Dealing with exhaust leaks can be stressful. With this guide, we will teach you ford f150 how to check exhaust leak, so you do not have to waste your Saturday pinpointing a seemingly impossible-to-find leak.
Exhaust leaks are common and can happen for many reasons. Knowing how to find these leaks will save you time, money, and plenty of aggravation, especially if you are a DIYer who prefers handling repairs yourself.
Symptoms of an Exhaust Leak
An exhaust leak can affect your Ford F150 in different ways, and none of them are good. You must be able to recognize the signs of an exhaust leak and then learn how to take care of them. The following are the most common signs F150s will experience with an exhaust leak.
- You will almost always find a louder than normal rumbling sound coming from the exhaust. It will sound like an unmuffled exhaust.
- You may also smell foul smells coming into the cab. These can be dangerous!
- Your check engine light is likely to light up.
- Your gas mileage will begin to tank.
- You may start to feel the gas pedal vibrate.
If you have noticed any of the above signs, it is time to start an investigation into where the leak is stemming from. Finding the exhaust leak and fixing it as soon as possible is critical.
Can You Continue to Drive with an Exhaust Leak?
It is not safe to continue to drive when you have an exhaust leak. While it may not damage your truck’s engine, exhaust leaks that are coming into your cab can be dangerous. Remember, carbon monoxide does not have a smell and may go undetected!
Causes of Exhaust Leaks
Exhaust leaks can have multiple causes. The following are some of the most common reasons for an exhaust leak in an F150.
- Faulty exhaust manifold gasket
- Faulty manifold to exhaust gasket
- Manifold cracks
- Rusted exhaust
How to Find an Exhaust Leak on Your Ford F150
You are going to need to check the following areas to determine where the exhaust leak is stemming from. Some of these are easier to check than others. If you find any of the following steps too difficult to perform, make sure to take your Ford F150 into the shop and allow the professionals to scope out the problem and save you the hassle.
- The exhaust manifold gasket is one of the most likely to fail on a Ford F150. This is the exhaust gasket that connects the exhaust manifold to the cylinder head. To check this gasket, you will need to inspect the bolts that hold it in place. Are they still in sound condition? Are they in the right place? Missing? Are they still torqued to the proper specifications? If not, the gasket is inexpensive to replace.
- Next, you will need to check the other side of your exhaust manifold. If the gasket on this side is failing, you will hear a loud sound coming from this area.
- Check the manifold for any cracks. A cracked manifold will no longer be able to do its job properly and will cause exhaust leaks. If you do find a crack, there is, unfortunately, no easy fix. You will need to replace the manifold.
- You should also check the exhaust system for rust openings. If the system has rusted out, it can allow for leaks, and this requires an exhaust repair or replacement, depending on the severity. Most Ford F150 owners take their trucks in when this issue is present, so it can be handled by the professionals.
Is There a Way to Prevent Exhaust Leaks on Your Truck?
Prevention is important but is not fool-proof. You will need to check your gaskets from time to time and ensure the bolts are torqued properly. It is also a wise idea to check your exhaust system for any signs of rust and take care of them promptly.
Even with proper care, your Ford F150 is likely to have a gasket failure at some point. This does not mean you neglected your truck. It simply happens after so many miles. Manifold gaskets will typically last between 50,000 to 75,000 miles, though this can vary. Replacing them accordingly will keep your F150 working as it should.
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Now that you know how to distinguish an exhaust leak and what causes them, you are ready to get started. The steps for finding these leaks are not difficult, though they can be frustrating if you are looking in the wrong areas.
With the above steps on ford f150 how to check exhaust leak, you are now prepared to find that annoying leak and take care of the necessary repairs, so your Ford F150 is running like a dream again.