Symptoms of a broken exhaust hanger most often are noises that you haven’t heard before. It may sound like you’re dragging a bell along under your car or you might hear a knocking when you drive over a speed bump. Or maybe the failure was more catastrophic and your exhaust pipe is now dragging the ground. In any case, one or more of the exhaust hangers has given up and it’s time for replacement.
Replacing an exhaust hanger is usually not a complicated job. But it requires a lot of hand strength and working underneath the car which can be awkward if you don’t have an automotive lift.
Part 1 of 1: Replacing an exhaust hanger
- Exhaust hanger
- Floor Jack and Jack stands
- Mechanic’s Creeper
- Owner’s manual
- Pry bar or a stout screwdriver
- Safety Glasses
- Wire cutters
Step 1: Safely jack up the car and put it on stands. Working under a car is potentially the most dangerous thing a home mechanic may do. Be sure to use good quality jack stands to support the car and support it from the factory recommended jack points. Your car owner’s manual should be able to tell you the best jack point locations.
Step 2: Locate the broken hanger(s). Most modern cars use some variation of the rubber donut to hang the exhaust. They all eventually stretch and break.
There may be more than one broken hanger, or maybe some of the hangers are stretched and ready to go. It’s probably in your best interest to replace all of them. There may be three or four and they’re usually not too expensive.
Step 3: Remove the hanger. You may want to pry the hanger off with your pry bay, or you may find it easier to cut the hanger with your wire cutters.
It may be tougher than it looks, the hangers usually have a steel cord imbedded in the rubber. If you are removing more than one hanger, you might want to put a jack stand under the exhaust system to keep it from dropping down when the hangers are removed.
Step 4: Install the new hanger. Use your pry bar or screwdriver to stretch the hanger over the bracket. If it is a hanger that has to be pushed onto a pin, it might be helpful to lubricate the hanger with silicone grease before trying to install it.
It may be a battle because the new hangers are not very stretchy. It might be helpful to put the floor jack under the exhaust and jack it up closer to the bottom of the car until you have the new hanger installed.
Step 5: Test it out. Before you put the car back on the ground, grab the exhaust pipe and give it a good shake. The new hangers should allow it to move around some without letting it bang on anything under the car. If it all looks OK, put the car back on the ground and go drive over a few speed bumps to see that everything is quiet.
It may take just one look at the tight space between the car and the ground to convince you that you don’t want to spend your Saturday afternoon crawling around under there. The good news is that there is no need! You can call Your Mechanic to come to your home or office and check out your exhaust problem while you go about your day.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Replace a Broken Car Exhaust Hanger and was authored by John Hege.