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Hit a pothole at speed. Engine sounds louder

Hit it last week on a long road trip going about 70+ mph. The rim is not bent. I’ve had the pleasure of blowing out a tire and bending the rim in a previous car. But now the engine sounds subtlety louder. My impression is that I damaged the exhaust but I cannot find an obvious location, but it seems to be loud in the engine compartment itself as opposed to under the car.

I’m taking it to the shop, but I just wanted to know if this is likely to be an expensive repair. Is that impossible to know? This car has about 190K miles on it and I’m not prepared to throw a ton of money into it.

Thank in advance.

Without seeing the vehicle or hearing it all guesses are just that. Just tell the shop to ask for approval before any repairs are made.

Depends on what’s damaged… and on the shop’s approach.
If you created fracture in a flange, a dealer would likely suggest replacing the entire pipe for many hundreds, where an honest independent might just fix the leak with an adapter for the cost of an hour’s shop time plus a few inexpensive adaptor pieces. It’s impossible to even guess without seeing what’s actually wrong.

There is a lot of plastic under the hood so possible a seam came loose or a crack formed. No way to know without looking at it.

To look for an exhaust leak, open the hood, start the engine, and while someone blocks off the tail pipe while the engine is idling, you should be able hear and see the exhaust leak.


One idea, before taking it to the shop, do some experiments to try to determine if the sound is associated more w/the engine rpms, or with the wheels turning. For example does it stop making this noise if you shift into neutral and coast? If so, that would be consistent with an engine noise problem. If the sound stays the same coasting in neutral, then its something to do with the wheels, like a faulty wheel bearing.