Does a Broken Exhaust Affect Acceleration? (Yes, It Fully Does)

A well-maintained exhaust system is crucial for any vehicle. A functional exhaust system enhances the performance of an engine positively. On the contrary, a car may not run ideally if the exhaust system malfunctions or breaks.

But, does a broken exhaust affect acceleration?

A broken exhaust may affect your vehicle’s acceleration. It is simply because both the exhaust system and engine work together to help a car run or accelerate further.

Let’s go deeper into the issue to understand more about the problem.

Does a broken exhaust affect acceleration


Does a broken exhaust affect acceleration? 

The answer to this question is a big YES. It happens because whenever the exhaust system breaks, it results in losing out the back pressure. In addition, a broken exhaust may start consuming more fuel with high emissions.

The function of an exhaust system is to rid the water emissions in the form of fumes that come from the engine. A broken or malfunctioned exhaust may fail to do this task affecting the acceleration negatively.

Non-removal of the water emissions results in the engine running inefficiently. It further leads to an increase in pressure, poor mileage, and higher emissions.

What problems can a broken exhaust cause?

Herewith is a list of problems caused by a broken exhaust.

What problems can a broken exhaust cause

Leaks in Exhaust

Many vehicles face problems while running off-roads. Driving continuously on rough roads shortens the life span of an exhaust system. The potholes, bumps, and wobbling may result in getting cracks in weaker parts of the car, allowing hazardous fumes to slip into the car’s interior, posing severe health problems and safety issues

It’s crucial to notice such symptoms, immediately contact a professional mechanic and get it sorted at the earliest.

Flawed Oxygen Sensor

Despite having several oxygen sensors in today’s modern vehicles, a single malfunctioned sensor may confuse your car’s system. A defective oxygen sensor may result in computing a wrong-balanced air-fuel mixture.

It leads to running the vehicle inefficiently. It may result in a disproportionate mix of high gas and low air. This mixture is hotter than required. It may also clog the catalytic converter, damaging your system and car.


Rust may happen if you do short stips than long trips. In such a scenario, your exhaust system is prone to catch rust. In a short trip, the water vapor accumulated in the exhaust system doesn’t burn off, as it never gets heated enough.

This accumulated condensed water further results in the corroding and rusting of your exhaust system. Rust may also result if you don’t treat the salt from snowy parts frequently. To avoid rust issues, check your car with a professional mechanic routinely.

Smoke colors of exhaust

A different-colored smoke indicates a problem with the exhaust system. Do not ignore this warning and immediately get your professional mechanic to check your car.

Herewith are some typical colors of exhaust smoke:

  • Blue: It indicates oil burning in the vehicle’s combustion chamber. It may be due to problems in valve guides/seals, piston rings, PCV systems, or worn cylinder walls.
  • Black: It means the car is consuming more fuel, wastage of gas, and ultimately more expenses on you. It may be due to a blocked fuel injector or air filter.
  • White / Gray: It indicates coolant burning in the vehicle’s combustion chamber. It means damaged or cracked head gasket, engine block, or cylinder head.


An unusual vibration that comes from the accelerator or steering wheel is an indication of a faulty exhaust system. The shakiness depends on the proportion of the degree of damage to the exhaust system. High vibrations may prove hazardous for you and co-travelers along with the car. 

Damaged Hangers

Hangers shield the exhaust system from hitting around when the car receives a shock when going through a bump or pothole. Damaged hangers may leave their place and fall off, allowing all pipes of exhaust pipes to lug around freely. It may further result in cracks, and dents, eventually breaking off the entire exhaust system.

What problems can a broken exhaust cause

Amplified Noise of the Engine

An increase in engine noise may be an indication of an exhaust leak. The leak may be in any joints on the exhaust system or onto the system’s manifold. It may result in disturbance while driving due to the noisy engine, and poisonous fumes may slip into the car’s interior.

Can I Drive with a Broken Exhaust?

Though you can drive your vehicle with a broken exhaust, your car will fail to run ideally. Ignoring the issue for a long time results in low mileage substantially. Even the firing will be different than usual while driving.

Can I Drive with a Broken Exhaust

In addition, you may be penalized for noise pollution in some locations that have strict restrictions against loud noises. Experts suggest not driving with a broken exhaust. But in the real-time scenario, you can drive your vehicle anticipating all the problems mentioned above.

How do you know if your exhaust is broken?

Here are a few signs to let you identify a broken exhaust.

  • Notable noisy exhaust noise: An unusually loud noise originating from the back of your car may be a sign of a broken exhaust. The noise is due to a broken pipe in the exhaust system or when the entire exhaust system is blocked.
  • Engine performance drops significantly: Whenever you notice your engine not performing up to the mark, it may be due to a broken exhaust. A damaged exhaust system affects the performance of the engine badly. 
  • Hanging Pipe: A damaged exhaust system will have its pipe hanging randomly. It’s very crucial to get that repaired at the earliest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to fix a broken exhaust?

On average, the cost to fix a broken may fall between $300 to $1200. It also depends on whether there are small repairs or the need to replace the system entirely. Only models do contribute to the estimate variations.

Will an exhaust leak cause loss of power?

Yes, you may notice the engine performance going down, and pick-up and acceleration rates may go down.

Does a broken exhaust affect performance?

Yes, it results to affect the engine’s performance negatively. In addition, you will notice a drop in mileage and emissions on the rise.


An exhaust system plays a crucial role in your car’s performance. A broken exhaust affects the acceleration considerably. If not repaired in time, it may put a large hole in your wallet.

The exhaust system connects to the engine to rid the waste fumes and emissions. Any damaged component in the exhaust system may affect the car’s performance. The best way to keep your car running smoothly is to get it routinely checked by the service mechanics.

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