Exhaust broke at resonator...how to fix/c02 poisoning?


#1

Hey all. I noticed last week a fairly loud rattling under the trunk of my car. I looked underneath and the exhaust pipe has broken clean from the resonator and tailpipe at the part where it bolts into the resonator. Rust and probably a couple bad bumps snapped it right off. Everything is still attached to the car, just separated from each other at the resonator. There is also a small rusty hole a little bit further up the exhaust pipe, more under the back passenger seats.

I know I have to get this fixed eventually. Any idea on what the cost will look like? And what can I do in the meantime to temporarily fix it? I’m also concerned that exhaust fumes may be seeping into my car. I’ve heard don’t drive it from some folks who are car hobbysts, and that its fine as long as my windows are down from mechanics. It’s usually good when I’m driving, but sometimes while stopped I do get a whiff of exhaust. Should I be worried about c02 poisoning? Thanks everyone.


#2

It’s carbon monoxide, CO, that you need to worry about.

However, there are repair kits at the parts stores. They should only be considered extremely temporary. CO can put you to sleep in a manner over which you have no control. The effect is not like being exhausted, it’s more like passing out, like having a blackout. And you could wake up with your car in a bridge abutment.

Keep the windows open until you can get the exhaust system changed. Get it changed as soon as you possibly can.


#3

You want to get this fixed as soon as you can, not eventually. No temp fix is reliable, this needs to be taken to your local mechanic to fix. If you drive with your windows down you should be OK. Do not drive with your windows up, if it is hot and you want the ac, run it, but with the windows down. You will get wiffs when you are stopped, but you will be getting exhaust from the cars around you also. BTW it is CO poisoning not CO2


#4

Any exhaust / muffler shop can fix that.
Don’t know the vehicle…can’t guess the price.
( btw, it’s CO you’re worried about not CO2 …carbon MONoxide vs carbon dioxide ) and , yes , it’s a true concern.
Pop in to Tandy’s Muffler Shop for a free estimate.


#5

Thanks. C0 is what I meant. And it’s a 1997 Nissan Sentra. Exhaust is very rusty, would like to replace everything past the catalytic converter but if it’s crazy expensive I’ll likely just replace the exhaust pipe, depending on how stripped/rusted the resonator


#6

Shouldn’t be too much for a Sentra, stop by a few local exhaust shops and get some bids for a ‘cat-back’ exhaust replacement. Just stay away from the dealer!

It really is important to get this done sooner, rather than later, and do it all, if you can.


#7

Exhaust systems were my specialty. The system you describe with a resonator at the very end are prone to the rust damage you describe. The pipe from CAT to muffler and the muffler itself may just have surface rust. It may also be possible to eliminate the resonator all together with a longer tail pipe. CO itself is odorless and colorless. It is not something to mess around with. If you don’t have the money get it any way you can. I’m not suggesting you steal it but… If you have $15 you could buy a home style CO detector at Wal-Mart. I just wouldn’t bet my life on it. Please have your exhaust professionally repaired as soon as possible.


#8

I have had very good experiences with the local bend their own pipe places. I needed new exhaust system, and catalytic converter was split. They welded the converter, did the whole job for less than parts (not considering catalytic converter) and gave a lifetime warranty on the muffler. The muffler went out 6 years later and ther was a $12 charge for replacement due to new ubolts needed. Can’t beat that!


#9

I had a mechanic tell me that I would smell something since the C0 is mixed in with other chemicals in the exhaust. Is that not true? And unfortunately I can’t do anything big until I get paid again on September 1st. I’ll have to get a C0 detector and roll the dice, unfortunately.

Also, here is a pic for reference. Thanks everyone


#10

Like @Barkydog says, see if you can find a place that bends their own pipe. It will be cheaper. Stay away from “chain stores” like Midas or Meineke. They will try very hard to sell you a complete system, whether you need it or not. I know muffler shops like that don’t exist in rural areas, but if you don’t have one near you, check on line for one in a nearby city.

I spent a week in the Mexico City area a couple of weeks ago. Mofle shops seem to be a big “cottage industry” down there. I even saw one housed in the back of a medium sized box van. Need a mofle? They come to you.


#11

“I had a mechanic tell me that I would smell something since the C0 is mixed in with other chemicals in the exhaust. Is that not true?”

It is NOT TRUE in many cases! Do NOT trust that you will smell it. Years ago, before catalytic converters, it was kind of true. NO LONGER!


