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Exhaust repair & replacement

The main function of an exhaust system in a vehicle is to maintain engine performance and reduce emissions. Common components of an exhaust system include the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter, silencer, oxygen sensor and tailpipe, among other smaller parts.

When fuel is burnt during the combustion process, the engine will emit gases that need to get out of the vehicle - this is where the ingenious exhaust system comes into play. The exhaust manifold collects these gases and directs them to the catalytic converter, which is designed to reduce the amount of pollutants in the exhaust gases. The catalytic converter contains a mesh-like structure coated with a combination of precious metals, such as platinum and palladium, which convert harmful pollutants into less harmful substances like carbon dioxide.

While the silencer reduces the noise produced during this process, the tailpipe helps direct the fumes to the rear of the vehicle.

The UK has a strict set of emission standards which regulates the limit of pollutants from vehicles on the road to reduce the negative impact of transport on the environment. It’s important to ensure that a vehicle exhaust system is well-maintained and inspected to ensure that it meets these emission standards.

Exhaust services we offer

Catalytic Converter replacement

Catalytic converter replacement is the process of cutting and removing the malfunctioning catalytic converter and replacing it with a new one so it can perform its function of reducing the amount of harmful pollutants during the combustion process. It can wear out over a period of time and is often the target for criminals as it includes precious minerals.

EGR Valve replacement

During an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve replacement, the clogged up or malfunctioning valve is inspected and replaced with a new part. During this process, the associated vacuum pipes and connections are removed to access the old part and replaced appropriately so it can reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides emitted from the exhaust system by recirculating some of the exhaust gases back into the engine.

Exhaust Manifold repair

During an exhaust manifold repair, the general process is to remove the damaged manifold and then replace it. The exhaust ports are also thoroughly inspected for damage before the new exhaust manifold is installed.

Car Oxygen Sensor replacement

During a car oxygen sensor replacement process, sometimes referred to as “lambda sensor”, the sensor responsible for measuring the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gases is inspected and replaced. This sensor is critical to ensure the air-to-fuel ratio is maintained in real-time and can wear out over a period of time.

PCV Valve replacement

With a PCV or Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve replacement, the clogged or malfunctioning valve is inspected and replaced so it can perform its function of venting blow-by gases and oil vapor from the crankcase back into the intake manifold.

DPF cleaning, regeneration & replacement

A Diesel Particulate Filter (only in diesel vehicles) can get clogged up with soot which is when it will need cleaning. In the event it cannot be cleaned or regenerated effectively then the filter will need to be replaced.

Some of the Exhaust jobs we offer

  • Exhaust pipe replacement - front/downpipe
  • Exhaust pipe replacement - front/downpipe - left
  • Exhaust pipe replacement - front/downpipe - right
  • Exhaust pipe replacement - middle/silencer
  • Exhaust pipe replacement - rear/tail/silencer
  • Exhaust pipe replacement - rear/tail/silencer (both)
  • Exhaust replacement - general

Frequently asked questions about exhaust repair & replacements

Read our answers to questions about exhaust repair costs, symptoms and more.

What does the exhaust do?

The exhaust is a component made up out of several parts that channels the exhaust gases from the engine's cylinders into the air. Typically, a full exhaust system will consist out of an exhaust manifold, downpipe, exhaust pipes, an exhaust silencer (or back box) and a catalytic converter. The exhaust parts are held to the car with exhaust mountings (sometimes rubber mountings, whilst the parts are sealed to one another with exhaust gaskets.

What does an exhaust replacement involve?

The mechanic will come to fix the exhaust pipe requested, and will assess the situation on the vehicle. They will then replace the exhaust pipe and advise on any further repairs needed. The mechanic will then run checks and adjust make adjustments if needed.

Can I install an exhaust system myself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend an exhaust repair is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the symptoms of a faulty exhaust pipe?

A broken exhaust pipe may have a problem with the rubber mount holding it up, which would cause the pipe to sag, drag and hit speed bumps hard. There may also be a leakage problem, releasing fumes closer the the vehicle. A leakage issue can usually only be identified with specialist equipment.

How long does it take to fit an exhaust?

The time an exhaust repair will take will depend on the type of repair needed and on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should I replace an exhaust pipe?

Your exhaust pipe is not a part you would commonly replace but it is susceptible to damage as it fitted underneath the car and is exposed to the elements. If there is any sign of damage then it is important to get it fixed, as it will normally have an effect on the performance of your vehicle.

How often should I replace an exhaust silencer?

The exhaust silencer (or exhaust back box) is a part of the exhaust fitted at the end of the exhaust the main exhaust pipe. Its function is to reduce the amount of noise the car makes through its exhaust pipe. The exhaust silencer, like the rest of the exhaust system, is fitted underneath the car and is therefore more prone to wear than most parts, it can easily rust or be damaged. If the part does not function properly anymore the exhaust silencer might need replacing. If you are unsure whether it needs replacing we would always suggest to get a professional mechanic to assess the problem first.

Can you drive with a broken exhaust?

If you suspect there is an issue with your vehicle's exhaust or there are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic as soon as possible, driving the vehicle may lead to further complications. If emissions control components in the exhaust are affected the vehicle will produce higher emissions, and will very likely fail an emissions test when tested. Knowingly using a vehicle on a public highway that would fail the emissions test is punishable by law (the police can stop you, test this and fine you).

