Hints for exhaust system maintenance reminds us that even though it may not be obviously having some problems on the exhaust system, it is better to always check for immediate repair if ever there are even if it is minor.
Here are some hints for exhaust system maintenance for us to consider. Critical Checkpoints of the Exhaust System that are still good and are not being replaced should be visually checked. Starting at the front of the car, make your way to the rear.
Manifold to Exhaust pipe joint:
Gasket sealer ring may be made of cast iron, powdered metal or asbestos compound packing.
Look for pin size holes, excessive rust, cracks, and deterioration.
To find faulty brackets, gently force the muffler up and down to see which one is damaged or broken. When you work on brackets, you will probably find that nuts are easier to remove by using a set of deep six point sockets instead of 1/2 or 9 inches open, box wrench combinations. If you work on Japanese of European cars (eg. Toyota, Datsun, Colt, Volks, etc.) metric size tools are probably needed.
Clamp (If there is any)
Tighten loose clamps.
Check for breaks around the perimeter of the endplates, pinholes, and defective muffler baffles.
Exhaust noises caused by pressure waves in the gasses are regular and normal. Mufflers usually deteriorate from inside out, so damage may not be visible. If the muffler begins to rattle and produces excessive noise, the cause is usually a mechanical failure. Most common defects are loose or damaged baffles or clogged flow tubes. Also, pay attention to both end plates of the muffler. Tap the muffler with your hand or lightly with a metal tool. Listen to suspicious sounds made by falling flakes of rust and for rattles from loose tubes or baffles. A muffler that has deteriorated inside often emits a dull sounding noise rather than a metallic ring when tapped with a metal tool.
If you suspect an exhaust system leak, locate it by means of smoke signals. Pour kerosene or light oil (or carburetor cleaner, if you have any) into the carburetor while the engine is idling fast. The smoke produced will seep through and reveal even the tiniest pinhole which will be easily visible on the car. Sometimes exhaust leaks may be detected by a hissing sound.
A simple cause of a smoking car is a loose crankcase bolt.
If your car smokes like this, and afterward you find that it is coming from the oil filter cap, tighten those oil pan screws. They need tightening to maintain crankcase vacuum. Other causes may be defective pump gaskets, front cover gaskets, intake manifold end seal, and crankshaft seal. But this is unlikely.