#12

I am going to make a few assumptions here. 1. The mechanic who told you that you can smell CO is nuts. (the natural gas piped into your home does have something along with it so you can smell a gas leak ) 2. Most people have some kind of credit card and the interest you might have to pay on the repair bill will be less than a trip to the emergency room. 3. I have people in my family I do not really care for but I would loan them money to fix a problem like this. I hope you have someone you can reach out to.


#13

you could rig a temporary repair for about $5 and you won`t need any tools.

Take a soda can and cut the top and bottom off of it, then cut it lengthwise down one side.
I would recommend wearing gloves when you do that.
Then take it and roll it lengthwise, like you would do with a piece of paper,slide one end of into one side of the broken exhaust pipe and the other end into the other side of the broken exhaust pipe.When you let the can go it will spring back open enough to hold it in place.
Push the 2 broken ends of the exhaust pipe as close together as you can.you may need to wedge a piece of wood or something under it to hold the ends close while you do the next step.

take something called a muffler bandage, you can get one at any auto part store.
The last time I used one they were $1.99 but that was many many years ago, they probably cost about $5 now.
It`s a fiberglass 'bandage" that is coated with some type of dried resin.
There are directions on the package but basically what you do is you soak it in water for about 5 minutes then you take it out and wrap it tightly around the exhaust pipe where the 2 ends meet.you keep wrapping it tightly so that it overlaps both ends of the broken pipe and covers the broken ends of the pipes.
Then you take the wire ties that come with it and wrap them around the “bandage” to hold it in place temporarily.
Then you start the car and let it idle for about 10-15 minutes.as the exhaust pipe heats up it dries (cures) the resin which dries as hard as steel.

Its been a lot of years since I used one to do a temporary patch job with one but it held up until i got the exhaust replaced.in fact when i finally did get the exhaust replaced it was because another section of the exhaust pipe had rusted through, but the muffler bandage repair was still holding. Im assuming they still sell muffler bandages, you`ll have to check your auto parts store.
it should hold well enough to last till sept 1st when you get paid and can get it fixed permanently.

edit: I checked on google and muffler bandages are still being made, you can get a cheap one for $2.99 or a deluxe one for $6.39


#14

No one told me I could smell C0, but that I would be able to smell exhaust. I realize its odorless but there’s other chemicals besides C0 in the exhaust. Why would it leak out separately from the rest of the exhaust because of a broken pipe?

Either way I agree its too risky. I’m putting the C0 detector from my house in there when I get home, rolling up the windows and leaving the engine running for a bit to see what happens. Right now unfortunately, only choice I have is to drive it home.


#15

The photo seems to indicate that the exhaust pipe broke at a weld to a flange. If that is the case there is little chance that a DIYer who posts here looking for solutions could patch it. Driving with the windows open would be the best solution until a repair can be made. The last time I had a similar repair on a vehicle the cost was just under $100. It’s been a few years though and I live in a low rent/low wage state.


#16

I know of what I speak. I would not trust a bandage of any kind. You would be playing with your life. How much is that worth?


#17

MG McAnick Almost all of my experience was bend your own pipes with the exception of some foreign jobs which required ordering parts due to pipes and mufflers being only available as complete units. I probably could have repaired them myself but flat rate would have killed me financially. If I could see the OP’s System and had access to a proper shop and tools I could probably repair this problem in 20 minutes to an hour Max.


#18

I agree with Rod and with Sgt on this. Someone with expertise could effect a repair, but that person would not have posted the original question. The system is rotting out. The only real repair is to replace it.

Besides, you said there was another rot hole anyway.

As to the smell, in the old days of carburetors when exhaust gasses commonly carried with them unburned hydrocarbons (gas), carbon dust, sulpher, and other misc stuff, and there was no catalytic converter to catch any of it, you’d probably smell exhaust entering the cabin. But modern engines don’t produce the levels of these components like they used to, and the catalytic converters capture or alter much of what does emerge from the exhaust ports, so you could easily have CO getting into the passenger cabin and not know it.

Please don’t make me sorry I posted. Please replace the rotted portions of the system.


#19

If you get whiffs of exhaust, you’re breathing in CO. The CO level could be a lot higher than the smell of exhaust would indicate, so don’t mess around. A muffler shop can probably repair this for under $200. Pretty cheap considering this can directly affect your health.


#20

Rolled up the windows and left the car running for 10 minutes with a C0 detector sitting in the driver’s seat. Did not go off. And yes, I will likely be replacing the entire exhaust system.