Is a bad exhaust an MOT failure?

Yes, a bad exhaust can lead to an MOT failure if causes exhaust emissions to exceed the legal limit or if there is a major leak in the system. Especially if the catalytic converter or diesel particulate filter are in a bad condition (or are if these are missing altogether). In many cases of a bad exhaust, however, you will probably only get an advisory note. For example if there's just a small exhaust leak or some corrosion. You will then pass the MOT, but you will need to address the problem at a later date before it becomes a more serious problem.

How much does it cost to replace the exhaust system?

The cost for a full exhaust replacement can range from £250 to over £600. The cost will depend on your make and mode as well as the parts used. Exhausts on smaller city cars are usually on the cheaper end while bigger family and luxury vehicles are on the upper end of the scale. Fortunately, it is normally not required to replace the entire exhaust on a car. Usually only parts of the exhaust fail, which can then be replaced in sections. For example, if the tailpipe is broken then you can often just replace that part. Sometimes, however, several parts come in one section like a downpipe that's integrated with the catalytic converter.

Is a rusty exhaust a problem?

Yes, a rusty exhaust can be a problem when it comes to your car running efficiently and safely. If the exhaust is rusty it will be susceptible to leaks, which can lead to a number of problems on your car:

  • A decrease in fuel efficiency
  • Excessive noise from the exhaust
  • In certain circumstances emissions may be able to rise into the cabin - posing a health and safety risk for passengers
  • Damage that leads to emissions exceeding the legal limit can lead to an MOT failure

How long should an exhaust back box last?

An exhaust back box can easily last over 50,000 miles, it will normally depend on a number of factors how long exactly it will last. As the exhaust, being mounted underneath the car, is always exposed to the elements the climate you drive in as well as the type of roads that you drive on can impact how quickly the deteriorates. The exhaust back box can start to corrode in a wet country like the UK. Furthermore the overall condition of the exhaust can also have an impact on how the back box deteriorates. Making sure therefore that the whole exhaust system is in a good condition can help extend the lifespan of the various individual parts.

It's important to get any issues with the exhaust fixed before you drive the car again therefore.

Is it safe to drive with a broken exhaust pipe?

Driving with a broken exhaust pipe can be dangerous, and it is generally recommended that you do not drive the vehicle if the exhaust system is faulty. If the exhaust is hanging off your vehicle then it could pose a risk to other road users, as well as lead to other damage on your car. In fact, if the vehicle is in such condition that it is dangerous and poses a risk of injury to anyone you may be breaking the law (Road Traffic Act 1988). Also, if the exhaust leaks it can in circumstances lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if the exhaust fumes are able to make its way into the cabin.

What causes a blown exhaust?

A blown or blowing exhaust is normally caused by small cracks in parts of the exhaust system. As the exhaust is subjected to extreme heat (and heat changes) over time small cracks and holes can appear. This in turn leads to hissing and blowing noises as well as vibrations from the exhaust. Eventually, this can contribute to further exhaust problems and cause the exhaust to fail.

How much does it cost to fix an exhaust leak?

The cost to fix an exhaust leak can range from under £100 to over £500, depending on the issue and your type of vehicle. An exhaust leak can occur anywhere in the exhaust so to get an exact price the exact part with the issue needs to traced down.

Why does the car exhaust rust?

Car exhausts rust because of the combination of moisture and changing temperatures, being exposed to the elements underneath the car. The moisture condenses on the cold metal of the exhaust and causes it to rust. Vehicles in the northern hemisphere and in coastal towns are more prone to rusting due to the extended exposure to salt in the atmosphere.

How long does a car exhaust last?

The average lifespan of a car exhaust is around 5 years. However, this will vary depending on how often you use your car, the type of car you have, and how well you maintain your car. In some cases, it can last for the entire lifetime of a car.

Does a bad exhaust affect performance and fuel consumption?

If there is a leak in the exhaust system, it is quite likely to affect mileage. It can also cause further damage to the vehicle, so the best thing to do in case you suspect an exhaust leak is to get it checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Is an exhaust leak dangerous?

Not only can an exhaust leak cause serious damage to various components of the car, inhaling exhaust fumes (usually odourless) that seep into the cabin can also be detrimental to your health as it contains harmful gases.

Can an exhaust problem cause the check engine warning light to come on?

Yes, an exhaust leak affects the oxygen sensor readings and hence may trigger the check engine light.

How much does it cost to fix a broken exhaust pipe?

Cost to fix a broken exhaust pipe can range from under £100 to over £500, depending on the car model and what exhaust parts need to be replaced. Find out what you could save by having your exhaust repaired by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Check out the ClickMechanic price for an exhaust repair. See the averages for different makes below. We consolidate industry standard data with millions of data points to give you the most accurate price. These estimates may include Clamps and paste, Exhaust - front/downpipe, Clamps and paste, Exhaust - middle/silencer, Clamps and paste and/or Exhaust - rear/tail/silencer.

Estimates on average repair costs, such as the above results for an exhaust repair, are based on ClickMechanic's quote data which combines multiple third-party sources. Actual costs may vary. We provide estimates on average repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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