How to Find and Repair Exhaust Leaks EASY (Without a Welder)

Hey Guys ChrisFix Here! And today I am going to show you how to find an Exhaust Leak in your car or truck After we find the leak I am going to show you how to seal it and repair it. Without using a welder, That way you can do this at home, Inexpecively. Using Common Products. You can find these products At Your local stores, And they are very easy to use, they’re Very cheap. and you can do this quickly. Now I just bought this mustang But It’s not for me, it’s actually for a friend of mine. I bought it for them because they need a car desperately And What better car for me to get Than a Mustang, Which I know inside and out. Now I got this car for a steal because It has faded paintwork, and because the owner couldn’t find the exhaust leak. And It sounds Horrible, other wise the car is in great shape, the engine has 130,000 miles on it, The conditioner works, it has a brand new
battery brand-new tires some nice wheels and the interior is in pretty good shape
it’s gonna be nice to drive so really the only thing wrong with this car is it
has a loud exhaust leak I mean listen to this *turns on car* *car’s exhaust sounds* not only is this leak loud and it sounds
bad especially when you’re driving and giving it gas when you have an exhaust
leak like this it could cause check engine lights to come on you can lose
fuel economy and the engine just doesn’t run right sometimes. Also I could smell
it already there are fumes coming into the cabin and you don’t want to be
breathing those in. So this is the perfect car for me to show you guys how
to find exhaust leaks and then fix them and finding them is the hardest part but
don’t worry I have a really cool process it’s an awesome method I came up with on
how to find them easily you don’t even need to have the car running and then
once we find them I’ll show you how to seal it up and here all the tools and
products you could use to do this So first we need to find the leak and in
order to do that you’re going to be using a leaf blower a Shop Vac or an air
compressor. Anything to push air into the exhaust create a positive pressure
inside the exhaust system then we’re gonna grab our soapy water all this is
is dish soap and water all you want to do is get something that’s gonna get
really sudsy so where the air is escaping you’re going to see bubbles and
that’s how you pinpoint the leak once you pinpoint the leak we have three
different products to use to seal the leak. First we have our putties, this is
like a play-doh you push it into the crack or the leak and then it hardens
like steel. Then we have our muffler bandage, which is like an ace bandage you
wrap around the muffler and then it seals it off and gets really hard as
well, and finally, we have our exhaust band clamp, which goes over the damaged
area and seals it off when you tighten it down. This will pretty much cover
everything that you need to fix your exhaust. The only extra bits that you’re
going to need are some gloves, some tape, some sandpaper and a metal wire brush
these are good because this is going to help you clean the area before you apply
your fix and I will be sure to link all these products down below in the
description so you could easily find them once you figure out what’s gonna be
the right product for you, you easily check it out find it and order it so you
can fix your exhaust and speaking of fixing exhaust let’s go get started
fixing the exhaust on this Mustang and first we need to find where that leak is
coming from. Since the leak is near the front I’m gonna use ramps to safely lift
the front of the car up for easy access and with the front end lifted up it’s
always a good idea to get some wood and chalk off the rear wheels so it doesn’t
roll and now we are ready to pressurize the exhaust system so we have to come to
the rear of the car and on this Mustang since it’s a V6 it only has a single
exit exhaust right here now I’m gonna be using my
shop vac to pressurize the exhaust so just shove that hose up into the
tailpipe and tape it so it doesn’t come out good now since this is a vacuum we
do need to switch our hose around from the front and now when we turn this on
it blows air into the exhaust instead of vacuuming so we are good to go one flip
of the switch and we have a positive pressure going into our exhaust and
we’re able to find where that leak is now not every car has a single exit
exhaust some cars like my Mustang here has a dual exit exhaust so what you
would do here I’ll use the leaf blower as an example you get your leaf blower
and you mount it up into the exhaust tip like that and then for the other tip
nice and simple get a nitrile glove and fit it around the exhaust to seal it and
then tape it off like so so now you know how to pressurize the exhaust with a
dual exhaust end on a single exhaust I’m gonna shut this off and let’s go turn
this one on and find our exhaust leak and since our leak sounds like it’s
coming from the front I’m gonna go start by checking up by the engine and one
thing I should mention is you want the engine to be completely cold you don’t
