Rusted-out Exhaust

Ah, the joys of living in the rust belt. Our cold and snowy winters mean spreading lots of salt on the roads during the course of the winter, and salt plus metal equals rust. Lots of rust. One of the parts of cars that gets rustiest fastest is the exhaust system, because it’s not painted or coated with rust inhibitor.


That can lead to exhaust pipes developing leaks or even completely rusting through. This one rusted through right before the muffler. If you’re lucky, it’ll only rust through in a section of pipe that does not include the catalytic converters, because unless you know someone good with a welder, you’ll need a new pipe and converter, which typically runs a thousand bucks or more. My brother was unlucky enough to have two parts of his exhaust rust through in the same weekend, but was able to get part of it warrantied because it was replaced not too long ago.


This one had the pipe rust through right where it connects to the flange to attach to the other portion of the system. The customer said they hit a pothole and noticed the car was louder, and I can see how that could happen. The pipe could’ve rusted down as far as it could without leaking, and then the shock from the pothole was too much for the rusted metal and it gave way. The day before I had another of the same model car with a leak in this same spot.

Speaking of exhaust leaks, my car has developed a small leak in one of the parts where two pipes attach. I actually like the deeper, louder sound for the moment, but when it gets worse I’ll deal with it.

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