Should I Repair or Replace A Rusty Exhaust System?


Rusted Exhaust Pipe | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.


With today’s changing automotive environment, many people question repairing their vehicles. Your car’s exhaust system does so much more than keep your vehicle quiet. It helps your engine run, reduces emissions, and directs exhaust fumes away from the cabin. The exhaust system is closer to the ground and more vulnerable to moisture and debris from the road.  Repair costs on damaged or worn-out exhaust components vary. But waiting too long to make these repairs can be very expensive in the long run. Here are some items to keep in mind if you think your car, truck, or SUV is experiencing exhaust issues.



  • When any type of water or vapor sits in your exhaust system for too long, it causes a corrosive effect. Water reacts with the iron in steel and creates iron oxide called rust. If you often make short trips in your car, the moisture in the exhaust system cannot get hot enough to vaporize. The standing water in your exhaust system can cause premature corrosion. And rust spots can begin to form. Driving distances of 20 miles or more will help to burn the moisture in your exhaust system.
  • Salt will speed up the rust and corrosion process. Road salt used during the winter months can be unforgiving. Frequent washing of your car’s undercarriage will remove the salt and dirt buildup. Be sure to run the vehicle long enough to allow the water on the pipes to dry.
  • Once rust has spread to one area of your vehicle- it won’t slow down. Rust is a sign of age and corrosion. We recommend replacing a component or the entire system. A temporary fix will only prolong an issue and could cost you more in the future.


Rusted Exhaust Pipe | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.



  • Your car’s muffler reduces the sound of the engine. Any damage to the muffler will cause these noises to be much louder. Working mufflers are required by laws in most states. A loud muffler could cause you to be pulled over by police and given a ticket. Or could cause you to fail a state’s yearly safety and emissions test.
  • A rusty muffler may also be emitting carbon monoxide and other gasses into the vehicle. These gases cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. If a loud muffler is due to a hole, do not drive the vehicle and have it inspected by an auto technician right away.


Rust Spots on Muffler | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.



  • The exhaust system has four main functions:
  1. Control noise
  2. Move exhaust fumes away from passengers
  3. Improve the performance of the engine
  4. Improve fuel consumption
  • When portions of the exhaust pipes become rusted, they can produce an exhaust leak. A crack or hole can cause your vehicle to experience fuel inefficiency, a reduction in power, and an inability to accelerate.
Rust on Exhaust Pipe | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.


If you think your vehicle may have an exhaust leak, an experienced auto technician at Lou’s Car Care can help. Schedule an appointment to inspect your exhaust system or add it to your next oil change service. We use the latest diagnostic equipment and high-quality auto parts to make sure we get the job done right. Our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 36-month / 36,000- mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us to schedule your appointment today! We have been proudly serving the Baldwinsville, NY and surrounding communities since 1976.



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