want a hot engine you’re gonna be spraying soapy water on the exhaust
you’re also forcing cooler air into the exhaust and when you cool things down
quickly they could warp or crack and you wouldn’t want that so the first thing to
do with a cold engine is grab your soapy water and spray down the entire exhaust
manifold and don’t be afraid to use a lot of soapy water you can never use too
much what you’re gonna be looking for is bubbling which is caused by air escaping
through a hole and that’s where your leak is and right away you could clearly
see where the exhaust is bubbling we have a leak at the front of the exhaust
we have a leak right over here and just as I figured it’s super common we have a
week at the manifold flange and there we go is that simple to find exhaust leaks
we found three on this side but don’t stop there you want to check the other
side as well so grab your soapy water we’re gonna come around here and I’m
gonna remove this intake I already loosened it up and we’re gonna go check
out the exhaust on this side so again spray it down and get it completely
soaked and I’m not seeing any leaks at all so this side looks good I don’t see
any bubbles which means we don’t have leaks now there’s one more thing I want
to check and it’s the exhaust underneath the car so slide under the car and we
have two exhaust pipes we need to check for leaks and I think you get it by now
you need to spray everything down with soapy water concentrate on the
spots that have welds or that they have the flange or the connectors here
because a lot of times those spots are the ones that’ll leak so make sure you
get that soaking wet and look for air bubbles and after spraying down these
two exhaust pipes completely I don’t see any leaks at all under the car and
that’s always a good thing all right so after spraying down the entire exhaust
the only leaks that we could find are the three leaks over by the exhaust
manifold on the driver side and at the flange there and I’m gonna show you how
to easily seal those leaks but first real quick I have a muffler out here
actually this is the muffler from my Mustang and the reason why I have it
here is because I want to show you something there’s a small hole in many
stock mufflers you could see that hole right there that is from the factory and
it’s designed to allow water to leak out when the car is not running that way it
doesn’t collect in here and then rust and create an even bigger hole so if you
spray down the exhaust and you find yourself a hole at the end of the
muffler leave it don’t seal it up I wanted to explain that real quick
because that’s pretty important now we do have holes in our exhaust that we do
need to seal up and let me show you how we’re gonna do it and to seal them we’re
gonna be using a high-temperature exhaust putty this is specifically
designed for the exhaust manifolds and exhaust pipes that get very hot you can
see here it can withstand 2,400 degrees of continuous heat and it’s great for
exhaust manifolds tailpipes mufflers you get the idea and before we apply this we
need a prep our exhaust manifold to do that grab some sandpaper or a metal wire
brush and we’re gonna clean away all the loose dirt and rust and scratch that
metal surface anywhere we’re gonna apply the putty that way the putty has a nice
surface to bond to so after you send the area around the exhaust leaks get some
isopropyl alcohol on a towel get a little bit on there and we’re gonna wipe
down the areas we just sanded to clean them up make sure it’s free of any dust
grease or dirt that way we could get a good bonding surface alright so with
everything cleaned with the alcohol we are ready to seal those exhaust leaks
with our putty actually one real quick tip that’s super helpful take the hose
out of the vacuum and flip it around so now the vacuum can suck the air out of
the exhaust and this little trick is gonna make our repair that much better
because now the air is getting sucked in so when we add our putty that putty is
gonna get pulled and drawn into the holes and the cracks that’s causing the
exhaust leak it’s going to give us a better seal also I don’t know if you
could hear it now but there’s air hissing from the air getting sucked in
when we seal it up that air shouldn’t be hissing anymore and that means we sealed
all the leaks so let’s remove the cat and activate the
putty by stirring it good so it’s a consistent paste similar to the look of
concrete just like that now let’s apply it to the spots that are leaking be sure
to press it into the areas that are leaking and then add more putty in the
area around that so that you could seal that weak in good repeat this process
with the other leaking areas and the flange down here is definitely the
biggest leak so use a lot of putty and pack it in there I’m gonna be pressing
in the putty around the entire flange and you can actually hear that week
getting sealed up beautiful alright and you can hear that hissing noise has
stopped which means we sealed up the exhaust now the biggest leak was
definitely coming from that exhaust flange at the bottom and I bet you
