an inspection is to perform a visual inspection. They do this because the exhaust is undoubtedly one of the hottest components of your car, and it will be especially hot if the vehicle has been running for some time. So, they’ll have to leave it as is for a while after it has arrived and only touch the exhaust a few hours later when it has cooled down.
The mechanic will start by looking for the exact location of the problem, which could be anywhere along the exhaust manifold. This component of the engine is made up of an extensive sequence of components and pipes that are set all along the length of your car. The issue can be on any section of this elaborate contraption, and once the mechanic finds it, they’ll be able to fix the problem.
The most obvious cause of the leak is usually a crack or hole on one of the pipes, and the best way to fix it would be to close it with the appropriate welding tools. A sealant can also be used to solve the problem through an exhaust patch, but that’s more of a short-term solution and they’ll have to weld the manifold at some point to make sure that the problem doesn’t happen again.
Thanks to the fact that the exhaust manifold is made up of various moving parts, it’s possible to just take out and change only the affected component while leaving all the other parts untouched. The required tools in this instance would be a few bolts and screws that will be used to attach the new parts in place.
Afterward, the mechanic will re-inspect the whole manifold contraption in order to make sure that there aren’t any more problems to deal with. If you’re doing the repair on your own, the easiest fix would be to replace the whole section instead of an individual part.
There are quite a few techniques that you can use to diagnose an exhaust leak, and we have a few tips to catch the exhaust leak while it’s still early. The first thing you should do is park your car on a flat surface, and make sure that it’s on firm ground. Concrete and blacktop usually work well. Also, the car should be in ‘park mode’, and make sure to engage the parking brake as well.
After you’ve secured the car, start the vehicle so you can get a good indication of the source of the leak. At this point, you should also look for wisps or billows of smoke emanating from the exhaust system located under the car. Since you’ll most likely be using exhaust tape for this job, you should make sure that it’s wrapped all around the problem area where the leak is coming from.
Cover the leak with two layers of tape, in the least, and cover each end of the leaking pipe with several inches of tape just to be on the safe side. This’ll ensure that the repair stays solid for longer so that you don’t have to worry about another leak from that spot again. It’s important to note here that the exhaust tape comes in different variations, and each requires a different application method. The good news is that each type of exhaust tape comes with instructions on how to apply it for the best results.
How to Save Money on the Exhaust Manifold Repair?
One of the best ways to reduce car gas leak repair costs is to do it on your own. Thankfully, an exhaust flange repair is a straightforward and quick job, plus it requires really affordable tools. It’s even cheaper when you buy the parts yourself because you can get a whole exhaust repair kit online for just $30 or even less.
If you don’t quite know how to find an exhaust leak, then you should definitely hire a professional mechanic to do it for you and just purchase the parts in order to cut costs. Of course, this will not necessarily fly with all mechanics and dealerships, but if you can find a mechanic that agrees to use the components that you’ve bought then you should definitely take advantage of that opportunity.
Sample Exhaust Leak Repair Costs
Check out the sample exhaust repair costs below to get an idea of how much it costs to have this repair done for some of the most popular vehicle brands and models in the US.
In this guide you will find: