Exhaust Repair: How to Fix Your Exhaust Leak

February 16, 2012

Without an expensive muffler replacement, exhaust repair will help correct problems resulting from an exhaust leak. An exhaust leak causes smog, smoke, pollution and a lot of noise. While exhaust repair should only be considered a stop gap measure - until you can have the exhaust pipe or muffler replaced - it can help correct the problems with a leaky exhaust. Here is a step by step guide on how to fix your car's leaky exhaust pipe.

What You Will Need

  • Aluminum sheet metal, 19mm, 12 x 12
  • Tin Snips
  • 2 U-bolts or Exhaust Clamps, approximately 1/4" larger than your car's exhaust pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Muffler tape
  • Car jack and jackstands
  • Solid cylindrical object (i.e. Broom stick or mop handle)

Step 1 - Allow Car Engine to Cool

Make sure your car's engine is off and that the engine and exhaust system is completely cool before attempting to repair the exhaust pipe.

Step 2 - Jack up the Car

Jack up the car with the carjack high enough so you can place the stands under strong areas of the vehicle for full support while working on the car's exhaust pipe. Then, lower the vehicle slightly so that it rests securely on the jack stands. You can now remove the carjack.

Step 3 - Saw the Exhaust Pipe

Find the location of the hole or break in your car's exhaust pipe. You will then need to use your hacksaw to cut out a small section in the pipe so that the pipe is level and flush when pieced together. You may have to remove the rubber grommets or support wires that hold muffler or exhaust pipe in place. Make sure to cut the pipe evenly and straight.

Step 4 - Make the Inner Exhaust Sleeve

Use the tin snips to cut the piece of aluminum sheet in half. You'll then need to take one of the halves and fold it in half. This will create a double layer of aluminum sheet metal. Then, take the folded half and wrap it around your broomstick or mop handle and roll the sheet metal into a sleeve. You'll need to roll the sleeve to a size that is slightly smaller than your car's exhaust pipe, but not so small that it will move around or shake inside the tailpipe.

Step 5 - Insert the Inner Exhaust Sleeve

After you have created your inner sleeve, you will need to insert the sleeve into both parts of the sawed exhaust pipe. You should place the sleeve into the part of the pipe that is closest to the exhaust manifold first to make pushing the other piece of pipe onto the sleeve easier.

Step 6 - Connect the Exhaust Pipe

Continue pushing the two pieces of the sawed exhaust pipe together until they are flush and fit neatly together.

Step 7 - Make the Outer Exhaust Sleeve

Take the other half of the of aluminum sheet and again fold it in half. Once again, use the broomstick or mop handle to help you roll the piece of sheet metal into a sleeve. This sleeve needs to be slightly larger than your car's tailpipe.

Step 8 - Attach the Outer Exhaust Sleeve

Attach the outer sleeve to the exhaust pipe. Make sure that the sleeve overlaps both parts of the exhaust pipe where you have sawed the pipe with your hacksaw. Then, use the U-bolts to secure the outer sleeve to the exhaust pipe. Make sure to leave about half an inch to 1 inch of space outside of the U-bolts so that you can wrap with the pipe with muffler tape.

Step 9 - Wrap with Muffler Tape

Use the muffler tape and wrap it around all of the seams of the new auto sleeve. This will help to keep your car engine quieter.