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Water in muffler

Well i have a question that may seem stupid but im really perplexed. My car has a lot of water in the exhaust. I dont mean it just drips out the tailpipe, i mean at the muffler where the pipe joins in it looks like a small waterfall when the car is running.

I understand the principle of condensation lol, but this goes far beyond that. There must be a gallon of water in there and it leaves trails and puddles. My first thought before i noticed the muffler leaking under the car was omg bad head gasket! Cause water was coming out the tailpipe with a little steam. Then while watching the tailpipe i saw water running under the car. So i did what any red blooded american girl whos dad worked on cars would do…i tasted it >_> It didnt taste like anything and it was clear. So if not a head gasket and not a cracked block wth is causing all that water in the muffler?

I let it run for an hour checking the coolant and watching the exhaust. When it warmed up good enough to kick on the fan i carefully opened the cap to see if the tstat opened and the water was getting circulated. It looked like it so i topped it a tad closed it back up. No water being taken up from the reservoir either. So i dont think its a head gasket or block issue. My cousin came by and he saw it leaking and said god you blew a gasket or something. I said i dont think so the water is fine in the radiator,he was just as confused as me.

My exhaust does have a really high emissions smell, but i dont think it smells like anti freeze. Is my muffler just a water reservoir lol

The byproduct of a good running engine is primarily water vapor. Mufflers at the far back of the car (like yours) tend to spew a bit of water, especially when cold. Now, a LOT of water means other things.

You checked the water, it isn’t sweet smelling (or tasting) so it is very likely not coolant from a head gasket or cracked block.

I’d say the drain hole typically found in factory mufflers has plugged up causing your muffler to fill with water.

Let me make a guess here; you don’t usually drive very far in this car. Right? How did I know that? It is a Ford Tempo that hasn’t been made since 1994. This makes that water issue worse. Check the muffler for a small weep hole at the lowest point on the muffler. If you find one, push wire through it to clear out the hole. If the muffler has been replaced, there may not be a hole. Drill one, 1/8 inch in size, about 1/4 of an in ch from the rolled lip at the lowest point. I think that should solve the problem.

Or ignore it. It IS a 24 year old car. It will rust its own way out eventually.

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If you do a lot of short rips, the muffler will act as a condenser and produce 1 gallon of water for every gallon of gas burned.

Years ago I solved this problem by drilling a small hole at the bottom rear of the muffler, allowing any condensation to be blown out.

Assuming you do not have a coolant leak, this might work fort you too.

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Wow yeah you are right i dont drive far. Maybe 2 miles and the car normally sits under the carport since i ride with my cousin out of town. So im guessing all that short driving isnt long enough to burn off the water. I guess i will have to take it out on the highway and see if i can get rid of the water. But that seems like a lot of water lol

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I worked for a company where the boss drove his V-8 powered dual exhaust equipped Ford Galaxy to work every day even though he could have walked to work. He needed to replace his rusted out mufflers annually. I don’t even think his heater was even blowing warm air yet when he got to work.

LOL yeah i think thats my scenario. I just dont drive the car much or far. No need the town is maybe a mile along main street and half a mile across lol

But I will take it out on a nice day and go the 60 miles into the big town see if that helps. I hope it makes it hehe

Great idea. Sludge in the engine is the worse thing to worry about. Cars that never heat up properly will develop sludge in the engine which will cause premature wear. Keep in mind that one cold start is equal to about 500 miles of engine wear. That’s why it is desirable to warm up a car by driving a reasonable distance when possible to burn off any raw gasoline, water and thus prevent sludge formation. An engine block heater, in wide use in the North and Canada, allows warm starts and minimizes sludge formation.

There are many questions on this forum about buying a low mileage vehicle car from a senior. Our advice is always to verify the maintenance records to make sure the oil has been changed sufficiently frequently to avoid sludge formation.

Taking the car for a long trip will be good for the car but it will not stop the water from leaking from a cold muffler. Once you have driven 5-7 miles the exhaust system has warmed up enough yo let the water stay water vapor as it exits the tailpipe. When you burn gasoline in air the result is water, CO2, and nitrous oxide. Once the car is warmed up ypo can’t see any of them because they are colorless gasses. You don’t have a problem to solve here, just the normal operation of a car.

That is why some cars have stainless steel exhaust parts.

Stainless steel exhaust systems are a practical necessity in order to meet the EPA’s 50,000 mile emission system warranty requirement.

I never had issues with mufflers rusting out because I either had a fairly long drive to work or had a job I could walk to. I just refused to start my car just to go down the block, opting to walk instead.

Stainless steel wasn’t mandated in years past

I remember some pre-stainless steel catalytic converters which were rusted out

And why many mufflers have weep holes.