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Can I Drive My Car If The Exhaust Is Blowing?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point: can I drive my car if the exhaust is blowing? However, driving with a blown exhaust is more dangerous than you might think.

For one thing, a blown exhaust can be incredibly loud. This makes it difficult to hear other cars on the road and can also be a distraction to other drivers. Also, a blown exhaust can leak poisonous fumes into the vehicle, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. So, while you may be able to drive with a blown exhaust for a short period, it’s not worth the risk.

If your exhaust is blowing, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible. In this blog post, we’ll look at some reasons you shouldn’t drive with a blown exhaust.

Common Symptoms Of A Blown Exhaust

can i drive my car if the exhaust is blowing
Photo by: Pixabay

It’s important to look for warning signs that your exhaust system might be in trouble. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a blown exhaust.

Loud Noises

The most obvious sign of something wrong with your car’s exhaust system is if it starts making strange or unusually loud noises. If your muffler starts rattling or your vehicle starts sounding like it’s got a tin can tied to the back, there’s a good chance you’ve got a blown exhaust. 

Diminished Fuel Efficiency

If your car’s fuel efficiency suddenly drops off for no apparent reason, it could be due to a problem with the exhaust system. If harmful gases leak into your car’s cabin, it could cause the engine to run less efficiently and use more fuel than usual. 

Illuminated Check Engine Light 

If your check engine light comes on, there’s a chance that it could be due to a problem with the exhaust system. Any time there’s an issue with the emission control system, it will trigger the check engine light

Unusual Smells Coming From The Car 

When you’re driving, you should never smell anything coming from your car besides fresh air (and maybe a little bit of gasoline). If you start smelling burning plastic or what seems like rotten eggs, pull over right away and call for roadside assistance. These are both signs of a serious problem with the exhaust system that could put you and other drivers in danger. 

Decreased Power

Finally, decreased power is another symptom of a blown exhaust. If you notice that your car isn’t accelerating as quickly as it used to, it’s possible that your exhaust system is restricted and needs to be repaired. 

The Dangers of Driving With a Blown Exhaust

blown exhaust symptoms
Photo by: Pixabay

While it may not seem like a big deal, driving with a blown exhaust can be very dangerous. Here are four reasons why you should never drive with a blown exhaust.

You’re at Risk for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the biggest dangers of driving with a blown exhaust is that you’re at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled. When your car’s exhaust system is not functioning properly, carbon monoxide can leak into your car’s cabin, putting you and your passengers at risk. 

You May Not Be Able to Hear Emergency Vehicles 

Another danger of driving with a blown exhaust is that you may not be able to hear emergency vehicles coming. If your car’s muffler makes a lot of noise, it will be difficult to listen to sirens or horns. Not being able to hear sirens could put you and others in danger if there’s an emergency situation. 

Your Car Will Run Poorly 

In addition to being dangerous, driving with a blown exhaust can also damage your car’s engine. The toxic fumes from the exhaust can corrode the engine over time, leading to serious problems down the road. And if the exhaust system is restricted, it can cause the engine to run less efficiently and use more fuel. 

You Could Get Pulled Over 

One of the most frustrating things about driving with a blown exhaust is that you could get pulled over by the police. In most states, driving with a damaged or noisy exhaust system is illegal. Not only will you get a ticket, but you’ll also have to pay to get your exhaust fixed. 

exhaust fumes
Photo by Envato Elements


Will An Exhaust Leak Hurt My Car?

An exhaust leak can damage your car in several ways. First, it can cause your vehicle to run less efficiently, leading to decreased fuel economy and performance. Additionally, your car’s engine will have to work harder to compensate for the leak, which can lead to increased wear and tear.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix An Exhaust?

If you’re facing exhaust repairs, the cost will vary depending on the severity of the damage and the type of vehicle. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for repairs. However, the cost could be even higher if your car is older or has significant damage. Therefore, it’s important to take it to a qualified mechanic to get an accurate estimate of repair costs.

How Long Does An Exhaust System Last?

An exhaust system generally lasts around 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, there are a few factors that can shorten its lifespan. For example, if the system rusts out prematurely, it will need to be replaced sooner. In addition, if it sustains any damage from an accident, it will need to be repaired or replaced. Regular maintenance can also help to extend the life of an exhaust system. For instance, regularly inspecting the system for leaks can help prevent problems down the road.


If you’re ever questioning whether or not you should drive with a blown exhaust, the answer is always going to be “no.” Driving with a blowout exhaust is incredibly dangerous, and it’s something that you should avoid at all costs.

Pull over and call a tow truck immediately if you find yourself in this situation. Don’t risk your safety – or the safety of others – by trying to drive with a blown exhaust.


Sammy is a lifelong gearhead who's been wrenching on cars and bikes since he was tall enough to reach the pedals. These days, he spends his time writing about all things automotive, from new performance products to how to get the most out of your old ride. When he's not behind a computer, you'll find him at the race track or out on a trail somewhere.

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