that’s where most of the exhaust noise was coming from and just to give you an
idea we did end up using basically all the putty to fix those leaks also if you
do get the putty on something that you don’t want it on all you have to do is
grab some soapy water spray it down and wipe it off while it’s still wet and it
comes right off now what we need to do is let that cure this could take
anywhere from 2 to 24 hours depending on how hot it is outside the hotter it is
the quicker it’ll cure and that means you can use something like a heat gun or
a hair dryer to heat that up and make it cure faster but whatever you do do not
start that engine the positive pressure from the exhaust will blow out all that
putty and all that work you just did was waste it so now we just need to let this
dry and as we let it dry I’m gonna shut the vacuum off and remove the hose from
the exhaust pipe because we don’t want to start up the car with that in there
and as we let that cure there are still two more methods on sealing up a leaking
exhaust and I want to show you those real quickly the first ones using an
exhaust clamp and the second one is using a heat rap and I’m going to show
you both of these methods on my truck so let’s go underneath so here is my trucks
exhaust and I don’t have any holes in the exhaust but as you guys know I like
to show you proof that what I do actually works so I’m gonna cut a nice
hole with my plasma cutter and you can think of this as a hole in your exhaust
system that was created by rust no other rust hole like this you have two main
options you could go with an exhaust clamp like that this will clamp real
tight and it’ll seal it off or you could go with an exhaust bandage or an exhaust
wrap like this and you just wrap it around almost like if you wrap duct tape
or black tape around here except this is designed to take the heat first I’m
gonna show you the exhaust clamp all you have to do is wrap
clamp around add the two bolts in and then tighten them down
so it’s lamps hard and covers the hole but check it out with my truck running
and a little bit of soapy water you can see there are no leaks at all and since
this is stainless steel it’ll outlast your exhaust and then the
last option is the exhaust wrap option but in order to do this you want the
exhaust to be hot so start the car up and run the engine until the exhaust is
almost too hot to handle let’s see if it’s hot oh yeah that is definitely hot
and then there’s clear tape on both sides that you want to remove which
reveals the really sticky surface now you want to wrap this around the exhaust
as flat as possible overlapping about an inch it’s a little tricky especially in
tight areas because it wants to stick to everything but once you get the method
down it’s not that bad and be sure to keep it nice and taut too it creates a
tight seal and that looks pretty good beautiful now the instructions do say to
run the car but I’m not gonna do that I don’t like the idea of having a positive
pressure which could just blow this out and then you can get leaks so instead I
have a heat gun and I’m just gonna run this heat gun back and forth for a few
minutes until it hardens so now this is solid as a rock and if we start the
truck up you can see there are no bubbles there’s no air escaping and it’s
quiet so we seal that giant hole and that was a large rust hole so that’s a
pretty good fix so now you’ve seen the three methods on how to repair your
exhaust without a welder you guys should be experts by now now it’s been about
two hours since we did the Mustang and I do have a little bit of help here for
the last 15 minutes I’ve been using a heat gun just to make sure it’s cured
and to verify that this is completely cured all you got to do is get your
fingernail and try to indent the putty it should not indent it should feel
solid as steel if it does indent then you want to make sure that you heat it
up or let it dry longer in this case this isn’t indenting so we are ready to
test out the car start er up and see if we sealed up the leak all right moment
of truth this is the part that gets me excited and nervous at the same time did
we fix it beautiful it is quiet and that is what I’m talking about listen to that
it’s so quiet I don’t hear the exhaust anymore it doesn’t sound loud and
embarrassing and I don’t smell the exhaust fumes because we sealed it up
here’s the before and here’s the after before and after
and that is how you find an exhaust leak and then seal it up really quickly
really easily not counting the cure time this took me
a total of about 15 to 20 minutes and it’s cheap to do all these products are
inexpensive I’ll be sure to link the products in the description and just so
you know I’ve done this on my truck about six years ago and it’s still
sealed up and it still works fine so it is a long-term fix it’s nice to be able
to do this stuff at home without a welder so hopefully the video was
helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up and if you’re not a subscriber
consider subscribing for more helpful DIY videos just like this…

Danny Hutson

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