Understanding Car Noises

After my car died last summer, I did everything I could to learn what I could have done to prevent the problems. In addition to learning more about the preventive care and maintenance I should have been doing, I also learned how to correctly diagnose different issues, such as warped rotors, low oil pressure, and even incorrect wheel alignment. This blog is all about auto repair, so that you can prevent problems before they manifest themselves in an inconvenient way. You never know, the information on this blog could keep you out of serious trouble or help you to save a little money.

Is the Noise of Your Turbo-Diesel Truck Exhausting Your Eardrums? It May Be Time to Check for Exhaust Manifold Damage

Automotive Articles

Turbo-diesel exhaust manifolds are prone to damage due to the extreme amount of heat produced by the engine and turbocharger. The extreme fluctuations in heat as your engine warms up and cools off cause the manifold metal to expand and contract, which can lead to cracks over time. The heat can also burn out your exhaust gaskets over time and create pesky, hard-to-find leaks.

Exhaust leaks can make an engine sound loud and obnoxious. That's especially true with turbo-diesel engines, which tend to produce a rough, low-pitched droning noise. More importantly, a leaky exhaust system will reduce the performance and efficiency of your truck while also putting you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Luckily, exhaust systems are relatively simple. Even if you're not mechanically-inclined, you should have no trouble inspecting your truck's exhaust manifolds by following the steps below.

Locating the Exhaust Manifolds

To avoid burning yourself, make sure your truck has cooled off entirely before you touch the engine or exhaust components. Whether your turbo-diesel truck is a V6 or a V8, you'll find the exhaust manifolds bolted onto each side of the engine block.

Most contemporary trucks have cosmetic engine covers bolted on top of the heads. You may have to remove the plastic covers to get access to the exhaust manifolds. Additionally, most turbo-diesel engines have heat shields bolted on top of the turbochargers. Remove the heat shields to get a clear view of the turbochargers and exhaust manifolds.

Inspect the Manifolds from Above

Shine a flashlight onto the manifolds and carefully look for cracks and holes. Pay close attention to the welds along the exhaust manifold flange, as the welds are the most likely places to crack due to heat stress. If you find any holes or cracks, the exhaust manifold needs to be replaced. Dealerships often charge exorbitant prices for replacement parts, so consider replacing your damaged manifold with a used unit to save some money.

Next, take a close look at the engine block around the exhaust flanges. If the flange gasket is leaking, there will likely be soot built up on the block next to the leaky area. Additionally, look for soot buildups on the flanges that connect the turbochargers to the exhaust manifolds.

Inspect the Lower Manifold and Flex Pipes from Below

Get underneath your truck to check the lower sections of the exhaust manifold piping. Shine your flashlight up into the engine bay and look for cracks and holes in the piping. At the end of the manifolds you'll find flex pipes that are composed of a woven material. The flex pipes are bendable so that engine vibrations don't crack the exhaust piping toward the rear of your truck.

The woven material is more brittle than the solid metal piping of the upper exhaust manifold, which makes it prone to breaking over time. Look closely for holes or signs of fraying in the woven material. If you find any damage, the flex pipe needs to be replaced. Again, consider replacing your damaged flex pipe with a used or generic unit to avoid the high price of a new OEM unit.

Follow Your Nose

Sometimes exhaust gasket leaks are so small they're impossible to spot visually. Nevertheless, they'll still reduce the performance and efficiency of your engine. More importantly, they can cause carbon monoxide to buildup in your engine bay and seep into your truck's interior.

Start your engine and lean over top of the exhaust manifolds. If you smell exhaust fumes or diesel fuel coming from the manifolds, you likely have a small gasket leak somewhere. If that's the case, your best bet is to remove the manifolds and replace all of the gaskets. Exhaust gaskets are relatively cheap, so it's best to replace all of the manifold gaskets at once to save time and ensure any leaks are dealt with.

With a bit of patience, virtually anyone can perform an exhaust manifold inspection. Doing so will save you a lot of money compared to taking your truck to a repair shop. You can save even more money by replacing broken exhaust components with used or generic units instead of ordering OEM parts from a dealership. Most importantly, you can rest assured that your exhaust system is working reliably and eliminate the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information or assistance, contact resources like Apartsmart.


27 June 2016