Underneath your vehicle are several series of different systems that keep your vehicle in fine working order, including your exhaust system which connects the metal brackets on the exhaust pipe and muffler to the undercarriage through the use of very thick rubber dampers. This exhaust support, or exhaust hanger, pulls all of the exhaust-related parts together and keeps them close and tight to the vehicle so they can avoid being damaged.
The vibration in this area of the vehicle can be immense, and the close proximity to the ground provides ample opportunity for road debris to jump up and attempt to knock the exhaust system off of its perch near the engine. The exhaust supports are a more flexible rubber instead of a solid steel to allow the exhaust some room for movement with the vehicle and also to provide a measure of cushion from road shocks.
Along with noise dampening, the exhaust supports protect the tailpipe and exhaust structure from being damaged – making this an important part to get repaired quickly. Here are some common symptoms that hint towards having failing exhaust supports:
1. Exhaust pipe loose or swaying
Anytime your exhaust pipe or tube is hanging low or looks like it is swaying beneath your vehicle, it’s time to check your exhaust supports to ensure they are still functional. They may only need to be adjusted, so check with a qualified technician.
2. Muffler hanging to the ground
A muffler that is literally dragging the ground is one that’s got a completely failed exhaust support – it may even have come completely off the vehicle. Either way, get the muffler checked out soon.
3. Exhaust louder than usual
There are several reasons why your exhaust may be louder than usual, but the jittering and moving around of your exhaust pipe when the support fails are one potential reason to explore.
While the exhaust supports are not a part of a regular maintenance routine, if you find need to replace the supporting parts of the exhaust system, it’s good to go ahead and replace the exhaust supports as well.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of Bad or Failing Exhaust Supports and was authored by Valerie Johnston.