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What is a car exhaust?
A car exhaust system is responsible for making sure fumes from the engine are expelled from your car. Exhaust systems can also be used to regulate the amount of noise produced by your car as well as to increase engine performance and fuel efficiency.
A car's exhaust system is an important part to keep well-maintained. Without an exhaust system, your engine could malfunction. In the worst case, deadly fumes like carbon monoxide could fill up the inside of your car.
Find car exhaust fitting centres and mechanics
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A mobile mechanic can perform a car exhaust fitting, and many other exhaust services, at your home. If something requires more extensive work, the mechanic will let you know and most likely recommend a trusted garage.
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How much does it cost to fit a new exhaust?
The average cost of exhaust fitting is £129.60 when booked on WhoCanFixMyCar. However, the exact price you end up paying can vary based on a number of factors, including the make and model of your car. Here are the typical costs of exhaust fitting for a range of popular car makes.
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Common car exhaust problems
Some of the most common exhaust issues faced by car owners are: Broken or faulty oxygen sensor, smoke coming out of the exhaust, leaks or cracks in the exhaust system, rusty parts, loose parts, blockages - especially with the catalytic converter.
Black smoke coming from your exhaust means that your engine is burning more fuel than it should. This is often caused by a problem with your fuel injectors, air filter or fuel-pressure regulator. Alternatively, the fuel line could be clogged. Burning excessive fuel will have a noticeable effect on fuel economy meaning that you will be spending much more money on getting from A-B.
If your exhaust is pumping out blue smoke, oil will have leaked into the engine and been burned in the system. This happens when the valve guide seals or piston rings have worn out and allowed engine oil into the combustion chamber. Engine oil is only meant for the lubrication of parts which are in constant contact with each other. If engine oil is leaking into the combustion system, you need to have the issue addressed and an oil change carried out as low engine oil levels are detrimental to your car.
If white smoke is coming from your exhaust, your car could be low on engine coolant from the result of a cracked or warped cylinder head, a cracked engine block or a head gasket failure from overheating. If engine coolant gets anywhere near the combustion chamber, the liquid will be vaporised and converted into a white gas which is then pushed out through the tailpipe in the form of white smoke.
The exhaust manifold is the piping that takes the fumes from the catalytic converter and then out to the tailpipe. This part can often become loose and rattle as a result of the fittings breaking from extensive rusting. The part can also leak fumes if holes appear, though they can be welded shut if they aren't too large. The exhaust manifold should not be too expensive to repair if there is a small hole, but if you need a new exhaust manifold, the price may be quite high depending on the model of your car.
The lambda sensor is an oxygen monitor located within the exhaust system. It is critical to keep track of oxygen levels within the exhaust as too much could cause an explosion if it reaches the engine. Getting a new lambda sensor is an inexpensive job and fitting it should not take too long, An oxygen sensor in the exhaust system is the same thing as a Lambda sensor.
The average cost of an exhaust fitting booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £127.84. If you’re experiencing signs of a faulty exhaust, and think it’s time to get a new one fitted, a professional will source the right parts and fit the new components for you.Can include
- Parts sourcing
- Exhaust fitting
The average cost of an exhaust repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £107.63. Exhaust repairs can range from sealing holes and tightening fittings to replacing parts that have extensive damage. You may need an exhaust repair if you notice a noise or rattle coming from the exhaust.Can include
- Exhaust hole repair
- Exhaust silencer repair
- Exhaust replacement
Top warning signs you need a new exhaust system
If you notice any of the below signs, you should have your car inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible:
Liquid leaking from your exhaust. This is usually caused by driving regularly on rough terrain which may shake some parts loose or create weak points.
Strange vibrations coming from your steering wheel or accelerator pedal. This indicates that your exhaust system needs an immediate repair service from a certified mechanic.
Sulphur-like smell, engine overheating or car having issues accelerating. These are signs of a potential blockage and should be looked into before the blockage becomes a bigger issue.
Tapping or hissing noises. This points to a gasket issue which needs to be replaced by a mechanic.
Increased petrol consumption. This could be due to an issue with the oxygen sensor and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Blue, black, white or gray smoke coming from your exhaust. This often means you’re burning either fuel, coolant or oil due to faulty parts, but is usually the sign of a faulty engine rather than a faulty exhaust system.
Car exhaust repair video guide
Car exhaust repairs
Find out about the car exhaust and some common repairs
When do I need to replace my car exhaust?
If you notice any of the issues listed above, it may be an indication that you need to replace your car exhaust.
Once a mechanic has advised you that you should replace your car exhaust, it’s really important that you schedule the replacement as early as possible. This is not just for the safety of other road users, but for your personal safety as well. A broken exhaust system could cause the passenger cabin to fill up with poisonous gases.
Even if you don’t observe any of the above signs, you should still have your exhaust system serviced at least once a year. This should be covered as part of your annual car service but it’s also good to double check with your mechanic.
New exhaust fitting versus exhaust repair cost
The cost to fit a new exhaust is usually slightly higher than the cost to repair your current exhaust system. The average price for a new exhaust fitting on WhoCanFixMyCar is around £129.60, while the average exhaust repair costs around £107.63.
Replacement exhausts can cost quite a bit more than the labour required to install them. However, the price of each service depends on what the specific issue is. We recommend letting a mechanic look at your car and advise you on which is the best option.
What impacts the cost of car exhaust fitting?
Any additional parts that need to be replaced
An exhaust system consists of 4 to 5 parts so it may not be necessary to replace the entire exhaust. Instead, you can often simply replace the faulty part. This means that if you have a faulty exhaust system, your total cost will depend on how many parts need to be replaced and which ones.
Can I fit my own exhaust?
Yes, if you want to take a DIY approach, you can fit your own exhaust at home. However, be aware that it’s not the easiest repair to do if you’re inexperienced. It’s best to hire a professional mechanic to make sure that your exhaust meets MOT standards.
How much does it cost to have an exhaust installed?
The average cost to get a new exhaust installed is £127.84 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar. However, the cost of having an exhaust installed by a professional varies greatly. Depending on your needs, the price can range from £100 to £1,000.
Is a dual exhaust better than single?
It depends. While dual exhaust systems are associated with better performance, whether that’s actually the case depends on the type of engine you have.
If you have a standard, 4-cylinder engine, a single exhaust system is going to be all you need. In fact, if you take the trouble to install a dual exhaust system, you’ll notice little to no difference. Dual exhaust systems are recommended for people who have high-performance cars with at least 6 cylinders.
How much does it cost to replace an exhaust pipe?
The price to replace an exhaust pipe depends on several factors such as the system and car manufacturer. On average, you can expect to spend around £110.
Do I need to replace the whole exhaust system?
Getting a new exhaust system can be incredibly pricey. Thankfully, a car’s exhaust system is composed of 4 to 5 parts which can be individually replaced. This is great, because it means that it is most likely unnecessary to replace your entire system should something go wrong. In most cases, you can simply pay to have the faulty part repaired or replaced.
Why does a car need an exhaust system?
Without an exhaust system, the first thing you would notice is the noise - which would be many times greater. Your engine is also designed to run with an exhaust's 'backpressure' on gases leaving the engine. Removing the backpressure reduces performance and burns more fuel. Finally your car would emit dangerous levels of waste gas without one.