CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Exhaust Leak

I have a 2001 Malibu , I took my it in to find out why my cars engine light is on. They told me I have a small exhaust leak. Is this something I need to get fixed right away? How important is it that I get it fixed?

Did they tell you where it is? For safety’s sake, I’d get it fixed.

There is only one sensor behind the catalytic converter, and it is very close to it. The cat is under the area you sit in. This means the leak is probably in an area under or in front of the passenger cabin, and it is likely you will get exhaust inside when you sit in one place too long… As @texases said, you should get it fixed ASAP. You and your passengers are worth a lot more than some exhaust leak.

Small leaks generally get bigger in time. If you have a state inspection, you might have to have the CEL off to pass the inspection.

Remember CO2 (carbon monoxide) is an odorless gas so if you sit in the car with it idling you should open a window, and if you feel “sleepy” when driving that could mean high levels of CO2. Children are more susceptible to CO2 than adults so keep this in mind if you carry any children in the car.

Perhaps you ought to get this fixed.

I agree. For saftey and economy it needs to be fixed. You can die from an exhaust leak and depending on where it is, can throw off the engine management system.

CO2 is carbon dioxide and CO is carbon monoxide. Either displaces oxygen and can asphyxiate you.