Is your car's tail pipe practically hanging on for dear life? Then you better replace it as soon as possible. Keep in mind that a busted exhaust pipe can lead to a variety of exhaust and emission problems, all of which could affect overall engine performance. Fortunately, replacing a broken pipe is a fairly easy task, as long as you have the right equipment and basic car repair skills. Here's what to do:
Tools you'll need:
- Penetrating oil
- Grease or lubricant
- Clean rag
Step 1: Prep your vehicle.
Using jacks and a jack stand, lift up your vehicle on a leveled surface. This way, you'll have easier access to the pipe underneath the vehicle.
Step 2: Remove the old pipe.
Spray some penetrating oil on the clamp nuts that hold the old pipe in place. Then, using a socket and wrench (depending on the type of nuts or bolts your vehicle uses), remove the clamp nuts and hangers that attach the tail pipe onto the frame. Once you've removed the clamps, pull out the old pipe.
Step 3: Clean the muffler hole.
Removing the old pipe will expose the muffler hole. Clean the exposed hole with a rag to get rid of debris that might prevent you from properly installing the new pipe.
Step 4: Install the new tail pipe.
Apply a bit of grease onto the muffler hole for easier installation. Then, insert the new pipe in place. Twist or wiggle the pipe until it's securely inserted inside the muffler hole or extender pipe. Wipe off extra grease or lubricant. Attach the clamps you've removed earlier. If the old clamps are corroded, install the new clamps and tighten them in place with a screwdriver. Once you've securely installed all the clamps, lower the vehicle back to the ground and take it for a test drive.
- Before starting with the installation process, make sure that your vehicle has cooled down. The exhaust pipe can get very hot right after switching off the engine.
- If you're installing a custom pipe, make sure to take your vehicle to an emissions testing center to see if it passes local standards. Keep in mind that an improperly installed pipe can lead to emissions testing failure.
- Be very careful when tightening the clamps after installing the new tail pipe to avoid crumpling the metal pipe.
- When removing the old pipe, be careful not to dent or damage the muffler or any nearby component.
- During the installation process, take a look at other exhaust components and look for signs of damage. Now's the perfect time to repair or replace other busted exhaust parts.
- If you're installing a custom tail pipe that might increase exhaust noise, you might want to install an additional sound damper.
- A sagging pipe can be temporarily fixed with a repair kit or improvised tools. However, this should only be done during emergency situations. Once you get home or to a local garage, fix that pipe as soon as possible to prevent getting in trouble on the road and with the cops.