Auto workshops and welders will always suggest welding the exhaust or replacing the muffler to fix the leak. Do you know how to fix an exhaust leak without welding? An exhaust leak can lead to some serious issues, or it may also just change the sound of your car or truck.
No matter what, you need to pay attention to the exhaust leak immediately because you are going to hate the irritating sound of the exhaust. Apart from the extremely annoying noises, exhaust leaks might result in increased emissions, and they can also cause the check engine light to go green.
The general option for fixing the exhaust leak is to have it welded, but you can also opt for solutions that don’t involve replacing the pipes or welding. Fixing the exhaust leak without welding can be challenging, so you need to follow the exact details given below.
The first challenge will be locating the leak, and the second is the unavailability of the right tools. In this guide on how to fix an exhaust leak without welding, we are going to explain everything that you need to know about the process.
How to Fix an Exhaust Leak without Welding?
Several ways can be used to fix the exhaust leak without welding so let’s have a look at the detailed process of resolving the issue with DIY. Before starting with the process, you need to know the reasons that may cause exhaust leaks in the first place.
Aging is the first reason that generally causes a gas leak. After years, it is almost inevitable to avoid these issues. The best way is to fix the issue with the right tools.
Low-lying pipes easily hit the speed breakers and jump, so you may also end up with damaged exhaust pipes that cause a leak. Let’s see how to fix the issue:
Method 1: Fixing Exhaust Leak with Epoxy
Fixing the smaller exhaust leaks without welding requires you to fill the holes with epoxy. The process of fixing the exhaust leak with epoxy is simple, but it requires you to follow some specific steps for the best results. Here are steps for fixing the exhaust leak with epoxy:
Detect the Leak or Damage
Before getting started with this method, you need to realize that you cannot fix the bigger damages with epoxy. This method is only useful for smaller leaks where you don’t need to patch the pipe for the fix.
Exhaust leaks that are less than 5mm can be repaired with epoxy and for the larger leaks, you need to consider the other methods.
Clean the Leaking Area
If the leak is repairable with epoxy, use the hard brush to clean the leak’s surface. For effective results, the surface should be clean and free of debris and dust particles. A cleaner surface will increase the adhesiveness of epoxy, and the leak will be fixed more efficiently.
For the additional grip and adhesiveness, you can sand down the leaking area with sandpaper. Doing so is necessary for a permanent fix.
Apply Acetone on the Leaking Surface
Most of us have acetone in the garage, so make sure to apply a small amount of acetone on the surface. Make sure to clean the area around the leak with acetone or nail polish remover. The purpose of all of these steps is to increase the epoxy’s adhesiveness on the leaking surface.
Once you have gone through all of the cleaning processes, mix the epoxy. Don’t prepare the epoxy mixture in the beginning because it will dry once you are done with the cleaning process.
The epoxy glue will dry up in a moment, so make sure to carefully apply it on the entire leaking surface. Epoxy glues can take up to 4-5 minutes to fix the leak and some glue will dry within a few seconds.
Method 2: Repair Tape for Exhaust
For the exhaust leaks larger than 5mm, you can use the leak repair tape. You need to revise the first three steps explained in the first method. Even for fixing the exhaust leak with repair tape, you need to clean the surface thoroughly.
Once you have cleaned the leaking surface with acetone or any other material, here comes the practical phase of fixing the leak with exhaust repair tape. Now, wrap the exhaust leak repair tape around the surface.
Make sure that tape is covering the entire area and you have wrapped the area several times. Leaves the tape to dry and stick to the leaking surface for some time.
Method 3: Fixing the Leak with Patch
The larger area is damaged due to hitting the speed breakers or other jumps. In that case, you need to cover the leaking area with the patch. Even this method does not involve welding. You can take enough larger patch of the tin can and attach on the damaged area to cover the pipe.
Here are Some Steps to Apply the Patch on the Damaged Surface of the Exhaust Pipe:
- Clean the surface with acetone or nail polish remover and sandpaper
- Apply epoxy on the leaking surface and also on the patch that you are going to attach
- Attach the can patch on the surface and you can also use clamps to attach the patch
Required Tools for Exhaust Repairs
The process of fixing the exhaust leak does not require you to buy any kind of expensive tools. The tools used in the process are easily available in almost every garage. If done right, fixing the exhaust leaking pipe is a pretty easy job.
You just need to pay attention to the detection of the leak. Choosing the right method is critical. Using epoxy for the larger area is not a good option. So, here are some important tools required for any kind of exhaust leak:
- Wheel ramps because trying to fix the car with the help of a jack can be dangerous
- Epoxy glue
- The patch of tin can
- Exhaust leak repair tape
- Clamps or clips
Make sure to wear proper protective gear for the process because rust particles or any other material may damage your eyes or any other body part. Be careful during the process and prefer your personal safety over anything else.
Exhaust Leak Sound when Accelerating
The exhaust system is meant to control the emission of the engine’s gases, but it also reduces the engine’s noise. The mufflers in the exhaust system suppress the engine’s sound, and the leaking exhaust pipe can produce an even louder sound when you press the accelerator.
First of all, many reasons create annoying sound when accelerating and leaking exhaust is one of those reasons. So, you need to detect if the sound is originally caused by leaking exhaust or any other issue.
Fixing the Sound Issue when Accelerating
The exact solution of the sound when accelerating depends on the original problem that is causing it; you can try fixing the leaking exhaust pipe with the methods mentioned above.
These methods to fix the noise created by exhaust pipes are easy and inexpensive. You don’t need any kind of expensive tools to fix the issue.
Some exhaust problems may be complicated, and you might have to replace a few components in the car exhaust system. Even if there are no damaged components, the exhaust components’ broken seals can also produce irritating sounds when accelerating.
You can apply epoxy glue on all joints so that every minor leak or broken seal is precisely covered. Just don’t stick with the exhaust system because engine belts also produce sound when accelerating.
The best way to resolve the issue is to check the other components before starting the exhaust fixes. Rubber components produce increased friction that results in irritating sound.
Sounds and warning lights due to the exhaust system or any other malfunction mean that your car or truck is not safe for driving.
Instead of ignoring these smaller issues, fix the problems before any serious damage. Exhaust leaks may start leaving gases in the cabin, and longer exposure to these gases can cause severe medical issues. Fix the leaking exhaust pipe immediately to avoid any serious damage.
An exhaust system is an important part of your car, and it must be fully functional for the efficient working of your car and your own safety. The gases produced in the engine are exhausted out of the engine with the help of pipes.
Moreover, the exhaust system also reduces the noise with the help of mufflers. The pipes take an intense beating over the years so damaged pipe is inevitable. If you don’t like welding for its complexity it’s essential to know how to fix an exhaust leak without welding.
Besides, welding the pipe is a common option, but you can also fix the issue in your own garage. There are several components involved in the exhaust system and these fixes only work for the external damages.
If there is something wrong with the exhaust system’s internal components, you may have to visit the car repair shop near you.