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2005 Jetta getting louder

My wonderful 2005 Jetta automatic has about 80,000 miles and is driven almost exclusively in the city. I bought it used, from the dealer, about 1.5 years ago. I’ve noticed when driving in the last month the engine sounds louder; now in the last few days significantly louder. It’s not noticeable from the outside, or when the car is just idling. The higher the gear, the louder the engine sound. Cause for concern? Any ideas? I’m worried because i LOVE my Jetta.

Try plugging the exhaust pipe with a rag while the engine is running. If sizeable pressure builds up and the engine begins to slow, the exhaust system is intact. I suspect that you will not get this. You might hear a hissing that indicates where the exhaust is leaking. Raise the car safely, plug the exhaust, and have someone listen and feel for the jet of escaping exhaust. That will locate the leaking part. Most likely it is going to be a flex pipe, a catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, gasket, or a muffler.

Hope this is what it is.

I will have to bring it to the repair shop; I can’t raise the car. Thanks for the info.